<![CDATA[Site Title]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/ Sat, 11 Jul 2020 15:16:34 GMT Sat, 11 Jul 2020 15:16:34 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[We pick, you enjoy!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postour-fresh-picked-berry-tent-is-opening-soon https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postour-fresh-picked-berry-tent-is-opening-soon Thu, 11 Jun 2020 00:00:00 GMT Everyone loves Nourse Farms Fresh Picked Berries!!

Daily Hours - 8:30-4:30 (Weather permitting)

Berry Line 413-665-2650 (always best to call for most current conditions)

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Nourse Farms COVID-19 update...]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-farms-covid-19-update https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-farms-covid-19-update Fri, 15 May 2020 00:00:00 GMT COVID-19 Update

As an agricultural operation, we are committed to staying open to play our part in maintaining an unbroken and safe food supply. You and your communities depend on us—now more than ever—to make sure your plants are of the highest quality and delivered to you on time, and we intend to do everything we can to ensure that there is no interruption in this.

Our team is still here for you if you have any questions about varieties or need advice on growing practices, so do continue to reach out for support from us.

Additionally, the health and safety of our team is our highest priority, so we are implementing additional processes to protect our employees.

As with any fluid situation, we will continue to update our customers as things change.

3/30/2020 UPDATE - - - We have postponed any onsite Order Pickups until the week of 4/20/2020 or after, and we strongly encourage customers that usually pickup their order to have it shipped....   Our intention is to honor the social distancing practice in place, and to keep our customers and employees healthy and safe.


4/16/2020 UPDATE - - - 


To do our part to keep our employees and customers safe during this unprecedented pandemic, Nourse Farms has decided to close for on farm pick ups of all orders for the season.

As of Wednesday’s press conference held by Governor Baker, Massachusetts is facing surge of new cases in the coming weeks as our community battles COVID-19.

We are committed to getting your orders to you and playing our part in maintaining an unbroken and safe food supply, and will continue to pack and ship orders.


4/22/2020 UPDATE - - - 

Due to constraints processing required ship documents for the states of  CA, HI, WA, and OR, we are currently not accepting NEW orders for these states - - our apologies.


4/29/2020 UPDATE - - - 

Taking care takes more time. In the midst of the COVID crisis, Nourse is taking extra precautions as we work to safeguard the health and safety of our customers and employees.  We will continue to pack and ship your orders to you as quickly as we can but are currently experiencing unavoidable delays. We thank you for your understanding as we’re all navigating this global pandemic together.

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[It’s asparagus time!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postits-asparagus-time https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postits-asparagus-time Thu, 14 May 2020 00:00:00 GMT Finally after a very cool spring, we are in full harvest on asparagus.  The row on the right is Millenium – our top yielding variety!

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_spring_2020 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_spring_2020 Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Welcome to our 2020 Spring Newsletter. In this edition we cover a number of topics that pertain to growers large and small including:

• Bramble Trellising & Pruning
• Frost Protection Considerations
• Get the Best Price for Your Berries
• New Market Ideas for Your Product
• Strawberry Spring Fungicide Recommendations
• Planting Dates for Plasticulture
• Strategies for Dealing with Heat Stress
• Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Update.

Many of these topic ideas came specifi cally from all the diff erent growers we met and conversed with
during the winter meetings.

Other highlights from the winter meetings include: 

Increasing strong interest in all small fruit but specifi cally blueberries. As part of the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Hershey, PA, I gave a presentation on new product systems as well as new variety options. These new variety options include 3 blueberry varieties -Blue Ribbon, Top Shelf and Last Call. Based on trial information, including our own trials at Nourse Farms, these varieties show a great deal of potential. We are sold out for spring 2020 and encourage growers to order early
(fall 2020) for spring 2021!

New production systems – not only at the Hershey conference but many of the conferences included presentations on new production systems. As noted in our Fall 2019 Newsletter, we have added two new products to our propagation and production – strawberry tray plants and long cane raspberry plants. These plants are used to product fruit in glass greenhouses and other structures, using a variety of containers and substrates. 

NASGA “Service with Impact Award”. I was deeply honored to be the recipient of the 2020 North American Strawberry Growers annual “Service with Impact Award” as presented at this year’s annual conference in San Antonio. It is humbling to be included in the group of past recipients but an honor to be given the award. This honor is given to a person deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the strawberry industry. At Nourse Farms, we value any contribution we, as a nursery, can make to further not only the strawberry industry but all the industries we serve.

Here at Nourse Farms we are preparing for the upcoming shipping season. We understand the critical importance of coordination and on-time delivery. We continue to upgrade our processes for the highest customer service performance for our customers. Your assistance in keeping us informed of your planting situation is important. Thank you for your past business and wishing you the best for the 2020 season.



Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

<![CDATA[Five Points to Prepare]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT FIVE POINTS TO PREPARE...


• The planting date for plasticulture strawberries is sensitive to your geographic area.
• The target is to develop 3 to 4 branch crowns by the end of the growing season.
• Planting too early will cause the development of too many branch crowns resulting in smaller berry size. Shorter productive lifecycle.
• If you are considering a new plasticulture planting of strawberries, please contact us to pinpoint the best planting time for your area.
• If you are currently planting on plastic, we suggest you evaluate your branch crown development. If you are seeing more than 4 branch crowns, consider delaying your planting; if you see only 1 or 2 branch crowns, consider planting earlier. 
• In evaluating your branch crown situation, take into consideration the quality of the growing season. Variation in growing conditions can affect results. Please contact us if we can assist you in any of these areas.

Marketing and pricing fruit are as important as selecting the best varieties and using the best management practices. Growers are conservative in setting prices even with substantial evidence that consumers perceive berries to have a good value, providing an opportunity to adjust to higher pricing. As you review pricing for 2020, increasing prices is supported by the increased cost of producing these crops. One clear marketing message all growers should be promoting is the health benefits of berries. Scientists have found berries to have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits (measured as ORAC), with kale and spinach being the only vegetables with ORAC values as high as fresh, delicious berries. To enhance your marketing, email Anne Kowaleck at akowaleck@noursefarms.com for excellent fact sheets you can share regarding the health benefits of berries.

The summer of 2019 was one of the hottest on record in the northern U.S. with stretches of time with daytime temperatures in the 90’s. On top of a very moderate winter, its not unlikely to see these same type of temperature stretches this growing season.

Impact of hot temperatures:
• High air temperatures may result in very high leaf temperatures resulting in sunburn and scorching. Sunscald of fruit will increase, especially where leaves wilt and reduce fruit cover.
• High heat will affect pollen production, often reducing viable pollen numbers. Reduced pollination can result in smaller fruit or misshapen fruit. 
• High soil temperatures, particularly when growing on black plastic where surface temperatures can exceed 150°F, can damage surface roots, limiting water and nutrient uptake. This is particularly a problem in young plants that have limited shading of the plastic.

Options for moderating the impact of high temperatures:
• In areas with consistently high temperatures, consider using white plastic in place of black plastic. Growers have also seen a moderation of soil temperature with the use of a clean straw mulch in addition to and on top of plastic.
• Water-based (evaporative) cooling can be used to reduce temperatures. Low water volume sprinklers and drip irrigation systems have been successfully used during hot daytime periods for plant cooling. Timing is also a consideration as by turning on your drip irrigation early in the day, soil under black plastic mulch will remain cooler longer during the day.
• On some crops, shading with the use of shade cloth (20-30%) applied during the hottest periods of the day and when the plant is most sensitive to heat (fruit development) has shown benefits.
• Experimentation is being been done with the use of radiation blocks and reflective materials for reflecting away some solar radiation. Radiation block materials are sprayed on plants during high temperature periods. It’s too soon to tell if the use of these materials is consistently effective.


Profitably growing berries involves not only work done in the field but marketing and distribution. Growers can be challenged in moving all their berries on slower days during the week such as Monday –Thursday and/or during peak harvest levels. A variety of non-traditional outlets for berries have developed recently that can eliminate this problem for some growers. In addition, a market is starting to emerge for portions of the plant other than the berries themselves – full plants, branches and leaves. Some popular outlets we have seen:

1. Craft Breweries - according to the Brewers Association, there are over 6,300 craft breweries in the U.S., up from just 2,000 in 2013. At Nourse Farms, we have had good success selling raspberries in bulk at a competitive price. To find micro or craft breweries in your area, go to brewersassociation.org which has an excellent search tool for finding breweries near you.

2. Wineries - with almost 7,000 wineries, a great resource to identify wineries in your area can be found at wineriesbystate.com.

3. Restaurants – based in part on the “Farm to Table” concept, another popular outlet for berries is the restaurant industry. Chefs, particularly in higher end restaurants, have a great appreciation for local berries and are willing to pay a premium, especially for day-neutral strawberries, fall-bearing raspberries and blackberries as well as June-bearing strawberry king berries. A great way to meet and develop relationships with restaurants is through your local chamber of commerce and business organizations.

4. Florists – believe it or not, it’s not just the berries that grab people’s attention. We are seeing more and more interest in the use of portions of small fruit plants in bouquets and centerpieces, particularly during wedding season. Leaves and portions of the cane (with or without the berries), add a new, different and modern look and texture that is becoming very popular, particularly with millennials. Varieties to consider – Chester Blackberry, Eden Red Raspberry, Bluegold Blueberry and Anne Yellow Raspberry.


Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) continues to pose a challenge to growers, with the pressure building as the season progresses. Those of us on the east coast and in the midwest, with hot summer temperatures and wet conditions from time to time, will experience the most pressure. Moisture breaks down the insecticides and the heat increase the rate of reproduction of the SWD. 

Particular crops most impacted include:
• Late Season June Bearing Strawberries
• Late Season Floricane/Summer Bearing Red Raspberries
• Mid – Late Season Blueberries
• Day-Neutral Strawberries
• Primocane/Fall Bearing Raspberries

SWD Basics:
1. Monitor with traps to know when present.

2. Timing of insecticide sprays begins with color. Pesticide coverage is critical. During the day, the SWD hide in the foliage canopy. For maximum control, the application needs to thoroughly penetrate the canopy – especially important for brambles. Rotation of compounds is an important tool for best control and managing resistance. For specifics on possible controls and options for organic growers, contact your local cooperative extension office.

3. Cultural controls are a key part of SWD management. This includes:
   a. Exclusion netting & baiting SWD. Some organic growers, in particular, have had success with mass trapping of SWD, as well as the use of exclusion netting. 
   b. Pruning brambles has become an important part of SWD control. Narrowing rows and thinking out excess canes is an important tool in controlling SWD. Removing foliage from lower canopy increases penetration of insecticides and reduces habitat.
   c. SWD has been found to inhabit wooded borders. Treating borders can help reduce pressure. Keeping field perimeters free of weeds will also reduce habitat.
   d. It’s critical to harvest all ripe fruit and remove cull fruit from the field every time you pick. Harvested fruit for sale should immediately go into refrigeration.

4. Make use of the many great SWD websites. Including:  




Posted in: Newsletter

<![CDATA[Strawberry Fungicide Suggestions]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-fungicide-suggestions https://www.noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-fungicide-suggestions Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Strawberry Fungicide Program Suggestions

Here are a variety of suggestions based on our experience as well as information gathered from winter conferences and industry contacts. In addition, consult your local cooperative extension office for specific state recommendations.


1. ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL regarding annual application limits, resistance management and labeling for your state. Good websites for that information are www.CDMS.net. or agrian.com.
2. RESISTANCE MANAGEMENT IS CRITICAL FOR MAINTAINING CHEMICAL EFFECTIVENESS. Avoid making sequential applications of the same class fungicides. Information on fungicide class distinctions can be found at http://frac.info and look for 2020 FRAC code list. We have also included FRAC codes with specific fungicides in this article.
3. USE CAPTAN OR THIRAM WITH VARIOUS FUNGICIDES, whenever possible, for broadspectrum control and resistance management. PLEASE NOTE: Mixing Captan with any oil-based material will cause leaf phytotoxicity. This would include other fungicides or secticides.
4. OXIDATE HAS PROVEN TO BE AN EFFECTIVE BROAD-SPECTRUM FUNGICIDE control and is labeled for organic growers.
5. A NEW PREVENTATIVE BIOFUNGICIDE from Bioworks, BotryStop has potential to fit into both organic and conventional spray programs. We have started testing this product at Nourse Farms and initial results are encouraging. For additional information see the Bioworks website at www.bioworks.com.
6. CHECK AND CALIBRATE SPRAYER. Choose tips and application rates (gallons per acre) based on coverage needed, which can change based on growing canopy. If you don’t have good spray coverage – you won’t have good control. Adjuvants can assist with coverage.

Bloom applications are the critical time to effectively control botrytis, and should begin at 5 - 10% bloom. Because of the importance, a spray schedule of 7 to 10 days is recommended. During excessive wet periods, the schedule might be reduced to a 4 or 5-day schedule.
Usually 4 or 5 applications can accomplish the job for the season.

Bloom Recommendations (FRAC code)

• Switch (9 + 12) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Elevate (17) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Fracture (M3) + Oxidate
• Merivon (7 + 11) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Scala (9) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Inspire Super (3 + 9) + Captan (M4) + Oxidate


For leather rot control during extended wet periods, when frost protection is necessary and especially if leather rot occurred last year, add Ridomil Gold as one of the fungicides in your bloom spray program beginning at first bloom. Straw mulch can greatly assist in minimizing water splashing that can spread leather rot. Growers can also consider a phosphorous acid product.

After flowering, the threat of botrytis infection decreases. Green fruits are not as susceptible to infection. If spray coverage was poor or lacking (including too long an interval) during bloom, infection could result. Also, Anthracnose can be a problem during warm, wet conditions. As infections are often difficult to control once present, a preventative approach may be best, especially if it was present during prior harvests.

After Bloom Recommendations (FRAC code)
• Switch (9 + 12) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Abound (11) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Elevate (17) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Cabrio (11) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate
• Merivon (7 + 11) + Captan (M4) & Oxidate

If necessary to continue coverage beyond two sprays, alternate the application of the above chemicals with an application of Switch, Elevate, Thiram or Captan.

NOTE: There are reports of botrytis resistance to some control products as well as cases of anthracnose resistance to QOI chemicals. If you are seeing reduced control for a particular product, consult your local cooperative extension office.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Refer to the label and your state’s particular recommendations, as states have varying regulations regarding timing, rates and allowances for any spray program.
Organic or ORMI listed fungicides: Copper products, Oxidate, BotryStop, Aremicarb, Serenade/Sonata.

Posted in: Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Strawberry Frost Protection Tips]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry_frost_protection_tips https://www.noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry_frost_protection_tips Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMT Strawberry Frost Protection Tips

Due to the fact that strawberry plants grow close to the soil, and given they blossom earlier than many other crops, they are at risk for spring frost and freeze damage.


1. Over-head watering: Over-head watering works based on the principle of latent heat of fusion – as water turns to ice, heat is released. This heat maintains the plant tissue at just above freezing. If the water stops during the night while the temperature is below freezing, the process reverses –heat is removed from the plant tissue and the tissue will freeze. To avoid this, watering must continue until the air temperature rises above 32°F and the ice has melted. Over-head watering may be combined with row covers or used independently and requires a calibrated emitter system to be sure the required water is constantly being provided. It has a proven track record of maintaining the temperature of the flower buds above critical temperatures. On the negative side, it may lead to saturated soils and root diseases; if the water stops at any point when the air temperature is below the 32°F the buds will freeze.

frost2. Row covers: Row covers are spun bonded polypropylene and vary in weight from 0.45 oz to 4 oz. Cloth sheets also work for small areas. Research has shown that using two layers of a 1 oz weight row cover provides somewhat better frost protection than a single layer of 2 oz cover, likely due to air between the layers. Heavier covers (3-4oz) work for frost protection but restrict light too much and need to be removed as soon as temperatures are above freezing. Avoid placing plastic over the rows unless it is suspended and will not touch the plants. Wherever the plastic touches the plant – leaf, flower – the plant tissues will be killed in freezing temperatures.

3. Wind machines/Return Stack Heaters: Wind machines carry initial high expense but on sites that are frost prone this method may pay for itself. A temperature inversion, a weather condition where temperatures increase with altitude causing warm air to overlay cold air at the surface, and wind speeds less than 5 mph are required for this system to be effective. Acreage covered varies by model and the strength of the temperature inversion, generally 1 acre – 20 acres. May be used combined with supplemental heat for large areas, or when the temperature is expected to be down to the low 20s, or with a weak temperature inversion. Return Stack Heaters hold approximately five gallons of fuel with 20-40 heaters needed per acre. They are effective when used alone and combined with wind machines. Light every second or third heater initially and then light the rest. This will allow heat to move through the field without a big burst of heat that may puncture the inversion layer.

• Frost injury can cause significant damage to strawberry plants, especially during open blossom but also to unopened buds, if it’s cold enough. Strawberry fields are often colder at ground level than the weather forecast suggest.
• Irrigation for frost protection works because heat is released as water freezes. Rates must be adjusted to account for evaporative cooling due to winds and relative humidity. More water is required on windy nights and failure to apply enough water can cause greater damage than no irrigation.
• Dew point is an important factor in determining the optimum time for starting frost protection. Start temperature for frost protection is higher when humidity is low, lower when the humidity is high.
• Each form of frost protection has its pros and cons, so evaluation of systems based on your individual circumstance is important.

Posted in: Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Tim receives the 2020 NASGA “Service with Impact Award”]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/posttim-receives-the-2020-nasga-service-with-impact-award https://www.noursefarms.com/news/posttim-receives-the-2020-nasga-service-with-impact-award Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 GMT Congratulations to Tim Nourse, recipient of the 2020 North American Strawberry Growers annual “Service with Impact Award”.  This honor is given to a person deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the strawberry industry.  Tim was presented the award by Kevin Edberg, board member, at this week’s national conference. 

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Floricane/Summer Bearing Red Raspberry Production]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfloricanesummer-bearing-red-raspberry-production https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfloricanesummer-bearing-red-raspberry-production Fri, 01 Nov 2019 00:00:00 GMT Floricane/Summer Bearing Red Raspberry Production –
The Ins and Outs


Brambles are a high value crop much in demand. Here we focus on on summer bearing red raspberries: an excellent complement to strawberries. Varieties typically ripen after strawberries, but before significant SWD pressure.

Site Preparation
• Preparations for red raspberry plantings should begin at least one year in advance. We advise taking soil samples to get a read on your pH, % organic matter and overall fertility to make any necessary changes the year before planting.

• We recommend a pH in the 6.5 – 6.8 range with a minimum 2-3% organic matter. A nutritionally healthy planting in a well-drained soil with exposure to air movement is less susceptible to damage from pests and frosts.

• Raspberries require good internal soil drainage to grow and do best on a well-drained sandy loam. Wet soils restrict root growth and respiration, resulting in weak growth and reduced yields.

• Planting on raised beds is highly recommended to improve soil drainage in the rooting zone, particularly on heavier soils. Selecting a site with a gentle slope (3-4%) and good air drainage will also promote faster drying of foliage, flowers and fruit which will reduce the duration and frequency of disease infection periods Recommended plant spacing is 18 – 24 inches in the row and 10-12 feet between rows.

• Drip irrigation is an essential component to successful raspberry production. Plants generally require 1 to 2 inches of water per week during the growing season and 2 to 3 inches per week during harvest. We suggest having your local irrigation sales company review your field layout for the best recommendations for your situation.

Choosing a variety

Picking the appropriate varieties for your operation is one of the most important decisions a grower can make. In northern areas, winter-hardiness is a key factor in choosing a variety. On the flipside, in zones 7 & 8, care should be taken in variety selection to ensure the fruit can handle intense summer heat. The following is summary of key summer bearing varieties – additional information on these and other varieties can be found on our website or in our catalog.

PRELUDE - Well accepted early variety. Growers like the early season primocane crop combined with good berry quality. In some locations, Prelude produces a primocane/fall crop. 

NOVA - In the trifecta of summer bearing key varieties, a very consistent second variety in ripening time. Nova is dependable for winter hardiness, overall plant vigor and being highly productive.

KILLARNEY - In similar ripening window as Nova, some growers prefer this variety for its performance, better fruit quality, and flavor in their conditions.

AAC EDEN - Tested as K06-2, AAC EDEN was released by Andrew Jamieson at Kentville, Nova Scotia. Mid-season, summerbearing floricane. A cross between Glen Ample and K93-11, the strong canes are spineless and demonstrate moderate winter hardiness. The conical fruit are large, firm, light to medium in color with excellent flavor.

ENCORE - Best alternative for a late floricane bearing raspberry. Encore is not the most productive, but fruit quality is excellent. Encore is also the best variety to connect to the primocane/ fall bearing season.

Planting & Fertilization

Avoid planting raspberries in soils where previous crops have included brambles, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant or peppers. Destroy all wild raspberries and other brambles within 500 to 1,000 feet of your planting site. We recommend planting early in the spring when soil temperatures are in the 45 – 50-degree range. With a bare root red raspberry planting, tips to remember: • Suggest soaking the plants for up to 2 hours before planting, taking care to keep the roots moist during the planting process.

• Do not plant too deep. We recommend digging a trench approximately 3-4” deep, laying the roots horizontally along the trench making sure roots are 1 – 1 ½” below the soil surface. Keeping roots at this depth and not too deep allows for easier sucker development from the roots.

• Consider using a product such as Agri-gel TM to help support plants through short dry spells.

• Consider the use of plastic as a weed barrier on the planting year. Contact us for details. Do not fertilize at planting. Earlier in this article, we recommend a soil sample the previous year to determine nutritional needs. If needed, once plants are established,
apply 20-35 pounds actual nitrogen per acre based on soil type. Higher levels of actual nitrogen may be recommended in subsequent years based on soil tests.

Tunnel Production

Not necessarily new to some growers, high tunnel raspberry production has been a topic at many of the winter meetings, with discussion of variety selection and overall production. We have had excellent success in using high tunnels in our own bramble production, including summer bearing red raspberries, and welcome any questions you might have.

Trellising & Pruning

We recommend all brambles, including red raspberries, be supported by trellis.  A trellis keeps canes upright and fruit off the ground, makes picking much easier, and maintains good aeration throughout the planting which helps with disease control.  We have been successful using a T-bar trellis which supports 2 wires 12” apart at 3’ to 4’ above the ground.  Some taller-growing varieties, such as Nova and Prelude, might benefit from a T-trellis with two T-bars – one at 3’ and one at 4’.  Growers of Summer-Bearing varieties find it’s helpful to attach first year canes to the wires on one side of the trellis, alternating this with each year’s new canes. Summer-Bearing (Floricane-Bearing) red raspberry varieties carry one crop of berries during the summer on over-wintered canes.   For best yields, immediately after harvest, cut the canes that carried fruit as close to the ground as possible and remove from the field.  Thin remaining new growth to 6-8 strong, healthy canes per running foot of row.

Pest Management

Good weed control during the first year is essential.  Raspberry plants are sensitive to most herbicides during the first few months after planting.  Research from Cornell has shown that applying a clean straw mulch (4 inches deep) to newly plant raspberries provides good weed control.  On heavy soils mulch should be used only in the first year since straw mulch over a prolonged period can encourage the development of root rots.  We do not recommend bark mulch or any other mulch material besides straw. Like any crop, a variety of pests need to be managed to maximize yields, fruit quality, and extend the life of your planting. Based on grower experience, besides Spotted Wing Drosophila which impact later ripening summer raspberries, growers should be concerned with:

• Phytophthora Root Rot
• Botrytis Fruit Rot (Grey Mold)
• Aphids • Yellow (Late or Fall) Rust
• Mites

Please review our Spring 2018 and other past newsletters on our website or contact your local cooperative extension office for specifics on possible controls. 

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter

<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_fall_2019 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_fall_2019 Fri, 01 Nov 2019 00:00:00 GMT Welcome to our 2019 Fall Newsletter.

All growers face the challenges of weather, as it is an important component of managing crops, especially outside. In spite of the fact our 2019 season had more than its fair share of challenges, many growers reported one of the best berry seasons ever. Nourse Farms also had a good growing season, resulting in a very good crop of plants for the 2020 season. We look forward to harvesting them and preparing them for shipment.

All growers are experiencing increased input and labor costs. In our analysis, with the concept of being sustainable, it is necessary for an across the board price increase for the coming season. In Massachusetts we have continuing $1.00 per hour increases. In addition, as a result of a decision of our Supreme Judicial Court, packing house operations are no longer exempt from the agricultural overtime rule. This will have a substantial impact at Nourse Farms. 

Nourse Farms continues to be a part of the many changes happening in our industry.
 We are adding two new products to our propagation and production - strawberry tray plants and long cane raspberry plants. We have learned a lot about growing a quality product, in this expanding and challenging market area. These plants are used to produce fruit in glass greenhouses and other structures, using a variety of containers and substrates. 

We are pleased to announce the addition of John Place as our Chief Operating Officer.
 John shares our forward thinking, entrepreneurial drive, and passion for leading the industry. We are confident John will continue to grow our dedicated team, enabling us to meet developing grower demands while maintaining the unsurpassed quality and service you’ve come to expect. 

The Nourse Team and I thank you for your past business, and we look forward to serving you in 2020.

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

<![CDATA[Variety Overview]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvariety-overview https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvariety-overview Fri, 01 Nov 2019 00:00:00 GMT by Tim Nourse

Nourse Farms reports on the trends we see with strawberry varieties, key observations on Niwot black raspberry, and our asparagus 14-year trial results.

Strawberry Varieties and Their Performance - There is a reason varieties perform differently from grower to grower. Different growing regions, different soil types and soil management, different results desired by each grower and varying crop management all are factors that influence variety performance from farm to farm. Here are my observations on strawberry performance:

1. EARLY: We have 2 prominent early varieties which are excellent planted in their adapted locations: Galletta and Wendy. Their performance can change with grower location. Earliglow and Annapolis are also important varieties, as they are well adapted for various conditions and requirements.

2. EARLY MID-SEASON: Honeoye remains the dominant variety in this group of varieties. Yambu, a new variety with Honeoye as one of its parents, is recognized for its high yields and excellent flavor, but lacks some berry firmness. Brunswick and Cavendish remain in good demand because of their performance and adaptability to a wide range of conditions.

3. MID-SEASON: Jewel, our #1 selling variety for many years, is known for its excellent characteristics. Growers also now recognize Flavorfest for its great flavor, disease resistance and plant vigor; its demand continues to grow. Darselect remains a popular choice in this category, but demands special nutrient and soil management. It has high yields and berry quality. Sonata and Allstar remain popular where adaptability to certain soil conditions is required or a specific flavor component is desired.

4. LATE MID-SEASON: Cabot is the main variety in this group. Although difficult to grow, Cabot is in high demand because of its very large fruit size, high yield and great taste. Mayflower is the most dependable variety in this ripening season, with good plant vigor and firm berries that resist rain conditions. Flavor changes from site to site. Clancy remains popular in the Pacific Northwest and its other adapted conditions. Dickens, a new introduction, was planted by growers for the first time in 2019.

5. LATE-SEASON: AC Valley Sunset continues to grow in demand as a variety because of its berry size, quality and season extension. Malwina has quickly become very popular, because of its late fruiting into July. Although dark red in color, it has great flavor.

6. DAY-NEUTRAL VARIETIES: Albion and Seascape are the highest demand varieties, but San Andreas and Evie-2 have an important place with many growers. The dayneutral varieties continue to increase in demand but the variety mix remains relatively stable.

Niwot - A Proven Performer - Niwot was introduced in 2014 as the first primocane black raspberry variety available. Over the past several years, growers have discovered its advantages and learned how to grow it. Niwot has established itself as a high-performing floricane variety, fruiting as early as Bristol and sometimes earlier. The fruit size is larger than Bristol, improving harvest efficiency. In addition, the harvest period extends through to the Mac Black harvesting period. Our experience indicates that Niwot is easier to harvest than Jewel--whose fruit are in tight clusters--and the fruit are also firmer. In our next planting at Nourse Farms, we are replacing Bristol and Jewel with Niwot. Hand harvest efficiency is difficult with black raspberries. From our experiences, Niwot will help to decrease our harvest costs. We have experienced poor results with Niwot as a primocane variety. We have tried tipping it to increase the fall crop, but it delayed harvest to be too late. Even without tipping Niwot, its crop is light and too late for our region.

Asparagus Trial Results - Nourse Farms has been conducting asparagus trials for over 20 years. Our trials have consisted of the varieties we offer in our catalog. In our newest trial we added 3 new selections from Europe to test with our established varieties, looking for new and better varieties. This season we terminated a 14-year-old trial, and report our results here. Our trials are not replicated, but we accumulate the daily harvested amounts from year to year to have an idea on the overall yield and yearly performance. For the past 5 years of this trial, we harvested over 6,000 pounds of asparagus each year on an acre basis. For the past 2 years our yields have been just under 7,000 pounds on an acre basis. In conclusion, our results show that Millennium was the highest performing variety in our trial because:

1. The stand of plants when the trial ended was about the same as when it was planted. The stands of Jersey Knight and Jersey Supreme had developed skips.
2. The uniformity of the spears of Millennium was excellent. The other 2 varieties had more variability which influences the speed of bunching.
3. Millennium also out-yielded the Supreme and Knight.
4. We are now in the 5th year of the new trial and we see the same trends of plant stand and spear uniformity.

Please contact us if you have questions.

Posted in: Newsletter

<![CDATA[New for 2020!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnew-for-2020 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnew-for-2020 Fri, 25 Oct 2019 00:00:00 GMT Check out one of our new varieties.... let us know how you like it....   It's always fun to add something new to your garden!

Caddo Blackberry -  Large berry size!
Top Shelf Blueberry - Superb fruit quality!
Blue Ribbon Blueberry -  Flavorful berries!
Last Call Blueberry  - High Yields!




Posted in: News

<![CDATA[2019-2020 Tradeshow Schedule]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-tradeshow-schedule https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-tradeshow-schedule Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:00:00 GMT View our commercial tradeshow schedule for the upcoming season!  We look forward to visiting our customers across the country at these shows.


See schedule here

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Plant Ordering Open for 2020 Season]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postopen_for_2019 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postopen_for_2019 Fri, 04 Oct 2019 00:00:00 GMT Time to plan,  - - - - don't lose out on your favorite varieties - - - order early to guarantee your favorites make it into your garden for 2019.   As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have regarding selection.


Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Double gold Raspberry]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postdouble-gold-raspberry https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postdouble-gold-raspberry Thu, 03 Oct 2019 00:00:00 GMT Those customers who have purchased Double Gold are enjoying the fruits of their labor now, as it produces fruit in the fall!  In addition to being a rather unique yellow-peach-salmon color, it is yummy and productive.  If you don't already have them, you may want to add Double Gold to your order for the 2020 shipping season. 

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Elderberries for a healthy Immune System]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/posttim-nourse-talks-benefits-of-elderberries-for-immune-system https://www.noursefarms.com/news/posttim-nourse-talks-benefits-of-elderberries-for-immune-system Thu, 05 Sep 2019 00:00:00 GMT Tim discusses the benefits of the Elderberry Plant as a cold remedy in an interview with Western MA News.  Click here to view the interview and find out how you Elderberries can help you!

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Fresh Picked Tent Closed for Season]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfresh_picked_tent_closed_for_season https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfresh_picked_tent_closed_for_season Fri, 26 Jul 2019 00:00:00 GMT Thanks to our customers who stopped by our tent to purchase best berries in the valley!  We appreciate your business....

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Thank you for your business!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postonline-ordering-closed-for-2019-season https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postonline-ordering-closed-for-2019-season Mon, 03 Jun 2019 00:00:00 GMT Online and phone ordering is complete for the season.

We wish all of our customers a BERRY bountiful summer in their garden!  As always, we are here if you have questions regarding your plants during your growing season.   

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Yes, spring has sprung!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postyes-spring-has-sprung https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postyes-spring-has-sprung Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Time to get outside and breathe the fresh air and put your hands in the dirt :)

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Picking the appropriate varieties for your operation is an important decision...]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvarieties-key-factors-for-selecting-the-right-one_ https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvarieties-key-factors-for-selecting-the-right-one_ Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Not sure how or what to pick?  Read this article from our Fall 2018 Newsletter for guidance.

Posted in: News