Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
A federal government grant has been kept aside in order to aid those berry growers who have been severely hampered by pandemic induced labour shortages. In fact, the Morrison government is all set to hand over $239,000 to Berries Australia Limited. Additionally, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud believes that this helping hand will assist the agricultural domain to reach its $100 billion farmgate value by 2030. It is a known fact that berries offer the farming community numerous opportunities to grow. Berries are the single biggest fresh produce line with a combined value of more than $1 billion.
After the wrath of the pandemic, berry growers are now eager to expand their exports. Even though Covid 19 had slowed down this industry, farm owners are now confident that they will be able to get their businesses back on track. Now, with the help of this grant, the growers will receive the proper insights and resources required to keep them moving forward. According to Hari Yellina, of Orchard Tech, there is enormous potential to translate this success into a global export powerhouse. This is because Australia is one of the few nations that hold a number of the most prized berry varieties. Therefore, this funding will foster the relationship between importers and retailers.
The following varieties of berries are a little uncommon but are widely available in Australia.
Goji berries are said to be high in antioxidants, and good for you. They taste a little like a tough raisin, and I have them every day with my homemade muesli. The bushes grow to about 2m high and wide and are tough. They lose their leaves in winter in cold climates and, once established, tolerate drought, heat and cold. They grow in pots, too, on a sunny balcony, in good, big, fat pots.
You can rarely buy mulberries, as they turn to squish a day or so after picking. But they are luscious in pies, or just fresh from the tree, or frozen then puréed in a smoothie. Plant the bare-rooted trees in winter. Potted mulberries can be grown any time.
These are like blackberries, but will not become weeds. But they are still tough, prickly, and need lots of room to ramble on, either a tall trellis or a fence to train the runners along.
Silvanberries are large, shiny, and very prickly and bear vigorous blackberries. They ripen in Australia about late November and fruit from then on till early February — the longest cropping season of all the brambles. They’re sweet and luscious, but don’t have the rich raspberry hints of brambleberries. But if you’re just growing one brambleberry — and you’re sure you’ll hack it back every winter — this is a good one to choose.
Loganberries are a cross between a blackberry and a dewberry. They’re a long rich red fruit, and a bit too sour to eat fresh unless you add a sprinkle of sugar or eat them with sweet cream or ice cream. Yum! They’re wonderful in pies.