Australia: Season starts for hydroponic berry grower

The first crop of hydroponic strawberries at Blue Hills Berries and Cherries, in Silvan, should be ready for harvest in the next few weeks.

The hydroponic system is a leap forward for the property that was first established in the 1890s.

Co-owner Tracey Chapman, who farms the 27ha property with husband Kevin, children Jaymie and Kristopher and parents-in-law Murray and Lorraine, said hydroponics were the way of the future for the farm.

“It’s a real trial for us, ­although there are a few hydroponics in the Yarra Valley” Tracey said.

There are 11,000 strawberry and raspberry plants in the greenhouse.

“It was primarily for ­labour saving, but we also ­expect higher yields and bigger and better fruit,” she said.

“They will be protected from snails and rain damage.”

Read more at The Weekly Times (Lyndal Reading)

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