Blueberries from Australia thrive in greenhouses northern Israel

A group of growers in the Golan Heights is marketing an Australian type of blueberry that grows well in the brisk northern air, but in containers on platforms, inside a greenhouse. These blueberry bushes were planted in 2018 by Carmel Berry, a partnership of the Ampa Group, Kibbutz Ein Zivan and Moshav Natur, in containers that are monitored for bugs, water, fertilizer and oxygen. They yielded 100 tons of blueberries this year, and the growers will be adding raspberries, blackberries and strawberries to the mix.

Orna Sandal, from the fruit department of the Plant Marketing Board: “We can pretty much grow anything here,” said Sandal. “It just costs more, mostly because of labor. So we always have to weigh what can be grown here, or what can be more easily imported.”

Blueberries are clearly an expensive crop in Israel, said Sandal, “Compared with something like tomatoes, which only cost a shekel or two each. Israelis have learned to love berries," she added.


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