We've found that different varieties are better for different products; fresh, frozen or dehydrated. We've found that watering at different times at different amounts can change your harvest. And we've found that everything we know doesn't cover the amount of everything we could know.
We've been a grower/packer/shipper of our own blueberries for many years now. We ship our berries around the world as fresh, frozen and dehydrated. We've recently shipped our frozen and dehydrated blueberries into both the Chinese and Australian markets. We have strong relationships with purchasers in the Japanese markets, as well as our friends here in the United States.
Our packing facility, as well as our fields, goes through yearly 3rd Party Audits to monitor and grade our food safety and health programs. We're an Organic Certified Packer, meeting the standards required by State and Federal organic regulations.
We have value-added products; products using our blueberries in them that increases their value to our customers. Blueberry pancake kits, blueberry pies and other such projects; many that are still only in the research stages. All these things are ways for us to increase our ability to control the quality of the final product that our customers receive.
In the last couple years we've started working towards Sustainable Agricultural practices. What started out as tests for our then future organic blueberry fields, turned into eco-friendly practices in our conventional fields.
We're still working with the organic side of the equation. We planted our first organic blueberry field in the fall of 2006 and another in the fall of 2007. We're also moving our other fields away from total industrial chemical dependency using what we've learned so far. What we're still learning.
Each time we try a new thing, we learn something. Sometimes we learn that the new something will not work for us. Other times we learn that it will. And sometimes, we learn something that we didn't even know we were looking for.
For a better look at the blueberry side of our farm, click here, www.oregonblueberries.com.
Gingerich Farms has grown many things over the past years, but for the last 25 years Hazelnuts, Grass Seed and Blueberries have been our mainstay.
Our first blueberry plants were planted in 1983. And we've been planting new plants ever since. Sometimes replacing varieties that didn't do well with those that we thought would. Sometimes replacing sick plants with healthy plants. Or, just adding new acreage.
We've changed our growing styles as we've learned new things. Sometimes we've made mistakes but we've tried to learn from them. What works one year doesn't always work the next, but we keep moving forward. We've found that certain ways of pruning can change not only the amount or size of berries on that plant, but also how well it will produce in the years to come.