Naturipe Farms’ first pick of New Jersey blueberries
June 8, 2017

The New Jersey blueberry harvest season has started for Naturipe grower Dacosta Blueberry Farms Inc., with anticipation for another great season.

Originally a 26-acre operation in 1953, second-generation Macrie brothers Michael, Nick and Paul have turned their father’s land and Dacosta Blueberry Farms to over 800 acres of blueberry growing opportunity.  “It’s about adapting to things that happen," Paul Macrie said in a press release. "Being a fruit farmer teaches you patience. We were always taught to respect the land and environment.”

Production and volume out of New Jersey is forecasted for a good season. “Pollination went well this year,” he said. “We have more acreage of the Draper variety this year. The size looks good and the color is bright white, an indicator of good health.”

Despite the cold winters these past few years, Paul said the plants are looking to be in great shape. Knowing which varieties adapt better during different parts of the season is crucial for today’s blueberry market for best taste, shipping and storage capabilities.

Known as the blueberry state, New Jersey packs more per day than other nearby regions. “In past years, New Jersey’s production has been as high as 250,000 to 300,000 crates per day at peak production," Paul said. "The Duke variety has helped achieve this poundage.”

“Watching the plants grow and seeing what you have done from a small cutting to a plant large enough to produce fruit, is one of the most gratifying things in life,” he said. “Knowing you put your heart and soul into every berry and crate makes for a good feeling.” The efforts and time put forth by Paul Macrie Sr. and his three sons has paved the way for the next generation of Naturipe growers as third-generation Macries are beginning to get involved in the business.

The Produce News