Naturipe Farms’ Starts Harvest Season for New Jersey Blueberries
- by Jessica Donnel
HAMMONTON, NJ – New Jersey blueberry harvest season is upon us! And Naturipe grower Dacosta Blueberry Farms is happy to report the state has another great season in store.
From its roots as a 26-acre operation back in 1953, Dacosta Blueberry Farms is now run by second generation Macrie brothers, Michael, Nick, and Paul, who have turned their father, Paul Sr.’s, land into over 800 acres of blueberry operations.
“It’s about adapting to things that happen,” Paul Macrie says. “Being a fruit farmer teaches you patience. We were always taught to respect the land and environment.”
Paul noted that both New Jersey’s production and volume are looking good for the upcoming harvest. Despite the cold winters these past few years, the grower’s plants are still looking to be in great shape, according to a press release. Knowing which varieties adapt better during different parts of the season is a crucial part of being able to provide the best taste, shipping, and storage capabilities for blueberries.
“Pollination went well this year,” added Paul. “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.”
One of the biggest states for blueberries, Paul shared that New Jersey can produce as many as 250,000-300,000 crates per day at peak production, adding that the Duke variety is one that helps to bump up the 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,” adds Paul. “Knowing you put your heart and soul into every berry and crate makes for a good feeling.”
Naturipe shared that the efforts and time put forth by Paul Macrie Sr. and his three sons are now paving the way for the “next generation” of growers. With the third generation of Macrie’s just beginning to get involved in the business, AndNowUKnow will keep our eyes on this dynamic blueberry powerhouse.