We are finishing up year 2 and still figuring out all the ins/outs to growing tabeltop strawberries.
OzBF grows our strawberries on tabletops which means you can pick and we can maintain the plants without a lot of bending over. Our new growing method is still in trial mode but we have expanded an additional 880 plants making it about 1600 plants total. We hope to continue expanding. In the first year we had a good spring crop and the Albion produced all the way through to the first frost of fall 2021. In July 2021 we ran into problems with a fruit fly and yellowjackets and halted u pick but continued to experiment with the trial learning along the way. In the Spring of 2022 we focused on having just a spring crop, thus avoiding the summer critters of July. This has worked very well overcoming one hurdle. The next issue that came up this year is the ability to winter over with less damage to the fruiting crowns. In the 2022/23 winter we are going to try it again hoping for better production.
We have been using a picking list since there is more demand than berries. OzBf sends out in the spring a berry alert asking those interested in picking to signup to the strawberry picking list. We then work down the list as berries are available. We do not make it all the way through the list and apologize to those that did not get to pick. If we can overcome this production hurdle we will expand and hopefully be able to fulfill everyone's need.
OzBf is one of just a couple farms doing out of doors tabletop strawberries in MO and have been working with and sharing information with University of Minnesota strawberry researcher Kate Fessler.