Tuesday, June 28, 2011
SENECA BREEZE BERRIES TOUR
Canandaigua Botanical members Caroline & Robert Grey, Peggy Kane, Leona Lauster, Laura Ouimette, John Purdy, and Norma & David Rugg, were joined by Dennis & Susan Hess and ten FIRST Lego League Robotics students for a tour of Seneca Breeze Berries on an overcast Saturday morning. The FLL students (and their siblings) asked fantastic questions in hopes of learning more to meet the Food Factor Challenge they will face later this year.
Paul Cooley told us how he got started with this hydroponic farm bought as a kit from Florida. The farm covers one third acre and is enclosed in a deer fence under bird netting. There are 14 rows of rotating styrofoam pot stacks receiving hosed water, nutrients, fertilizer, and fungicide on a regulated schedule. 15,000 plants will provide berries from June to October.
Corell stones in top of each stack
The pump house has a main control which communicates with controls at the end of several rows (under the black boxes) determining when small black hoses are activated.
Paul demonstrates scissor cutting the berries with long stems to lengthen the shelf life of berries.
Wide rows convenient for many pickers
John Purdy supervises
Berries get weighed for purchase
Great thanks to Paul and Kathryn Cooley!
At the stand you can taste test the many varieties of jam.
Strawberry species grown at Seneca Breeze Berries include: Nourse Seascapes, Krohne Seascapes, Albion, Evie-2, and Ozark Beauty. Also grown in the hydroponic stacks are Black seeded Simpson lettuce, Looseleaf mix lettuce, Prizehead early lettuce, Parris Island lettuce, Freckles lettuce, Arugula, Buttercrunch lettuce and salad fresh spinach.
Leona liked the petite ball of basil.
For more information: http://www.senecabreezeberries.com/