Nov 18, 2019
High tunnel, single stem container-grown raspberry trialed in Virginia

National berry sales are on the upswing in recent years due to growing consumer appreciation for the many health benefits that come from eating these succulent fruits. In fact, with U.S. sales totaling $5.8 billion annually, berries are the leading produce category purchased by consumers. And that means Virginia farmers—even those with limited acreage—have an opportunity to tap into this market to gain revenue by helping to meet the growing demand for berries.

Virginia State University is conducting trials of growing raspberry in containers on a single stem under high tunnel conditions.  Reza Rafie, horticulture Extension specialist at VSU believes this system of raspberry production can be a good fit for Virginia’s small-scale farmers and even homeowners. This video briefly describes the potential of container-grown single-stem raspberries.

Video Transcription:

“This is a high tunnel. It’s a structure popular amongst many farmers. What differentiates a high tunnel from its greenhouse counterpart is that a high tunnel lacks the advanced heating and cooling system that said greenhouse has. This makes the high tunnel a cheaper alternative to the greenhouse. The vast majority of the temperature control in high tunnels happens by raising or lowering the sides. However some high tunnels do have small amenities like fans and portable heating units in them.

My name is Christos Galanopoulos, and I am currently a student at Virginia State University. I also work at Randolph Farm under the berry project. One of my projects is to look at the efficacy of single stem potted raspberry production. In each stem in each pot one raspberry is left to grow but in only one stem per raspberry. Each pot itself is connected to an irrigation system which provides water and occasionally fertilizer. While we have been harvesting raspberries since June, we have seen the best results between the months of October and December. This is because the weather is cooler, a condition more favorable to the crop in the terms of size, yield, and marketability. And we believe that this potted form of raspberry production is going to be very beneficial for small-scale farmers and producers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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