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About BroadField BerryFruits

Don and Wendy Babe have owned their blueberry orchard at Broadfield just south of Christchurch, in Central Canterbury, New Zealand since 1992. Over that time they have developed the production and marketing of the blueberries to the levels seen today.

Contact Us

phone: +64 3 325 2232
e-mail: dbabe@blueberrybliss.co.nz
address: 475 Robinsons Road, Broadfield
Christchurch, New Zealand

Marketing

In 1993 the orchard was opened for Pick Your Own sales. The popularity of this market has surpassed all expectations with Christchurch and beyond customers enjoying the tranquility provided by the location and environment in the orchard. In addition to the PYO market significant volumes of blueberries are frozen down for distribution to the cafes and bakeries during the winter season. In 2000 fresh fruit was supplied to the local market. In 2001 the Babe's entered the export market using the advantage that their fruit is spray free.
Blueberry mower

Production

When the Babe's took over the orchard it was in a neglected state, the weeds were higher than the bushes and pruning was by sheep and the damage inflicted by the big snow fall of August 1992. The first seasons production was 150 Kgs of blueberries. The weeds have been brought under control using a lot of mowing, non-residual sprays and hand weeding. During winter the pruning programme is undertaken.

The orchard originally had five varieties of bushes, Stanley, Jersey, Atlanta, Burlington and Dixie. Each variety has its own ripening time to give a two month season of production. In 1998 fifty blueberry plants of a variety being developed in New Zealand were planted to replace some of the bushes lost over the last few years. These bushes have yet to be named but are coming into good production. Blueberries are very sweet with a flavour that seems to include some of the other summer berry tastes of strawberry and raspberry.

The orchard is not sprayed with chemicals except for the use of non-residual herbicides to control weeds. Chemical fertilizers have not been used since 1998. Soil tests are used to analyse the availability of the trace elements necessary for the production of good healthy blueberries. It is planned to continue with these policies to produce a spray free blueberry.


Pick Your Own

Has provided the owners with the opportunity to meet many people from different regions of the world. Many minority ethnic groups come to pick their own fruit and on occasion meet fellow patriots.

Café owners continue to prefer to purchase their blueberries direct from the grower. Demand is high during the winter when muffin demand is high. The owners are interested in supplying fresh blueberries to cafes and restaurants during the season.

Local market sales are strong with the blueberries being delivered to the Christchurch market on the day they were picked. The blueberries are identified as being South Island produced and spray free.
Blueberry Slide

 

© 2001, Broadfield Berryfruit www.thecoderoom.co.nz