July/August 2022 - 20

PROFILES
BERRIES
 Driscoll's and Plenty are using new technology to grow strawberries indoors through vertical farming. Driscoll's plans
to open a vertical farm in the Northeast U.S. Photos: Plenty
Indoor Berries
DRISCOLL'S EXPANDS STRAWBERRY
PRODUCTION WITH VERTICAL GROWING
By Doug Ohlemeier
Contributing Editor
DRISCOLL'S, IN A PARTNERSHIP with
Plenty Unlimited, is planning an indoor
growing facility designed to marry
strawberry growing expertise with
vertical farm technology.
Watsonville, California-based Driscoll's
- which's clamshelled berries have
become staples in produce departments
around the country - hasn't chosen a site
20 JULY/AUGUST 2 0 2 2
yet or released construction details for the
research and development project, said
Soren Bjorn, president of Driscoll's of the
Americas, a business division of Driscoll's.
" Our motivation for indoor farming is
how far you can push flavor, " Bjorn said.
" We know how good all the flavors can
be across all four berries, " referring to
strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
and blackberries.
Because of strawberries' compact
nature, a grower can place many of the
plants on a vertical plane. This leads
to better fruit growth afforded by the
three-dimension greenhouses, Bjorn said.
Though dwarf varieties developed over
time could work indoors, the different
physical structures of blueberries,
blackberries and raspberries wouldn't
work as well because pickers wouldn't
want to bend so much during harvest,
he said.
Farming vertically in the cube is
different from field farming. Indoor

July/August 2022

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