In this episode of “The Business of Blueberries,” host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined by Brooke Hill of Southern Hill Farms in Clermont, Florida. Hill was a panelist on the USHBC’s “Best Practices for U-Pick Blueberries” webinar presented in 2020.
“We leaned heavily on (the community) and they were there for us. I mean, we were floored. It brought tears to my eyes how supportive people were. They wanted to do anything they could to support their local farm.” – Brooke Hill
“Diversification for us was the best thing we ever did. However diversification looks for you, no matter what, you can’t go wrong with it as long as it’s done with intention, it’s well thought out and it makes sense for what your end goal is. …I think where the true value for us came in is it led the future of the farm in a completely different direction than where we thought we were headed.” – Brooke Hill
Topics covered include:
- Hill’s background and experience, and the story of Southern Hill Farms.
- How launching a U-pick operation can be a tool for blueberry farm diversification.
- The importance of developing a close connection to the local community.
- What to consider before you start a U-pick operation.
The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout North and South America. In this episode, you’ll hear from Elizabeth Carranza in California, Ken Patterson in Florida, Brandon Wade in Georgia, and Neil Moore in North Carolina. This was recorded on May 11, 2022.
Grab a Boost of Blue is the industry’s call to action to motivate consumers to make blueberries a part of their everyday lifestyles. Use this messaging to encourage your audience to Grab a Boost of Blue through content on your website, in social media captions, in newsletters and in other communications. You’ll find a wealth of resources at USHBC.org/boostofblue, and you can get licensed at USHBC.org/license.