Jenny Carleo

Jenny Carleo is an agent with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Rutgers University / provided

Farmers seeking new crop opportunities are invited to a pick-your-own blueberries workshop, a part of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension ultra-niche crop series, 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. The workshop will be held simultaneously in Cape May Court House, Bordentown and Bridgewater.

Rutgers researchers define ultra-niche crops as exceptionally high-value crops that can provide a significant source of income to the farmer while using a minimal amount of land.

In this session, farmers will learn how to grow, market and sell blueberries as a pick-your-own product, and how to make practical decisions on marketing and crop production, said Jenny Carleo, county agent.

“PYO blueberries are a great addition to a farm looking to get into agritourism,” she said. “Blueberries are one of the easiest crops to pick and will attract families with children to your farm.”

According to a press release, the workshop will include a live speaker panel with Gary Pavlis and farmer Tim Haines, and a 20-minute "virtual field trip" video on the production and marketing of PYO blueberries.

Attendees will use worksheets to help them determine whether or not growing the crop is right for them, their acreage and their situation, organizers said.

Pesticide recertification credits are available for ultra-niche classes, Carleo said. Participants can receive three credits for agricultural plant and three credits for private.

The fee for the workshop is $20 and includes dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m. The deadline to register is Feb. 19. 

For information call Carleo at 609-465-5115 or email Jennifer Matthews at JLM479@njaes.rutgers.edu. To register see rutgerscmcag.eventbrite.com

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