Rethinking the raspberry culture

Rethinking the culture of raspberries

MISE & Agrave; DAY

Quebec raspberry producers are perfecting their techniques to optimize summer production of small red fruit. & nbsp;

Since the start of the pandemic, food autonomy is at the heart of the discussions.

Quebec raspberry producers have been working for several years to improve their production.

The goal is not to produce all year round, but to be able, for the summer period, to completely control the Quebec market.

Ferme Onésime Pouliot

Winter is well established on the grounds of the Onésime Pouliot farm, on Île d'Orléans. No trace remains of the hundreds of raspberry shots from a few weeks ago.

Hard to believe that three months ago there were hundreds of shots of raspberries in full production. And it's no coincidence that there is no longer any trace of this production: it's part of a whole new way of cultivating the small red fruit.

One of the major changes, is that raspberries are no longer planted directly in the ground, but in pots.

“We can protect the plants during the winter in a cold room rather than leaving them in the fields. So we leave them at -1 and not at -32 in January. So all these varieties, we can now protect them, which we could not do before, ”explained Guy Pouliot, co-owner of the Onésime Pouliot farm in Saint-Jean.

Protective domes

What also changes from traditional cultivation is the use of domes to protect the plants.

“It avoids all the rain and there is no dew in the morning either. For example, in September, sometimes there is dew until 10 a.m. in the morning. There, you can pick from 6 or 7 a.m. Also, it breaks the wind. Raspberries do not like the wind at all and that avoids the friction of the branches on the fruit which causes losses, ”added Mr. Pouliot.

The combination of these two techniques makes it possible to choose varieties better suited to shops. But above all, go get the one that will have a long enough lifespan to be transported to the four corners of the province and stay on the shelves for a few days.

What has always been the problem of the industry of the raspberry in Quebec is that it is confined to public markets or for sale at the farm.

Several producers have been influenced and now use this method of cultivation.

“C ' is expanding rapidly. Over the next four to seven years, the portrait of the raspberry industry will change dramatically towards this type of production. I am optimistic that the California raspberries will be taken off our shelves during our production period in Quebec, “said Guy Pouliot.

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