Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 21st February

This week we welcome a new Tassie fruit grower on board – Hillwood Berries! Whilst the Dornauf family have farmed in the Hillwood area for three generations, the berry farm is a relatively new development – the first strawberries were planted in 2010. In the 10 years since, the farm now has almost 37 hectares in berries, which are almost all grown in poly-tunnels using hydroponic technology, which means that the growing season is vastly lengthened, with picking generally starting in October and running through until May for raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. This style of growing also reduces waste – along with pests and diseases – and is easier for pickers. Growing fruit or veg on large scale – more common in the north of Tasmania – requires highly developed internal distribution systems or collaboration with a larger company that can manage this for the grower, and Hillwood grows the majority of their berries for Driscoll Berries; this provides them access to the cultivars developed by the company specifically for this style of growing in addition to a huge national market for their berries.