While frozen raspberries are available all year round and are often imported, fresh raspberries are not always available to consumers. That is the reason why a Sunshine Coast farmer is among growers experimenting with raspberries, manipulating them to fruit in winter. This effectively means the fruit would be growing out of season.
“They are a temperate crop, so more attuned to the cooler climate,” said Gavin Scurr, managing director of Piñata Farms, where raspberries have grown for five years. “But we’re […] harvesting them through winter so they’re out of season to southern Australia.”
Victoria and Tasmania are home to most of raspberry producers — far from the warmer climes of the Sunshine Coast where the trials are taking place. “The climate here is temperate in winter — cool mornings and nice warm days, which is what raspberries are used to,” Scurr told abc.net.au. “The difference is day length. The days are much shorter in winter than southern Australia is during their summer, so that impacts the plant’s ability to yield fruit. However, by growing them out of season, we get less yield, but they’re a little bit more expensive because there’s less grown.”
Scurr said they were doing a number of trials, including different varieties and planting dates.