Every Driscoll’s berry begins life at the nursery. Each season’s seedlings are carefully packed at the nursery, then shipped to our coolers, where they are kept chilled so that the plants remain in hibernation until ready for planting.
Driscoll’s nursery locations are carefully selected based on their geographic location, which keeps the soil free of pests and diseases. Our nurseries are designed to produce plants that are naturally identical, vigorous and resistant to disease. The “vigor” of the plants that come from the nurseries is critical to the performance of the plants in the fruiting field. Stronger plants are more resistant to disease, produce higher fruit quality, and naturally have a higher yield.
Cuttings are taken from an original selected seedling (see Research and Development to learn more about this process) and grown in the germ-free environment of Driscoll’s screen houses. From the screen houses, the seedlings are planted in nursery fields—a process which can take several years. By the time these plants leave Driscoll’s nurseries, a handful of these tiny plantlets have been multiplied into millions of naturally true-to-type berry plants that are ready for delivery to Driscoll’s independent farmers.
Berries are not produced in a factory; they are grown outside in a dynamic biological environment. The farmers’ challenge is to work with nature, using years of experience and know-how to get the very best out of each berry plant. Driscoll’s farmers have to understand how weather, soil, nourishment, pests and diseases affect each variety and each plant. The goal of every Driscoll’s farmer is to shape, rather than control, the biological diversity of their fields, with a minimum amount of agricultural inputs. Planting is a delicate process and the correct timing is critical. Each row must be laid out so that it has exactly the right slope, to ensure that irrigation water will flow smoothly throughout the field. Otherwise, plants get an uneven amount of water and don’t grow properly.
After the berries ripen, they are hand-picked in the field and sent to a nearby Driscoll’s cooler. There they will be chilled to remove field heat, and prepared for immediate shipment to your foodservice distributor. When you meet the farmers who grow berries for Driscoll’s, you can’t help but be impressed by their skill, experience and dedication to farming. Every person who touches these plants shares a passion for growing only the finest berries.
When you meet the farmers who grow berries for Driscoll’s, you can’t help but be impressed by their skill, experience and dedication to farming. Every person who touches these plants shares a passion for growing only the finest berries.