Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey on growing strawberries last September. It gave us some great information about what current growers think is important to know as well as what new growers are really wondering about. Strawberries can be successfully grown on a commercial scale throughout much of Minnesota and are also well suited for small-scale and part-time farming operations. Although the number of acres in Minnesota is relatively small, the value per acre can provide a significant amount of revenue for Minnesota farmers. In the months since we conducted the survey, we have been working on an all-inclusive guide to growing and selling strawberries, and in June 2014, the University of Minnesota is releasing an interactive e-book titled Cold Climate Strawberry Farming.
This e-book goes beyond any training guide you’ve seen before. Along with detailed text instruction, you’ll find rich interactive features that take you right into the field to see techniques in action. Video segments offer advice and suggestions direct from the mouths of successful MN strawberry farmers; dynamic calendars help you plan ahead; zoomable diagrams and guided tours get you up close and in-depth to every detail you need to know. These are just a few of the features you’ll find in the Cold Climate Strawberry Farming e-book.
The e-book goes into detail on important topics such as choosing your market, innovative marketing techniques, comprehensive cultivar recommendations, insurance requirements and other essential business info, and of course best practices for growing strawberries. For those already experienced with commercial strawberries, Cold Climate Strawberry Farming introduces a new, season-extending method of growing strawberries for cold climates using low tunnels and day-neutral cultivars. All content is based on years of research at the U of M and MN Grown.
Cold Climate Strawberry Farming is being developed by a skilled team of U of M educators, designers, and media professionals along with partners at MN Grown. Their goal is to make the e-book easy to navigate, fun, and most importantly valuable to anyone interested in growing strawberries commercially in Minnesota. The e-book will be free of charge and will be readily accessible on any PC or mobile device, so you can spend time learning at home, or check on techniques right in the field.
Keep an eye out in the coming months for more information on the release.
Want to make sure you don’t forget? Just email Echo Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an email once the e-book has been published along with instructions on where to find it. Update: The e-book is now available! You can download it for free to use on your computer or android or Apple mobile devices at Inkling.com. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter (@coldclimestrawb).