Fred Recchiuti, general manager of Basciani Mushroom Farms in Avondale, PA, told The Produce News that the company has begun a new venture into producing blackberries.
“We haul berries for some other companies,” explained Recchiuti. “Over time we’ve learned about berry programs, including that there is an import gap on blackberries in July and August. We decided to start a small blackberry farm to help fill this gap.”
The new 20-acre blackberry farm is called Basciani Blackberry Farm and is also located in Avondale. Recchiuti said the plants produced a small amount of blackberries last year, and this year the crop is considerably larger, and the quality is great.
“We expect to have an even better crop with stronger volumes next year,” he noted. “It’s our inaugural venture into a produce item other than mushrooms, so it’s a fun and exciting new endeavor for our company. We purposely planned production on the blackberry farm with the intent of keeping it a short window only to fill this gap.”
Basciani Mushroom Farms will celebrate its 90th year in business in 2015. The company is multi-generational and it continues to be family owned and operated today.
It produces highly desired mushroom varieties, and the majority of its customers are in the foodservice and processing sectors of the industry.