You likely know that Sun Valley grows their own proprietary varieties of Ilex and Rose Hips, but do you know they also grow Snowberries? They just started harvesting, and 2023 will be the year that their Snowberries will reach their full potential. “And the market is ready for them as berries are hot!” explains Sun Valley’s Bill Prescott.
Excitement over berry crops
“The Sun Valley team has been out on the road this summer, and one resounding theme from florists, designers, wholesalers, and mass market buyers has been excitement over berry crops. Botanicals with great texture and vase life are relatively rare, but they grow beautifully at our farm in Willow Creek, California”, says Prescott.
Snowberries are native to North and Central America and are part of the Honeysuckle family. According to Wikipedia, the name of the genus is derived from the Ancient Greek words συμφορεῖν (sumphoreîn), meaning “to bear together”, and καρπός (karpós), meaning “fruit.” It refers to the closely packed clusters of berries the species produces.
At Sun Valley, the snowberries grow at their Willow Creek, California farm, along with their Ilex, Rose Hips, Cotinus, and Viburnum. “The farm is in a very unique micro-climate, as it borders the flat flood plain of the Wild and Scenic Trinity River and is surrounded by very steep, mountainous terrain. One hundred fifty years ago, this area was filled with gold prospectors, as many gold strikes were located along the Trinity River, we speculate that the roots of the snowberries are intermingled with gold flakes that have moved through the riverbed for eons.”
Snowberry season is here
At Sun Valley, they had just started harvesting the Snowberry crop. So what to expect? “Colorwise, the berries will evolve through some pure white varieties to pink and purple tones. The season is ever evolving, so buyers should call their account rep to see what we are harvesting.”
Program becoming larger and larger
Sun Valley has been growing Snowberries for over 20 years. Historically, the program has been relatively small compared to their Ilex or Rose Hip programs, but after the success of 2022, they doubled the size of the program in 2023, explains Prescott. “2022 was a great season as we had a mild spring, and the summer temperatures stayed within the seasonal norms, so the plants grew very strong. It was a sort of a “proof of concept” season as we’ve grown the program larger and larger over the years.”
“And 2023 will be the year our Snowberries reach their full potential to delight and amaze customers across the United States. The crop looks excellent again this year, summer temperatures are tracking as expected, and after the very wet winter and spring, the soil is recharged. The berry set is very robust, meaning there will be many berries per cluster on each stem. The foliage is a deep rich green indicating the growing conditions have been optimal. The berries are firm to the touch, which indicates a great vase life for consumers.”
The season runs from now until Mid-September.
For more information:
The Sun Valley Group
3160 Upper Bay Road
Arcata, CA 95521-9690
Email: [email protected]