The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Todd Anderson runs event on how to grow small fruit

Graphic by Natalie Lutz, Orange Media Network
OMN Creative Team

This Wednesday, Oregon State University’s Benton County Extension Office will host an event which aims to teach locals how to produce small fruits for their farm market.

This in-person classroom based workshop will go over the basics and highlight extension resources to help locals produce small fruit all season long.

Todd Anderson, assistant professor of practice with the OSU extension small farm program, said, “The rationale is, small fruit is a source of relatively (per unit) high income for farmers … fruits like blueberries, blackberries and strawberries per pound can get a pretty good price for farmers.”

The focus of the extension is for non-corporate growers who gross less than $250,000 a year, which happens to be a large portion of the farmers within the Willamette Valley and Oregon in general. These are people who do not have an internal team to help them with in-depth work.

“The Small Fruit for Small Farms idea is to help (growers) get an idea as to whether small fruit production is good for them and how that could work into their operations,” Anderson said.

Extension has a lot of resources which can help local small farms be successful. The OSU extension office has within it, the Small Farms program which is a portion extension that focuses on small farms in Polk, Benton and Linn counties.

Anderson has a background in berries and is currently finishing a doctorate in blueberry breeding with the USDA. “Since my background (in agriculture) is in berries and working with growers, I think there is a need for more support towards smaller growers in small fruit production,” Anderson said.

In the past, farmers have had many obstacles with small farm success and Anderson is trying to figure out the logistics to change that. Anderson believes that providing resources and tailoring material to farmers’ exact context is important for success.

“OSU Extension is great for not only if you are a farmer but also any sort of land steward, home gardener (and/or) hobbyist. We have a range of resources available and aim to support local farms as well as local businesses,” Anderson said.

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