Luscious Blackberry Ready for Farms, GardensBy
Large, sweet, aromatic blackberries called "Triple Crown" may
begin showing up in supermarkets around the country within the next few years,
now that nurseries are planning to sell the plants for the first time.
Triple Crown is the newest thornless blackberry from the
Agricultural Research Service's
Beltsville, Md. The berry gets its name from three crowning attributesflavor,
productivity and vigor. It ripens from about mid-July to about mid-August.
Two West coast nurseries, Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc., Burlington Wash., and
Cedar Valley Nursery, Inc., Centralia, Wash., intend to offer Triple Crown
plants for sale for the first time this summer. Indiana Berry & Plant Co.,
Huntingburg, Ind., plans to sell Triple Crown this fall. In 1999, Nourse Farms,
Inc., South Deerfield, Mass., and Weeks Berry Nursery, Keizer, Ore., expect to
have a supply of the new blackberry.
ARS scientists tested Triple Crown for a decade before releasing it in 1996.
The berry is suited to berry farms, pick-your-own operations and backyard
gardens. It should help ensure a steady mid-summer supply of big, flavorful
berries that ship well.
In Oregon trials, 8-year-old Triple Crown plants yielded an impressive 30
pounds or more of berries per plant. Puree tests by ARS and
Oregon State University scientists
determined that the berry is also suitable for juice, pies, syrup, preserves and
other processed foods. Triple Crown rated equal to the popular Chester Thornless
and Marion blackberries in color, flavor and overall quality.
Test plantings indicate Triple Crown is well adapted to the Mid-Atlantic and
Pacific Coast states. Researchers expect Triple Crown to also flourish in the
lower Midwest and New England berry-growing regions.
Scientific contact: Scientific contact: John L. Maas, ARS
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-7653,
fax (301) 504-5062, firstname.lastname@example.org.