Lucious blackberries are considered a versatile summertime staple. Some could say they are even a favorite pastime, with childhood and adult memories of plucking fresh berries from the vine and eating them on the spot, with little thought given, in the moment, of what could have landed there. Well, at least that is how many memories go. Or, rushing home with berry-stained hands and putting them in a bowl, with sugar and milk. A family favorite growing up at our house was Great Grandma’s blackberry cobbler.

Oh, what nostalgia! No matter how you prefer blackberries, they are a delicious and nutritious treat!

Rocky Park Farm began growing blackberries about 15 years ago after friends gifted us with a domestic thornless variety, which yields a sweet berry. They have proven to be a favorite summertime product of our patrons.

We often experiment with different produce varieties to expand our greenhouse offerings, and this past spring an idea hit us: what if, we could encourage blackberries to grow inside?
The thought: Wouldn’t it be divine to offer organically and sustainably grown blackberries year-round? We did not believe anyone else, locally, grows berried year-round and were inspired – what did we have to lose?

To begin, we took cuttings from our regular vines and decided to try growing them in the aquaponics greenhouse. We are thrilled to announce that, so far, the vines are thriving!

In case you are wondering about the process of growing thornless blackberries via an aquaponic system, here are a few facts:
1. They can grow up to 30% faster and yield more fruit than traditional methods.
2. Aquaponics is a water-saving, sustainable way to grow. It uses up to 90% less water.
3. Through the aquaponic method the fruit’s cuttings receive the necessary nutrients to be “healthy” via the fish excrement; in turn, the plants act as filters and purify the water for the health of the fish (Rocky Park Farm uses tilapia).
4. BONUS: No worrying about sharing the fruit of your labor with the birds, rabbits, and deer!

We will post updates on the success of this little experiment as things grow, so stay tuned. We anticipate a delicious outcome!

And, as always, we encourage anyone in the community who would like more information or education on this or any of our growing methods, produce selection, etc., to call or stop by the farm stand. We are here Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 4 PM. You can find our contact information above, or contact us here
Or, reach us via Facebook.