D’Ottavio off to slow start this spring in New Jersey

by Gordon M. Hochberg | May 22, 2020

dottavio44 “We are off to a slow start in Jersey this spring,” Michael D’Ottavio, president of D’Ottavio Farms in Vineland NJ, told The Produce News the first week in May. “With so much of the Northeast shut down, I feel a couple weeks behind at the farm may not be a bad thing.”

He added, “Our blueberries and blackberry crops look phenomenal, and we should begin harvesting around June 10. With the continuing focus on growing the largest berries possible along with fantastic taste, we continue to plant 20 acres a year organically and conventionally. Keeping up with new varieties and new technologies like satellite irrigation and articulated trellises will help us achieve our goals.”

Looking back at last season, “We had really good success with our pole cucumbers program, so we increased our acreage this season to meet the strong demand for the quality and shelf life that we can’t get by growing cucumbers on the ground,” he said. “This summer we will experiment growing yellow and green squash on poles, hoping for way less scarring along with much better shelf life.”

The company president continued, “We also increased our eggplant, bell peppers and hot pepper program to meet last season’s strong demand.”

On the topic of the COVID-19 situation, D’Ottavio stated, “As our country begins to re-open, I strongly believe this will be a very good season for all the farmers on the East Coast with stronger demand creating better markets than we ever have seen in the past. Together with our retailers, wholesalers, truckers and growers, we can come back stronger, smarter and create a safer environment for the customers and employees to shop and work in.”

Photo: Michael D’Ottavio, Anthony Castellini and Dave Duquette in a D’Ottavio Farms cilantro field.

 

tpn daily signup

Quebec Distributing facilitating produces boxes to charities
When Marvin Quebec, president of Oakland, CA-based Quebec Distributing Inc. initially heard about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, he noted that many worthy charities were not being serviced. A month later after participating in a seminar on the program during United Fresh LIVE!, he Read More ...
Meijer opens five supercenters in the Midwest
Meijer has opened five supercenters across the Midwest. Located in Manitowoc, WI, Sycamore, IL, Bad Axe, MI, and Brimfield and Lorain, OH, the 159,000-square-foot stores offer a state-of-the-art shopping experience, providing customers multiple ways to shop in a specialty store environment. "These new stores reinforce our Read More ...
Well•Pict digital retail kit to heat up summer sales
Well•Pict Berries launched its Well•Pict Digital Retail Kit, a promotional tool to help its retail partners increase their online berry marketing efforts. The kit will include marketing materials for every member of the produce department, from produce buyers to department merchandisers. It is tailored to help and guide a Read More ...
Stemilt to host Virtual Cherry College webinar
Stemilt is bringing its in-person cherry education experience to the computer screen for the inaugural Stemilt U: Virtual Cherry College webinar. The 60-minute webinar will be held on Wednesday, July 22 at 2 p.m. EST. Led by Tate Mathison, Stemilt director of sales, the webinar will take attendees through the cherry Read More ...
Fresh Thyme partnership brings same-day delivery to the Midwest
Specialty retailer Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is partnering with Shipt, making it more convenient to conquer healthy living goals. Customers in 30 metro areas across the Midwest region will have access to this new offering from Shipt and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, giving more than 10 million households this option for Read More ...