From Picking to StoreFrONT
Pick at Peak
Not one thing is more critical for rich flavor and bursting texture than picking Blueberries at their peak of perfection. Too soon and fruit can be too hard and sour. Berries need just the right amount of warming sunshine to ripen up. Too late and fruit starts to soften in in the heat of the field and can become soft and lose tangy sweetness. Every harvest from mid-March to mid-May calls all hands on deck, every day and often into the night. Everyone at Frogmore dedicates serious time and energy to make harvest a success. But there’s no more exciting and rewarding time to be on the farm.
From experience, and now extensive research, we have learned that even perfectly timed Blueberries can bruise and age-out too soon if treated harshly at any stage of harvest and delivery. Careful picking, cushioned transport, and gentle sorting and packing into the familiar produce counter container are essential to preserving Frogmore’s just-picked quality. Our rapid chilling and constant cool chain from field to fork is another key ingredient for quality. Once plucked off the bush we hustle warm fruit to chill tunnels to quickly drop to 55 degrees. Within a day fruit is usually packed and chilled to 34 degrees and heading to the produce counter- kept cold and constantly monitored.
Our “farm way” of saying quality control; something we’re pretty choosy about. No matter how diligent we are, not every berry picked passes muster. Maybe a few aren’t blue enough, some may have bird pecks or bug bites and some may be a bit too soft. Quality Care sums up our set of practices to make sure all your Frogmore berries are nice. We start with closely controlled picking so only the best ripe fruit leaves the field. Then technology takes over with imaging for size and shape, even internal softness. A last berry-by berry hand and eye inspection culls out fruit valuable for uses other than fresh produce. Finally monitoring probes travel along to grocer destinations.
It’s what you expect when you reach for fresh berries… and it’s what we strive for every day before and during harvest. Yes, there’s a lot of hand washing, equipment cleaning, training and record keeping, but the devil is in the details, and intense attention to the details is a must at Frogmore Fresh. We develop a comprehensive food safety plan and undergo rigorous third party audits to make sure our plan and practices meet high standards.