Boileau and Sons plans to plant more pears
Grower shipper Danny Boileau’s new pear trees weren’t keen on their first Quebec winter, with 2% to 5% succumbing to frost damage. But the fourth generation apple grower from Havelock-based Jean Yves Boileau and Fils plans to more than double his orchard this year, for a total of 3 acres.
“It’s small,” Boileau said, “but it’s our first year doing pears, and we want to make sure they can handle winter and give us enough fruit to be profitable.”
To encourage the trees to produce more fruit in the fall, he’s borrowed a technique that requires splitting the tree at the bottom and keeping two branches or heads.
“It cuts your pruning costs and brings a bigger crop,” he said.
Les Jardins A. Guerin markets new radish pack
Sherrington, Quebec-based radish grower Les Jardins A. Guerin has launched a radish cello pack complete with its new JAG logo plus nutrition and serving tips.
Pascal Guerin, this year’s intern for QPMA’s Cultivating the Next Generation program, said his colored and French breakfast radishes continue to grow in popularity.
Guerin normally teams up with a big Quebec lettuce producer to sell some radishes in the U.S., but exports get off to a slow start as he waits for the lettuce to mature.
“Some people buy 15 pallets of lettuce and two pallets of radishes to fill the load,” he said.
The end of the New Jersey season around the middle of June gives his company more space in the U.S. market for the rest of the summer, he said.
He hopes the low Canadian dollar will help keep the price a little higher this year.
Les Jardins Cousineau upgrades equipment
Martin Cousineau, director of sales, procurement and operations for Canada’s largest broccoli producer, St. Constant, Quebec-based Les Jardins Cousineau, is investing in new equipment to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
A new Italian transplant machine alone has saved the company 25% on labor costs, he said.
Acreage has increased about 10% this year, said Cousineau, and transplants were moved successfully from the greenhouse to the fields in early May.
Cousineau said he hopes to increase sales to the New England states and Michigan this year. His farm is located within an hour’s drive of the U.S. border.
Susan Doucet, sales and customer service coordinator, said Cousineau has given several presentations to local elementary school students in the past year about life on a broccoli farm from seed to table.