Meet your Producers: Sweet Paradise Farm
Sweet Paradise Farm is owned and operated by Ben and Russel Christensen. The Christensen’s moved to the Big Island eight years ago with the dream of one day growing their own blackberries. The acquisition of a piece of land near Akaka Falls let their dream become a reality and the orchard now numbers approximately 500 plants.
Blackberries (Rubus spp.) are loosely classed into two categories— erect and trailing.
The Christensen’s blackberry of choice is the Prime-Ark 45, a primocane-fruiting erect blackberry cultivar and an early and heavy producer.
Blackberries as well as raspberries have roots and crowns that are perennial, but the life cycle of the canes is just two years. The first year in the cycle is when the primocanes grow. The following season there will be floricanes. The primocane growth is vegetative, while the floricane growth produces fruit and then dies back so the cycle can start again. Established caneberries have both types of growth every year.
Sweet Paradise Farm’s berries are frozen after harvest, which allows the berries to reach their prime sweetness. Try these delicious berries in smoothies and a variety of desserts!