At Jagro, although our main planting season begins in September, the nursery preparation process begins well ahead with the planting of mother stock. Tended with the utmost care, these mother plants start shooting runners a few weeks after planting, which are then cut and potted in preparation for bed planting.
Greenhouse construction includes the careful laying of gradients for proper drainage, mulch for proper weed/pest cover and dripper systems for fertigation - a few of the myriad aspects covered meticulously in this phase. Land and bed preparation, as we call the preparation of the lay of the soil and land, is an arduous task requiring much precision and time.
Once the beds and irrigation systems are ready, planting begins in earnest. Each potted plant is carefully removed and planted in neatly aligned beds, angled just right to absorb as many nutrients as is required for the months of work ahead.
From this point on, care is a mix of diligent tending of the plant, weeding and providing the optimum support, in the form of bees for pollination, plant analyses for ensuring the maximum possible nutrients are absorbed, and warding off of pests.
Harvesting starts two months after planting, when fruit is at its biggest, tastiest and juiciest. The first fruit from each plant is always the biggest and often the most off-shaped, although extremely tasty! From this point on, harvesting takes place daily, although quantities and size vary based on the plant life-cycle and the stage of planting in the staggered planting system.
As soon as the berry comes off the plant, it is a rush to get the fruit sorted, packed to specification, labeled and into the chillers for removal of field heat. It is this process that chills the fruit down to the required temperature of 2 degrees for an optimum shelf-life of up to 2 weeks.
From then on, our own freezer trucks transport fruit down to our various distributors, the airport for overseas shipments and processing center for the Jam and Topping.