“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle
Growing our bigger, bolder blueberries begins with OZblu’s investment in research and development. OZblu has a holistic, integrated approach to our technical breeding program.
OZblu uses only natural breeding methods such as tissue culture and plant crossing to create patented varieties. We breed our blueberry plants to be more resistant to diseases and pests while meeting our quality standards for size, flavour, crispness, ability to retain natural bloom, colour and longer shelf-life.
It typically takes a minimum of nine years to bring a new naturally bred quality variety of fruit to the commercial market.
In the first year we cross the plants. We plant those crosses in the second year and by the third year we see the first fruit. By the fourth year we are able to select the superior varieties that meet our standard of excellence for size, flavour, crispness, ability to retain natural bloom, colour, as well as resistant to disease and hardy enough to ship well and arrive fresh at the store.
These ‘chosen ones’ are then multiplied and by the fifth year we have our first semi-commercial plants. In the sixth year these plants are transferred to the nursery where lengthy multiplication from the mother-stock can begin.
Our pursuit of growing an abundance of blueberries that are resistant to disease and superior in size and flavour begins with the soil. Just as a healthy body is more resistant to infections, so too healthy soil builds up a plant’s resistance to attacks from disease and insects. By working with nature in this way we are able to minimize the use of synthetic pesticides.
Growing nutrient-dense blueberries requires nutrient-dense soil. A deep, organically rich soil encourages the growth of healthy, extensive roots that reach more nutrients and water. The result: extra-yield of our bigger, bolder nutrient-dense superfood!
To ensure soil vitality we first correct the pH and chemical balance. Organic matter (the life-force of the soil) is then added to improve the soil’s water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity and biology.
Water quality is just as important to the health of the blueberry as the soil is.
OZblu’s are hydrated with water from natural sources. This water is routinely tested for heavy metals and microbial contamination and, if need be, treated naturally with UV, Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide. Everything going into a OZblu is of the highest standard!
Our farmers are committed to the sustainable use of water – soil moisture content and runoff are measured before irrigation to avoid unnecessary water use.
A large, healthy blueberry plant produces thousands of flower buds every year. With up to 16 individual flowers developing from each bud every flower a potential berry, pollination needs in blueberries are great.
Blueberry pollen is sticky and relatively heavy. It cannot move on its own and it is not easily blown around by the wind. Furthermore, the shape and position of blueberry flower parts effectively prevent the pollen from falling onto a receptive stigma. So a little help is needed – and Mother Nature has the answer! To produce a blueberry, the flowers of a blueberry plant must be pollinated by insects.
Working in harmony with nature, OZblu blueberries are naturally pollinated by bees sourced from local, registered beekeepers. In doing so, not only are we supporting local industry, but the bees themselves whose population is under threat due to colony collapse disorder (CCD) or vanishing bee syndrome.
OZblu blueberries are hand-picked and then brought to our packing sheds.
Here they are sorted, graded and packed using state of the art pack lines engineered to measure and sort by physical attributes without causing damage to blueberries. The blueberries are then cooled to lock in their freshness and nutrient content.
Immediately after picking, OZblu blueberries are inspected for quality and then cooled to lock in their freshness and nutrient content. The cold-chain and handling is carefully managed and the berries are then packed and shipped to ensure they arrive at your store firm, fresh, ripe, delicious and nutritious.