As a farmer, it’s always fun to visit someone else’s farm to see their operation and learn about their crops. This week I was in Florida attending the FamilyFarms Group conference visiting with a number of farmers across the U.S. and Canada. While in Florida, a group of us visited Wish Farms strawberry farm. They were in the middle of harvest and we saw exactly how they pick the strawberries, crate them, and load them onto the truck. It was quite a treat to see!
Nick Wishnatzki, 4th generation in the family farm, met with us and shared his family’s history and future vision. He was so genuine and open to our questions and showed us the innovations they have implemented and where they see the future of the strawberry industry.
One of those important innovations is traceability. The farm has implemented a technology that allows them to trace the crate of strawberries all the way back to the picker, the field, and the date they were harvested. If you purchase a shell of Wish Farms strawberries, each package contains a sticker with a number on it. You can look up that shell of strawberries on Wish Farm’s website and enter the number from the sticker
From website: With our patented traceability tool, How’s My Picking™, Wish Farms has the ability to trace our product back to the grower, variety, field location, date and time. A unique 16-digit code is tied to specific information.
Wish Farms thinks big when it comes to technology. Not only through traceability, but they have also headed up an initiative to produce the
first autonomous strawberry picker. They have engaged with others across the industry to engineer it in such a way that will change the future of strawberry picking. Growing strawberries to this day is a labor intensive process for anyone. Unlike big combines that harvest the grain on our farm, strawberry farms still handpick every single strawberry. It takes years to invent a piece of equipment like this from scratch, but when they finalize their efforts for production, the strawberry farmers will be able to harvest more
efficiently and be able to preserve the freshness of the strawberries even more that the consumer will appreciate.
Farmers are always looking for ways to make their products better. It takes effort and initiative and it is so nice to see how Wish Farms takes pride in producing a high quality product for the consumer and how they are constantly thinking about the future. The folks at Wish Farms have a big heart in the shape of a strawberry and they want to share their love with all of you each time you enjoy one of their strawberries.
Check out their website (www.wishfarms.com) to find the closest retailer to you that sells their strawberries and to learn more about their family farm. Be sure to follow on social media too!