July 14, 2023 in Farmers


Brad Hocking farmer

Brad's passion for farming took root during his early years, assisting his father in their apple orchard. His journey as a grower began at the tender age of 12. This hands-on experience laid the foundation for his future.

The Art of Blueberry Farming

Blueberries require specific techniques and care to thrive, which Brad is well-versed in. From establishment to maintenance and pruning, he implements tailored approaches to optimise plant health and ensure top-quality fruit throughout the growing season.

Weather's Impact on Blueberries

Weather conditions play a significant role in blueberry growth. Brad shares his observations on how climate fluctuations affect crop seasonality. Northern NSW has had an exceptionally sunny, dry and cool year so far; a nice change from the La Niña conditions of the previous two years! This means the berries ripen slowly but with excellent fruit quality, size and flavour.

A Blueberry's Perfect Moment

Determining the ideal time to harvest blueberries is crucial. Brad explains that when the berries turn entirely blue and effortlessly detach from the stem, they are at their peak ripeness. This ensures optimal sweetness, flavour balance, and size, guaranteeing a delightful blueberry experience for consumers.

Blueberries in hands

The Constant Pursuit of Excellence

Brad's commitment to excellence in blueberry growing goes beyond his personal journey. He actively participates in programs such as the Costa Variety Improvement Program, where he provides valuable feedback on new blueberry selections. His dedication to refining agronomic practices contributes to the continuous improvement of blueberry varieties.

The Allure of Blueberries

Brad acknowledges the widespread appeal of blueberries. Their health benefits, versatility in various culinary creations, and delectable taste make them a favourite among consumers. As a grower, he takes pride in being able to provide people with these nutrient-rich and delicious berries.

Blueberry cultivation requires a combination of skill, passion, and attention to detail, all of which Brad Hocking embodies as an experienced grower. His journey to become a specialised blueberry grower showcases the dedication and expertise required to succeed in this field. By understanding the nuances of blueberry farming, such as optimal harvesting times and agronomic practices, Brad continues to contribute to the industry's growth. As blueberries remain a beloved fruit around the world, growers like Brad play a vital role in ensuring the availability of top-quality berries for Australians to enjoy.