on a “Berry” Important Mission
With the farming industry suffering so badly in New York State, as well as other areas, the timing couldn’t be better to regain the black currant’s popularity. This little berry may also give New York state the opportunity to market an agricultural crop as uniquely its own. Idaho potatoes, Iowa pork, Florida oranges and Washington State apples have become familiar, marketable agricultural entities, why not New York Currants?
Greg Quinn, founder and president of CropPharms, also points out that in addition to the tax advantages for landowners who grow crops, black currant farming may also provide even a greater financial incentive for those people moving to the area and buying large-acre summer/weekend homes that were once working farms. Greg says his goal is to get these Hudson Valley properties under cultivation again.
Among other avenues of pursuit in re-establishing the currant crop in New York, Greg has established a management company that will assist landowners who want to have their land cultivated and planted with currants, but not necessarily become full-time farmers. He points out that this is similar to what was done with grapes and wineries on the Eastern end of Long Island, New York, in the past decade – an area now considered a competitive wine region.
Greg not only has support from NY lawmakers, but also scientists from Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They all believe that black currants can be planted and cultivated successfully in New York State and elsewhere in the U.S.