Florida Blueberry Nursery

In 1988 I planted an acre of Sharpeblue blueberries in Winter Haven, Florida as a challenge to the conventional thinking of that time. Unknown to me there were others experimenting with blueberries in Central Florida also. In 1986, I started looking around for a high value, low acreage crop that I could grow to diversify from our Citrus custom application business. A friend from north Florida suggested that I try blueberries, so I approached Dr. Paul Lyrene, the UF blueberry breeder about getting started. At the time, blueberries were an unknown quantity south of Ocala and the thinking was that there were no varieties that would bloom adequately for the few hours of chilling that Winter Haven area received....

I recall Dr. Lyrene asking me where I was located and then saying, “You can try but you will not be successful [because of the chilling requirement]”. I believe that Paul was simply trying to save me from wasting my time and effort on something unknown at that time. However, I discovered that Sharpeblue produced fine in our area and in fact in a few years, our area became known as the ‘I-4 corridor’ because we were able to bring fruit to market earlier than more northern locations for higher prices. Ever since those few experimental acres, Florida blueberry acreage has steadily expanded and moved further south with more and more emphasis on breeding varieties with lower chilling requirements.

Starting the Nursery: In 1988, I had to travel to North Florida to obtain blueberry plants. Shortly afterward, that nursery closed. So I built a greenhouse and after many failures, learned the painstaking details of propagation and began to produce my own plants. Since then, we stayed small, focusing on producing enough for ourselves and selling the rest to other growers (and as it turned out, others starting their own nurseries). Today we are expanding our nursery production to be able to fulfill large orders for selected UF varieties and our own Winter Bell variety. Our utmost focus is value and quality for the grower. That is why we offer free consulting for our volume purchasing customers. FBN is committed to producing the finest quality, disease free plants in 1 gallon pots or liners in 50 cell trays. We are so committed to producing quality that we offer a replacement guarantee with our plants with certain limitations.

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Featured Farmer

“At Florida Blueberry Nursery, stewardship is the guiding principle of everything that we do. Our goal is to provide the highest quality fruit. In doing so, we seek to preserve the beautiful Florida natural habitat that surrounds our blueberry farm.”

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Look for Seal the Seasons Florida Blueberries at a grocery store near you.

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