Dutch Garden Berries is a local start-up business that specializes in growing natural strawberries in a protected environment. Bas Van Buuren, the owner and grower of Dutch Garden Berries, started planting in January and has been experimenting to find the best conditions for the strawberries ever since.
Van Buuren is passionate about growing fruits and vegetables, but especially fruits, in a controlled environment.
“I believe that growing in a protected environment is the future, ” he said.
Van Buuren wants his strawberries to be the highest quality while being natural.
“I want to grow things that are clean,” he explained. “I don’t like to eat stuff that has been loaded with chemicals.”
Strawberry season is normally in May, but Van Buuren is able to grow them out of season since they are in a greenhouse.
“Since we are in a controlled environment, we can control the season,” he said.
Van Buuren uses natural solutions in order to make the conditions the most favorable for the strawberries to grow. To ensure that the strawberries are well kept, he goes through a process each day to maintain the strawberries’ high quality. His day consists of making fertilizer mix, religiously watching the weather, monitoring watering, and other tasks that will provide the ideal conditions to grow the strawberries. He does this several times a day.
Dutch Garden Berries’ strawberries are unique because they are local, natural, and fresh.
“We pick at the peak of ripeness,” Van Buuren said.
Since the berries do not have to be shipped, they are picked at their ripest, giving you a full-flavored berry.
While Van Buuren’s strawberries are in high demand, he has purposely kept the business small during this trial period. Currently, Dutch Garden Berries only sells strawberries, but in the future they plan on selling more types of fruit, including blueberries and tomatoes. After getting a year of experience under their belt, the business is also looking to expand. Eventually, Dutch Garden Berries plans to operate year-round with full-time employees. Van Buuren are also interested in having a booth at the local farmer’s market.
“We are looking for a partner to sell with once our productions increase,” he explained.
If you’re looking for a weekend adventure, visit Dutch Garden Berries in Humboldt. You can purchase strawberries directly from the business on a first-come-first-serve basis for $25 per flat, $3.75 per quart, or from Grubb’s Grocery.
Shelby Kee is a student at Union University studying Public Relations and Marketing. She is originally from Memphis and enjoys music and anything outdoors.
Photographer Josh Garcia is a writer and photographer who landed in Jackson in 2008. With a B.A. in English from Union University in his back pocket, he’s abandoned other adjectives for “home” when describing this city. He enjoys reading, writing, photography, and cultivating community around the dinner table. #INFJ