DURING OUR visit to leisure farms in Taiwan (June 15-21, 2014), we saw a very smart way of propagating strawberry planting materials for sale, not just to big time planters but also to hobbyists.
The leisure farm that we visited is engaged in growing potted ornamental plants and flowers, organic vegetables and other crops. It is patronized by a lot of families who go there to partake of good food as well as to buy plants and other things, including wellness and beauty products.
We were particularly interested in the way they produce strawberry plants in small pots for sale to visitors. The propagating area consists of long elevated tables about two meters wide. At the middle of each long table are two rows of strawberry mother plants which produce runners. The runners bear plantlets in every node. Each small plantlet is ‘seated’ in a small plastic pot where it takes root and grow. After it is reasonably big, it is cut off from the mother plant to further grow and get established before it is sold.
Each small plant is retailed at NT$50 which is equivalent to about P80 in Philippine money. Easily one mother plant could produce ten or more plantlets within one year. Producing plantlets could be more profitable than producing the fruits for sale. Of course, they also produce strawberry fruits.
Our visit to 12 leisure farms was upon the invitation of the Taiwan Leisure Farms Development Association through Leo Fang who is in charge of international marketing. The association has about 300 member leisure farms.