NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Wish Farms grows 'white strawberries' in Manatee County

Pineberries will be available at select stores
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 11:15:07-05

DUETTE, Fla. — A farm in Manatee County is growing a new type of fruit that will soon be available on store shelves.

Acres and acres of white strawberries grow at G & D Farms in Duette.


The berries are also known as pineberries.

"It's really an interesting piece of fruit. It has unique flavors. It's hard to relate it to a red strawberry. Sometimes you get a little pineapple hint and sometimes you get a little peach or pear," said Gary Wishnatzki, Owner of Wish Farms.

Wish Farms is a year-round supplier of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. The family-owned company has been around for nearly 100 years.

"The pineberries are currently available in South Florida. They will be available in this area coming up later this week. We expect local supermarkets to start having them on the shelves," said Wishnatzki.

Dr. Vance Whitaker is a strawberry breeder and helps develop a variety of strawberries in Florida.

In a UF/IFAS blog, Dr. Whitaker explained how the white strawberry came about.

He said, "In 2012 strawberry seeds from Japan were sown at the University of Florida, and a few small plants recovered. The seeds were sown, and a few small plants were recovered. The pollen from these plants were crossed with a Florida variety. The seedlings from this cross-produced fruit that ranged from white to pink to red."

Wishnatzki said pineberries are not genetically modified.

"On our labels, I added non-GMO because consumers look at something different like this and that's where people's minds sometimes go," he said.

Chris Parks is a grower at Wish Farms. He explains how to tell if a pineberry is ripe.

"As they ripen, the seeds will start turning red. The skin will get a slight pink, blush to it and that's how we know they're ripe," explained Parks.

Wishnatzki said pineberries will be available in select stores by next week.


"They were in a few stores last year, but we just had about an acre's worth. This year, we have a little bit more than that, but they're still very, very limited," said Wishnatzki.