Thursday, August 6, 2009

August Happenings on the Blueberry Farm

Michigan was beautiful, as always, but they are having the coldest summer on record this year so we nearly froze to death. I remember thinking that I don't complain about the heat in the summer because I complain about the cold in the winter but I'm freezing and it's summer!

Funny story about that. We were driving back a couple of days ago. Our kids had been gone a total of 5 weeks, 2 to South Dakota and 3 to Michigan. By the time we made it back to the North Carolina border, they were completely acclimated to northern temperatures. Maali was sitting on the front seat of the van. I looked over at her and she looked like a hot puppy with her tongue hanging out and her shoulders hunched forward. She looked at me and said, "Mom, it's really hot." I sort of laughed at her and said back that it's summertime and we're back in North Carolina. It's hot in North Carolina in the summer. That's why we go to Michigan for a month because it's not so hot there. She thought about this for a minute and then said, "Maybe we should go back to Michigan!"

Even though it has been hot here, there are still things going on around the blueberry farm. In July, we built a chicken coop for our chickens that no longer look like pullets but are almost full grown birds. Hopefully they will be laying eggs within the next couple of months.

It's been too hot to remove plants from the field so we decided to wait until September to take the first field out and replant. The baby plants growing in the back field are weathering the heat pretty well, but we've got about a 25-30% loss rate on them which is typical.

We have our first farm birthday party scheduled for next weekend. One of our customers who will be turning 2 years old wants to have his birthday with the goats, chickens and ducks. His mom asked if they could have it here and we agreed. What fun we hope they have!

I'm finally getting more dirt in my front yard so I can get some grass to grow. Farmer Mac has been cutting a shallow trench along the edge of both fields for water to better run off and he's been putting the soil he removes from there in my front yard. It already looks much better and we haven't come anywhere near the grass planting stage yet.

I finally took those buckets of Lake Superior rocks that have been littering the yard and parking area and made them into a border around my flower bed by the house. I was about 10 feet short of being able to go from the front door all the way around to the back door, but I know where more are. :)

With any luck we can finish this retaining wall around the back and then free up a couple of more parking spaces in the driveway for next summer. I haven't decided what to do with our corner garden in the middle of the parking curve. We didn't plant this past spring and I'm thinking about removing it so we can have a better 2 car width around the parking lot curve. Maybe instead of having a big triangle garden there, I'll cut it off to about 2 feet depth right along the pond fence. Do goats eat geraniums? I think some wall baskets attached to the fence right there might be nice and I love red geraniums. Hmmm. I'll have to ask someone.

Beyond that, we're trying to avoid the heat as much as possible and to keep the fields watered and growing strong so we have a good harvest next year.


  1. Hi There -

    It is great to see that famer Mac's is going strong! We love the berries, the animals and we can't wait for more next year!

  2. Congratulations on getting a good story on ABC. If I didn't live in the middle of a semi-desert in Mexico, I would love to swing by and pick some berries next season.
    But what i am writing about is your blog site. I would have put this in an email, but had trouble accessing it. I am starting a medical tourism site trying to attract people looking for cheaper medical care. I was impressed with your blog aimed at a niche market, and wanted to impose on you for a little advice on setting up a blog. Are you happy with "eblog"? How did you pick them? etc. I am a noobie and have been reading tons of info on setting up website and a blog, but I think I am more confused than when I started. After reading all the sales pitches and conflicting reviews, I decided to contact you after seeing the ABC story and looking at your blog.
    Though our business's are in no way similar, they are both aimed at niche market. Any advice you could give me will be greatly appreciated

  3. Your comment didn't leave a contact information for me to reply to.

    I got lots of info before I started too. I like blogspot because it is easy to use and it has our farm name in the title. I also chose a blog over a website because it was completely free.

    Creating the blog was easy and took an afternoon to get the design and elements in place. Then I spent about a week tweaking it to better suit my purposes. Coming up with topics I knew would be a challenge, so I decided on a once a week blog. Also, I didn't think I could dedicate more than that amount of time during the harvest season to this activity.

    The hardest thing to do was to get the Analytics account set up so I can see information about traffic coming to our site, number of visitors, and where they are and that sort of thing. I tried new things each day (it updates the changes once a day, I think) for about 10 days until I finally did it right and it started logging visitors. This account is also free through google.

    All in all, I'm very satisfied with the whole process and I can tell that folks actually view our blog because every day during the harvest season we had at least one customer group say they saw our blog.