Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Past the Frost, Waiting for the Blue in the Blueberries

The flowering process is nearly over this week. We have some bloom left on the Croatans (blueberries in the back field). We made it through the spring, at least so far, without frost damage and that's always a positive sign going into the harvest.

The only two weather related maladies we've seen between here and picking time is a tropical storm and hail. Each of these have only happened once in the past 25 years at this time of the year. Maybe we can call them freak storms and leave it at that.

This year the deer are extra diligent to visit. We usually have deer tracks all around and the bushes pruned along the field edges. This year instead of eating just the leaves, they've also stripped off the blossoms on the Oneals we planted at the left edge of the back field. This was to be the first harvest year on them as they are now 4 years old and just mature enough to harvest. The deer had other ideas so we'll have to wait until next year on them.

This means our Oneal crop will be thinner than we anticipated this year. If this is your favorite variety, make a special effort to get what you can but bear in mind that we have this challenge in addition to the crop rotation that we are in the middle stages of completing.

Transition from old plants to new is once again on a smooth track. Remember we were in the transition phase of removing old plants and planting new when we had that Easter freeze a couple of years ago? So instead of having staggered plantings to get us through this downtime phase, all of our small plants are virtually the same age.

To recap: blueberries have a useful life of about 25 years, at least the ones we have on our farm. This is the 25th year for many of them. We started about 5 years ago transitioning parts of the fields into new plantings to have growth to a harvestable size by the time the old plants needed to be removed. We still have old plants that need to be removed but we've kept them a little longer for some harvest while we are waiting for the small plants to mature. We appreciate your dedication during this process as it is a bit trying for us all.

Can you believe it is our 25th year of harvest? We have seen some of the same faces each year for the entirety of that time and new customers every year who become dedicated farm visitors and friends. I wish we knew all of the charter members of this blueberry farm! If you are one, let us know when you come out this year.

Happy Spring! We had twin goatlets (kids) born earlier this month and 2 sets of ducklings this week. Hopefully the turtles are not in large number in the pond or they will feast on our delicately beautiful babies!

1 comment:

  1. Happy to know the farm is doing well :) I haven't been in a few years but will be moving back to NC in the summer so I hope I can come out!