Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blueberry days are here again

We put the open sign out yesterday. That's a big step for us given we didn't have it out for the last 2 years. Nice to have blueberries to sell again.  Not a lot because the plants are still small, but the berries there are very nice.   Oneals are ready now.  New Hanovers are atill green. 

Very late winter made all produce late this year. I'm guessing that this will not mean that the season will push into July, it will likely just mean a shorter harvest. 

Farmer Mac has doctor appointments today and tomorrow so we will not have pre-picked berries available until Friday. He doesn't drive anymore so Grandma takes him. I can't efficiently run the stand, watch kids and pick berries at the same time.  When I do, I don't do any of them well!

One regular customer came by yesterday and thought our price is high. We have not changed our u-pick price for 5 years. At $2 per pound, we are cheaper than the organic farm and Lewis' both of which are selling $2.75 at last count. I was at Lewis' last week picking strawberries. They were just starting to harvest their Star variety of blueberries. We have a few of them in our experimental patch but we didn't like the flavor enough to expand beyond 3 plants. 

That's how we selected New Hanover when we replanted. They were the plants in the experimental section that everyone liked the best. 

I should also talk about pesticides. We didn't spray fungicide this year so there is no chance of pesticide residue on the berries. I have sprayed 2/3 of the field for weeds once but that is directed at the weeds and I studiously avoid the plants.   The rows are now grassing in so we can mow rather than spray. The newly established rows have pine straw on the hills for moisture and weed control. 

Farmer Mac is tending the baby plant section with his hoe. He has done a little field work but his days of with the hoe on the entire field are over. At 88 years old, I think we can give him a pass and let him do what works for him. If you do see him this year, ask him about his new hoe. He's been complaining for a while that his hoe is worn out and the ones available locally are garbage. A customer loaned him her hoe and he loved it. He ordered one and it came in the mail yesterday. He's quite excited about it. Keeps it in his bedroom so it doesn't get gone. I have to smile about that. Nobody would dare to take his hoe. Not the old one or the new one!  

First customers of the day are in the field. Hope to see you out here before the season ends. 

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