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It has been an unusual winter and spring this last year. The winter was so much milder than normal that one of the varieties of blueberries was in full bloom when the big freeze hit in the early spring. Ordinarily, the time of this freeze would have had little consequence, but this year it was different.
Here are some crop updates for May 17, 2017
The large blackberries that you first come to in the field are now over an inch and still growing. Some are showing a slight red tinge so we expect them to be ripe the first week of June or possible the end of May. We have planted three more rows of the new blackberries that were a big hit last year. In addition, we have a new blackberry that is a little later than all of the other ones. This delicious berry will extend our blackberry season for later pickers.
Good news and bad news. Good news first. The berries will be very large. Bad news: there won’t be as many of them as normally have. We got through the first spring freeze on March 12 with no problem. On the 14th, the temperature dropped below freezing at 10:30 PM and stayed there until 10:00 the next morning. This would have been alright if the ice from the overhead sprinklers melted, but the temperature only got to 41 degrees. This left us with an enormous amount of ice on the plants. Since the ice couldn’t melt, our plants were in a deep freeze. The earliest bearing plants took the biggest hit. The later plants (near the highway) got through it quite well.
We also have done a lot of work reclaiming what we call our “organic” blueberries. These sit up behind our portojohn and are not certified organic. However they were the first blueberries we ever planted. They have not been actively tended for about 25 years. There is an enormous amount of berries on them, but it may be a challenge to get up to the berries on top because the plants are about 12 feet high.
We have replanted the raspberries this year to improve the variety we offer. This means that there is only a small planting available to pick this year but next year there will be a new crop.