We moved to our farm permanently on July 1, 2016. Within 2 weeks we had blueberries and had no idea what to do with them. Since we had purchased our farm in October 2014, we had one blueberry season which we shared with family and friends. But we weren’t conscious of how much we picked, what bushes produced the most berries or when they ripened. So our first “official” season really took us by surprise.
We have 50+ tall blueberry bushes in our front field. These bushes were not cared for by the previous owner so the first year we spent every weekend pruning and clearing the field of older canes, buckthorn and bittersweet. Someone said we should just mow them all down, start all over, but we knew there was value in these older varieties and wanted to restore the bushes. We were so busy improving the bushes didn’t have much time to pay attention to the actual “crop”.
In a bit of a frenzy, I designed and put out signs to attract local residents for U-Pick. It was too late to advertise, so I put flyers in mail boxes. I was also able to package up what we picked and sell to a few local farms for resale. All and all it was a pretty good year; we sold 80 lbs, which really seemed like a lot to us. We even cleared a profit once we subtracted the direct costs (not including labor).
Since then we have added 30 more plants and plan to add even more. Maybe raspberries and blackberries. We’ll see what the future will bring.