The continued warm weather is ripening fruit at a faster pace than previous years. We started picking blueberries yesterday, which is about 10 days earlier than our 20 year average for first picking!
Raspberries are at about peak now, so it is a good time for people to come and pick both to lay in a supply for the winter months ahead.
We just checked our early raspberry variety, Prelude, and picked a handful of ripe berries! We anticipate opening the field for pick-your-own starting this Friday. Check back soon for an update on blueberries.
Hey everyone, here is my daughter, Rita, picking some black raspberries for our retail shop. Rita is working on the farm this year two days a week when she is not busy with the Park Service, Bayfield EMT or coaching the Bayfield U12 girls soccer. Look for her on the farm Fridays and Sundays.
Look for blueberries starting this week for we plan on opening our fields this Friday for pick-your-own. Boy are they big - this could be the best year ever!
Our midseason raspberry varieties are just starting too, which means more rows of abundant picking for our customers starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 27th. Killarney, Canby and Nova fields will have excellent picking and our largest fruited variety, Encore, will soon follow.
Hope to see you in the berry fields!
Here is a picture taken this morning of our earliest raspberry variety, Prelude, and what a few of the king fruit looked like early in the day, but by day's end, thanks to the 90 degree heat, we already had the season's first hand full of ripe raspberries. Look for picking to start this Wednesday here at Blue Vista Farm. Hope to see you in the berry patch!
In the last post I mentioned other creatures that make their home in our berry fields. Here is a picture of a field sparrow's nest found in the ground cover between the rows of blueberry plants. With Field sparrows, the birds chip more excitedly the closer you get to the nest, almost like they are playing the game "you are getting warmer". Most likely it took this sparrow 2-7 days to make this nest, collecting material up to 100 yards away. Not surprisingly, the 2011 nest model is identical to previous versions. Nice to see some things stay the same.
Speaking of things staying the same, our blueberry and raspberry prices are not changing this year and have remained the same since 2009. Not quite as good as the sparrow's nest building record, but then again we live in different worlds.
The recent warmer weather and timely rains are contributing to perfect fruit development conditions. Currently we are estimating raspberries to be ripe July 8th followed by blueberries on July 25th at Blue Vista Farm in Bayfield, WI.
Today's the first day of summer and in Bayfield it felt more like November, with 45 degree F rain filled winds soaking the berry fields. This is what our MOSA certified organic Patriot blueberries look like today, about a week after petal fall. Fortunately, our weather during bloom was calm and sunny, perfect for the pollenators to do their work. And work they did, for this year's fruit set looks better than last year's, which on paper could translate to a larger crop.
But with the average first blueberry picking at Blue Vista being about July 25, they have a month to go to fully ripen and for Mother Nature to work her magic turning them into quarter sized spheres of antioxidants, flavor and sweetness. Let us all cross our collective fingers and hope that the rain and windstorms don't find their way to the gleaming shores of the Big Lake quite yet - not for a month or more - for more than just us humans rely upon the earth to provide. In the next post I will have a picture and a story of others that live here in the berry fields at Blue Vista Farm.