Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blueberry season begins!

It's blueberry time around here.  My son is enjoying the abundance :)  He says, "Mmm these are good."

Our blueberries are packed into clam shells and shipped all over the West Coast and Japan.  We grow 3 different varieties that are early, mid and late season ripening so we are busy from late June to mid August.  Some fields we have to pick two times and some with 4 pickings because each variety ripens differently.  Between each picking, we have to wait about 13 days.  Some fields we pick by hand and some by machine.  Keeps us on our toes.  Our oldest field we planted in 1995 and our latest in 2012.


blueberry plants

This could be a whole another post (which it might be!), but we take lots of efforts to deter the birds from eating our blueberries!  When you work all year keeping the berries maintained and growing healthy, and the birds take the berries right when they are ready to harvest, it is painful to watch!!!  One deterrent is putting net over 12 of our 35 acres of berries.  The picture below is of us putting a net over 12 acres of our blueberries.  The net stays up year round, except we unroll the different sections in the spring.  It usually takes 2 weeks to put it up and 1 week to take it down.

putting up net, cart
We have also finished up thinning our apples.
Doug apple thinning
Now we are working on putting in 3 new rows of Honeycrisp.  That includes getting the ground worked up and smooth, a soil test to see if the soil needs amended.  Plus rows spaced and staked, trenching for the irrigation pipe, ordering and installation of the underground irrigation, digging of post and tree holes, and finally planting of the trees! And even with all that, I am sure I am forgetting something!
The trenching machine for underground irrigation. Better than a shovel!
Noe apple irrigation
Gluing the PVC pipe
Next week we are hoping to start planting the apple trees depending on the weather and how busy we are with blueberries.
On another subject, it has been rainy around here.  We were checking on our wheat and plenty has laid down.  It will make it harder to harvest because the wheat header has a harder time cutting it when it is down, but we'll make it.

Erin wheat
Checking out the wheat stand.
Hose reel stuck Sometimes it feels like nothing can be easy around here :)  This is the hose reel that waters our corn and it got stuck pretty bad!  We got it out though with 3 chains end to end and a big tractor.  The picture below is the sprinkler on the end of the big coiled up black hose on the hose reel.
hose reel gun
Hose reel sprinkler cart
You hook the sprinkler to the back of a small tractor and pull it out how far you want it in the field.  Once it is all set up, you start the hose reel and it slowly pulls the sprinkler cart in depending on the amount of water you want to put on the field.
radish wheellineOther crops we are growing are, radish seed (white flowers) and dwarf chinese cabbage (yellow flowers).  After bloom then we let them dry up before they are harvested.
Well I am off to go pick up a truckload of blueberry crates.  Have a great rest of the day!

No comments: