The good – The bad – and I don’t know!
This has certainly been a challenging spring at the farm. For a couple of weeks I have been trying to spray herbicide on next years’ fields to try to control weeds and grass. First off, my tractor decided not to start. After a day of looking at the electrical schematic and tracing out wiring I gave up and asked my neighbor Brown to do his thing. He is far better at this than I am. End result was that the starter had somehow got a lot of moisture in it and the brushes had rusted so they didn’t slide forward on the starter armature. A trip to Ebberson in Brewer solved that. So I started with my old, old tractor with no power steering, and narrow tiers. Not a good alternative. Plus, the wind won’t quit and you can’t spray in those conditions.
Then, on May 9, we had 3 to 4 inches of wet snow. Lowbush blueberry flowers bud stages go from F0 to F3. F0 and F1 are bullet proof. We are about 50-50 between stage F2 and F3. With a couple of warm days we will probably see some blossoms. I have no idea what might happen to our blossoms with this situation. I do know that blueberry bushes are a very hardy plants so maybe all will work out fine.
On the other hand, I checked my sprayer pump this morning and it didn’t turn which indicates it had ice in it. This is the third time in my life that I have had this happen.
On the positive side, when you are given lemons you make the most of it. We spent many days last fall clearing brush from the fields and around the edges of the fields. It is amazing how quickly trees or brush grow around the edge of our fields. All of this growth tends to shade the bushes near the edge and restricts the growth of the berries. So on the positive side I was able to burn a pretty big brush pile while the snow was still on the ground.
Like many other groups we have had many events canceled this spring, summer and fall. This will clearly impact us in terms of future revenue.
We have not been participating in farmers markets this winter. The risk just seemed too great for us at our age.
We have been selling our products from our farm throughout the winter and spring and our customers have been very supportive. Folks have been buying our frozen 5 & 10 pound boxes of berries and value added products through out the winter and spring. We have been able to develop a system of distance selling that people have been comfortable with and we truly appreciate their support and the sales.
Like many other farms we are trying to develop policies and procedures that will allow us to be able to operate this summer. Lets hope it all works out.