Open for picking!

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Wednesday, we put up the tents, set out the signs, and laid out the boxes for our first official day of picking! It was a great feeling to finally have people to your farm to taste, pick, and purchase the berries we have been tending for the last few years.  

 

Since we have been open, we have seen many friends and soon-to-be friends flock to the farm in anticipation of bringing home the ultimate gift, a box of perfectly blue fruit.  

 

Earlier in the week, our friend and seasoned food blogger,  Shaina, came out to visit our farm with her family. She featured our farm on her blog this week. Please, check out her very well written post. http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/kids-in-the-kitchen/blueberry-picking-with-your-kids-the-benefits. We are very fortunate to have so many people in our lives that are helping us be a success. 

Picking continues tomorrow (Wednesday July 24) and through the rest of the week. I am confident we will be open for picking the next couple of weeks as well. We hope to see you on the Little Hill.

 

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If you lived here, you'd be wet right now

There is no shortage of weather conversation happening right now. We get it, it is April and snowing. My question is, is it really that bad? A few weeks ago as significant inches of snow still rested on the ground, a friend asked me, "So, you really think the snow will be gone in time for your planting party." I answered with an emphatic and almost insulted "YES!" Now, I am not so sure. 

The snow we have right now is a little different than what we had in the winter months. The ground warmed up enough to thaw and the most of the snow sitting on the ground now will seep into the soil providing much needed moisture. It also means we won't have water in our basement. Yay! 

Will we plant blueberries on April 27? I hope so! A lot can happen in a few weeks and know for certain, spring, or maybe summer by the time it gets around to it, will prevail. 

Unrelated picture of Benny reading blueberry recipes in AgriNews. 

Unrelated picture of Benny reading blueberry recipes in AgriNews. 

Wholesale Success Workshop

Saturday morning and afternoon, Aaron and I attended a Wholesale Success Workshop led by Atina Diffely and sponsored by the University of Minnesota and a slew of other organizations. 

Number one thought I had after I left, I am SO glad we don't grow vegetables!! Each vegetable can be so different and there is so much to think about if you are going to do it right. I suppose that's why many think my other job, being a teacher, can be so difficult! 

The workshop covered an assortment of topics including:

- How to find the market best for you.

- How to safely and efficiently harvest what you grow .

- How to clean the food you grow and keep it safe while mitigating potential health risks.

- How to store and pack the food you grow to in order to preserve the optimum freshness, shelf life, and excellence for your customer. 

It was an extremely informative workshop for newbies like us. There is a lot that goes into making sure food is safe for people and providing the best product available  Being that we are starting primarily as a u-pick operation , there are some risks we are able to avoid. Although, that means there are other aspects of inviting others to our farm we need to sort through. 

Overall, I was reminded of the great lengths we small farmers go to provide our "customers" what they hungry for: fresh, organic, locally grown, small, relationship, connection, ownership, etc. When you eat food from your local farms, you are putting your money directly back into your ecosystem, watershed, and community. Sure, the people who grow your food in California, Mexico, New Zealand, etc. have names, faces, and communities too. But, what if you got to see the person who grows your food once a week? What if you got to see the land that food was grown on? What if...what if, you decided you could grow a little of your own food too?