As I look across our field, I expect to hear soft ringing noises coming from the bushes. At closer inspection, there are not bells hanging from the branches after all, just delicate flowers blushing in the sun. They are gorgeous. Each of these flowers will develop into blueberries in a months time. The branches will hang low with clusters of blue gold.
After I posted this picture on our facebook page, many people I know became very excited. "When will you have a crop?." "We LOVE blueberries at our house. We can't wait to pick blueberries at your farm!" We, too, are anxious to invite people to our farm to fill their freezers. Unfortunately, growing blueberries is not a one-shot endeavor. Years of care, growth, and investments will lead to the kind of crop where you can sit at one bush and pick it clean for an hour. It will be a many years until we get to that point. Fortunately, you won't have to wait that long. We'll open for picking before the bushes really start rocking.
There are still some plants that are waking up from their winter slumber. You can actually watch the life begin to move through the branches. While most of the branch will be red, the bottom shines yellow-green. The yellow-green color moves up the branch signally the movement of nutrients to the buds. Awaken, little ones!
In the meantime, we are taking some time to explore other possible crops for our farm. One of those crops being Wine Cap mushrooms.
We purchased the mushroom spawn from Field and Forest. These mushrooms grow beautifully in mulch. The catalog said they are a perfect complement to blueberry plants! Aaron spread one bag of spawn in a the mulch of a blueberry row and the other bag near one of our massive mulch piles. Wine cap mushrooms have a nutty flavor when harvested at a young age. If you let them grow to their full size, they are bigger than a portobello mushroom cap.
Here you see Aaron spreading the spawn next to our mulch pile. We are hoping these tasty fungi will sell well at the Farmer's Market!