As you may have noticed, plants are fruiting much earlier this year, and blueberry plants are no exception. The plants we left flowers on earlier this spring have started making their fruit. Many of them have bulbous green clusters hanging from their limbs. It will take some time for the green fruit to ripen to a deep, edible blue. Our earliest variety, Patriot, is usually ripe by July 4th. This year, they may be ready to pick as soon as the middle of June! We aren't sure what this wil mean for the other varieties.
The last couple of weeks, we noticed that many of the Chippewa and North Blue varities were not flowering. Many of the bushes had many flower buds but they were not opening. Aaron's hypothesis is that the very early "thaw" in February is to blame. During that warm spell, we noticed many of these same plants opening leaves and the buds swelling. Aaron's thought is that the plants woke from dormancy too early then were abruptly thrown back into it causing the flower buds to die.
We aren't sure if his hypothesis is correct but it seems plausible. All the plants have leafed out nicely. There were a few exceptions which were, well, dead. We were able to replace some of those plants at the beginning of May.
If you are interested in possibly getting a bite of these sweet berries and seeing the farm, we are part of a Festival of Farms tour this summer. The tour takes place on Saturaday, July 14. You will tour four farms, ours included, and enjoy farm fresh refreshments at the end. For more information, go to the Sustainable Farming Association's Festival of Farms page and scroll down to Cannon River Chapter. To register for the tour go to http://justfood.coop/local-farm-tour-festival-of-farms/.