What Do I Have that I Have Not Received?

In I Corinthians 4:7 in the Bible the Apostle Paul is countering the temptation to exalt one person over another, and he gives this exhortation:  “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  This statement is a arrow right to the heart of any pride we might take over someone else due to some ability we might have that others don’t, or maybe some success that has been bestowed upon us either financially or with a project or even in a responsibility we’ve been given the Church.  Paul is saying, if you’ve ultimately been given everything by God why would you brag about what you did to get what you have?  The Bible is clear (especially in Romans chapter 3) that we are all rebellious, undeserving sinners.  But in Ephesians chapter 2 we are told,  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

So how does this relate to blueberry farming?  Easy; first of all I would not be alive physically and able to farm except for the grace and mercy of God from whom all things come.  Secondly, we can work as hard as we did this last year  and not produce one berry.  Ultimately God brings the harvest (or not)!  Really, we all deserve the “not” part, so anything we get is mercy!

We were blessed by a large crop this year and many new as well as veteran customers.  Next year, God willing, the crop will be much larger. (As an aside, we would appreciate you continuing to spread the word about the farm here.  I’m planning to implement more marketing strategies for the next season.)

So I would like to end on this note.  We so much appreciate all of you who supported us this year!   We thank all the “one visit” customers who purchased a small amount, because it all adds up. And we certainly thank those of you who came out many times and purchased many pounds of berries.   The fact is, even though we love to serve the community, we also must have revenue to continue just like any business.  So a big thank you to those of you who purchased berries!  Also, I want to thank those of you who helped us get the ripening berries off the bushes when we were in “emergency mode”.  I was a bit taken back (in a good way) by the amount of berries the bushes produced this year.  So we needed to get the berries off of the bushes quickly and implemented the shares program.  Hopefully next year, through increased word of mouth and marketing strategies, we will match the supply with the demand.

So, until next year, may you know the blessings of God in your lives and as you eat the berries in the middle of the cold winter, have fond memories of your picking experience at Lost Branch Blueberry Farm.


Robert (for the Price family)

Blueberry Bar Recipe

We were blessed to have about 35 little tykes out to pick this morning…what a perfect morning for it. We served them BLUEBERRY BARS and here is the recipe:  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cranberry-bars.
I changed the recipe thus: substitute blueberries for the cranberries and omit the orange juice, orange peel, cinnamon, and nuts. And I used rolled oats (aka old fashioned). (I think the recipe would be great with the OJ, cinnamon and nuts – I just had on hand some blueberry sauce I’d already cooked up so that is what I used).

‘Tis the Season…

IMG_6058Whipped up this delicious blueberry chicken salad for lunch.  It’s easy and made me feel like I was doing my body a favor with all the healthy ingredients!

For two servings:

1 c fresh blueberries

1 c cubed cooked chicken breast (I used a little more)

1/4 c chopped celery

1/4 c diced sweet red pepper

2 T thinly sliced green onions

1/4 c plus 2 T plain yogurt

1/2 t lemon juice

3 T mayonnaise

1/2 t salt

1/8 t stevia (or a little less)

1/2 t apple cider vinegar

You could also use a couple Tablespoons sugar instead of the stevia.

Combine all the ingredients except the blueberries, and then add the blueberries and gently toss.  Serve over lettuce leaves.  (Or kale leaves, as pictured. :) )

New Sign!

IMG_5829 LBBF SignOur new farm sign is up, special thanks to Abriana Price and the Dohman family! :)

Preview of Summer

It’s been a while since we posted an update on the farm.  So, here’s the latest.  Robert is working on a couple eye-catching improvements here at LBBF…Well, they will be when they are done.  Here they are in their beginning stages.

This summer, this heap of rocks will be transformed into an enchanting little waterfall.


Meanwhile, just a few yards away, our new peach orchard is growing steadily, despite some setbacks from the deer.


To top it off, if you come picking this summer, you will be greeted by a new white wooden fence, which will hopefully keep little kids in, and dogs and other creatures out, besides being a scenic addition to the property.    IMG_5797

And finally, just in case you avid blueberry lovers are counting the days until you can pluck a fresh, juicy, sun-warmed berry off the bush and pop it in your mouth, this is what the status of the bushes is right now: IMG_5800Once the plants flower (around April 20), it will be about sixty days until fresh blueberries!

“Heads up” for Asparagus 2015

IMG_4660In just a few weeks the asparagus should be sprouting up! We are going to try something a little different this year.  Instead of taking orders, we will be bringing our asparagus to the west parking lot of Home Care Medical Equipment in Kirksville (next to Hastings) between the hours of 4 pm and 5:30 pm on Mondays and Thursdays.  It will be in 1 lb. bundles ($4/pound, tax included) and will be available on a first come, first served basis.  There should be plenty of asparagus this year, but it would be a good idea to call Robert at 660.342.2725 before you come to check on availability.  Stay tuned and we will let you know when the asparagus is ready!

Fall Update

It’s hard to believe winter is on its way.  Here at the farm things are slowing down as the blueberry bushes prepare to go into dormancy. IMG_5345

Above you can see our little garden, which flourished this year thanks to the compost we spread all over it from the sheep yard. :) We had a lot of greens (collards, lettuce, chard, kale, spinach, cabbage), some beans, many huge tomatoes, and for a nice change several acorn squash and little pumpkins.  We baked several of the pumpkins whole in our oven which worked great.  Afterward we separated out some of the pumpkin seeds and baked them.  They’re great to snack on.  IMG_5351

In the section above, we just last month planted 200+ Blueray bushes as replacement plants.  Bluerays are large berries with intense flavor, definitely a favorite!

A view out across the property.  We sold all our sheep earlier this year, except for the pet black sheep.  She was all by herself for a while, but then produced a black ewe lamb who looks just like her, so they keep each other company. We also sold our donkeys a couple months ago, so we are pretty much out of the livestock business.  IMG_5348

This is the zone planted in spring of 2013.  Each of these bushes should bear about a pound of berries next summer.
IMG_5347This zone by the road, planted in fall of 2007, is still holding out well.  Many of the bushes in all the zones are showing a great amount of new growth this year, so we’re really thankful for this after a difficult couple of years of drought and disease. Next project: Pruning the bushes once the leaves drop off.  Maybe we can get a head-start this year before a bunch of snow comes!


Pictures from 2014 Picking Season

This gallery contains 6 photos.

The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him! Psalm 67:6-7  

2014 Blueberry Season – Closing Comments

As I said earlier, we had a large increase in the amount of pickers that came this year.  We are thrilled about that.  I am also very encouraged by the new growth on all the bushes this year, especially most of the struggling bushes.  Also, it has been a great establishing year for the new zones 6 and 7.  We should get some berries off of them next year and those will be nice large berries.  I’m excited, too, about the new Patriot variety, that is doing well and will have berries next year, Lord willing.

The amount of berries picked this year (2500 pounds) was the smallest amount we’ve ever had.  We should be having close to 10,000 lbs with the bushes we have planted.  This is due to the lack of new growth on the bushes last year, but it did surprise me how little there ended up being.

That is why we were pretty much picked out in the first hour each time were were open.  This made for a frustrating time for some of our customers and I’m afraid some of those were new customers.  I hope they give us another try next year because I’m pretty sure that there will be lots more berries.  It was also a frustration for us to determine our opening days and hours.  I’m glad that most of you follow us closely on the web for our updates.  Also, many people gave us a call before coming out  which saved some from a fruitless trip.

Again,  all in all I’m very encouraged.  In the 10 years I’ve been growing blueberries, I learn every year.  This year I believe the Lord has given me some knowledge of things that needed to be done a bit differently.   Yes, and the nice weather has helped too this year.

So, I want to leave all of you, our wonderful customers (I think every business should have customers as thankful and kind as ours) with a thought or two:

First of all,  we have nothing that hasn’t been given us by God.  I Corinthians 4:7 in the Bible says:  “For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?”   So, all we have is from God.   

Secondly,  we have been given the greatest gift from God and that is the gift of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.  It is here that I would like to leave you with this final passage of scripture that tells the story of what this life is all about:

II Corinthians 2:14-21

14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

      16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

      20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 Numbers 6:

24The LORD bless you, and keep you;

25The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

26The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’


See you next year, Lord willing,

Robert (Blueberry Bob)

End of a Surprising Season

We have come to the end of the 2013 season and what a surprise it was.   Due to the late winter, rain, and fairly mild temperatures the berries did extremely well despite the 50 year drought last year.   I had also pruned very heavily due to a large amount of diseased canes.   So I am very thankful for the bounty.  What was really nice is the berries stayed rather large most of the way through.    We had very good customer turnout from all over the region, Kirksville being, of course, about 80% of our patrons.  We had quite a few who were new to our farm and also blueberry picking.  That is very exciting too.

With all that being said, I want to say “praise God from whom all blessings flow.”  He causes His rain to rain on the just and unjust.  That means that if you are alive, it is because God has allowed you to be.  If God withheld His protection from us we would not be alive for one millisecond.  And I am definitely being treated better than I deserve (as Dave Ramsey would say).  Men think they are really in control but the truth is that God is in control. He is Holy (totally “other” than us), righteous, just, and loving.    I am eternally grateful for his eternal gift of Jesus Christ.  The Father willed that His beloved Son would be crushed on the Cross for me.  That while I was still His enemy, Christ died for me (Romans 5).

So, I quote to you a section from I Corinthians 15:

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. ”

Some of you may wonder about this, the Gospel (good news).  If you ever would like to know more, please feel free to contact me.  It’s my whole reason for living!

Ok, so just a “heads up”  for next year…

We should have quite a bit of asparagus for the  Spring of 2014 (Lord willing).  We are changing how we deal with orders.  When the time comes that it is ready to pick, we will notify everyone we have on our list.  If you want to be added to our e-mail list, please let us know via e-mail or call.   When that time comes we will take specific orders for a specific amount of poundage.  The orders will be taken Monday through Friday, and we will have a specific time and place for all to pick up their orders at a designated  place in Kirksville.  This will insure that the asparagus we bring to you will be the freshest possible.  Many people commented on how tender and delicious our asparagus was this year.   So that is just a  preview.  We will post more specifics next spring.

Blessings in Christ,

Robert (Blueberry Bob)