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!
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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!

Gallery

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)

Asparagus has arrived!

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The asparagus has come up! We have a limited amount this year, but we are still taking orders by e-mail, phone, or contact form on our website.  (No orders via Facebook, etc. please).  We will fill them on a first-come-first-serve basis until the supply runs out. It is possible we will not be able to fill all the orders we receive since we have a limited supply.

We will call or e-mail you when your order is available to be picked up. When we notify you that it is ready, pickup for your asparagus orders will be between the hours of 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM in the parking lot of Home Care Medical Equipment, next to Hastings, in Kirksville. (Days of the week will depend on the supply of asparagus). The price is $4/lb. and we will be able to take check or exact change.

Asparagus Price 2014

Just a quick update…we realized we left out the price per pound on asparagus in the post below.  This year we’ll be asking $4/pound for fresh asparagus.

Asparagus Orders

Hello everyone!
After a winter that seemed to go on forever, the ground is warming up and that means the asparagus will be making its appearance soon!

We wanted to fill you in on some details about how to order your fresh asparagus this spring, as we are making some changes from last year on how we deal with orders.

Beginning now, we will take orders by e-mail, phone (660-342-1771), or Contact Us form on our website ONLY (no orders by social media including  comments on blog posts please!) for a specific poundage of asparagus.  We will fill these orders in the order we receive them when the asparagus comes up.  When we have enough asparagus to fill your order you may pick up your order in Kirksville.  We’ll establish the days of the week we will be bringing the asparagus orders to town, pick-up times, and location of pick-up, at a future date.

If you place an order and state which date you will be picking it up that week,  please make sure to show up at the specified time and place to  pick up your asparagus.  If you don’t show up we will assume you have decided you did not want (or could not because something came up) your order and it will be applied to the next person’s order in line.  We know “life happens” and you just had something happen to prevent picking up your order.  Please just re-order and we will put you in line for the next available asparagus.  We want to keep the asparagus as fresh as possible from cutting to you and that is the reason for this protocol.

When the asparagus comes up, we’ll notify everyone we have on our e-mail list and those who are following the website.  If you want to be added to our e-mail list, please let us know by e-mailing or calling.

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)

Irrigation

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Unravelling a roll of drip tube is a bit tricky.  If one gets careless about it one may end up with one great big tangled mess.

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…it’s kind of like working with a lariat rope.

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….one person is taking off the roll and another is pulling it up the hill.   Teamwork!

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Attaching the drip tube to the riser is a snap (and twist).

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A bit tricky pushing the tube onto the connection.

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Gotta get the tube next to the plants.

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Cutting the tube off the end.  Notice the built in emitter inside the tube to the left.   This is where the water drip out at a rate of approximately .5 gal per hour.

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Need to remember to close off the end of each drip tube with a “figure eight” closure.

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That’s all there is to it……well, actually there was quite a bit of work that took place last fall in putting all the main water line and electrical signal wires etc…  This was just the “icing on the cake”

Great asparagus info

If you’re interested in asparagus, check out this link with some really interesting facts about asparagus.  http://www.asparagus.org/maab/facts.html

Such as, did you know it’s a member of the lily family and under ideal conditions can grow 10 inches per 24 hours?? And with deep soil it can send down roots 10 feet!

Here are nutrition facts: http://www.asparagus.org/maab/nutrition.html

And some tips on storing it…http://www.asparagus.org/maab/recipes/storage.html

An Asparagus Lover says…

Asparagus, yum!

I prepare asparagus by pouring a little olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish or pan, rolling the spears so they’re covered, in a single layer, sprinkle with sea salt, roast/bake in a hot oven (400′) until browned, turning them to get browned all over. Doesn’t take very long, but it makes them so delicious.
I hope to freeze some.  Then I will probably use it in frittatas, or scrambled eggs.  I did see a picture of Schwan’s frozen asparagus on skewers on a grill, and that looked promising.  I’m not much on just cooking it like green beans, because it gets too slimy… .” Yet onward I haste to the heavenly feast: That, that is the fulness; but this is the taste.”  C.Wesley
-CK