Category Archives: Family Doings

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.

Sincerely,

Robert (for the Price family)

Last Big Planting!

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Boxes filled with plants–Bluecrop, Patriot, Blueray, and Legacy. Some we used for replacements in
Zones 1-3.

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We were SO thankful for our wonderful help this year, the M. family and Daniel and Ginger P. It only took four hours to plant about 700 plants! Here Andrew M. digs holes for the planters.

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Grant planting.

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Make sure you keep the crown above ground…!

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We had already put some mulch along most of the rows, so it was easy to pull around the new plants.

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Alyse M. being a great helper!

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Such a beautiful day for planting!

Almost Spring Update

Happily, spring is just a couple weeks away.  It doesn’t much look like it, since we’ve been inundated in the past two weeks with an accumulation of 18 inches or so of snow–which we are NOT prepared for here in Northeast Missouri! Last week three of us were stranded in town for the night simply because the small amount of new snow drifted so badly on Lost Branch Way that my dad even got stuck in our four wheel drive truck!  We are very grateful for the moisture, though, since the drought last summer really depleted our water supply.

The primary location for the 2013 Missouri Blueberry School was moved to town, as the snow was too bad out here.  It went very well, however, and many brave people came out to practice pruning some of our blueberry bushes amid the drifts of snow.

Below is my dad giving his talk during the blueberry school, along with Patrick Byers,  a University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist.

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Another pic of the pets is in order.  We saw this this morning and had to document it…

IMG_2884It really is a love-hate relationship!

The lambs are still coming.  “My” black sheep had twins yesterday! I saw she had a white one, so I went outside to investigate.  Seeing a mostly white exactly-like-a-Katahdin lamb was kinda disappointing after all my speculations as to what a black Finn/Romanov crossed with mostly white Katahdins was going to look like.  But, I was then delighted to watch the birth of this:IMG_2892

So cute!

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Like Mother, like daughter. 🙂 And she is turning out to be a pretty good Mother, thankfully, since I had heard that her breed might not be too good at lambing.

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Mama is keeping a wary eye on the black thing that makes weird noises and flashes.

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Getting the Jump on Weeds (We Hope!)

Last Saturday most of our family pitched in for the entire day in an effort to squelch the rapidly  sprouting weeds, which rear their ugly heads each spring far too soon for comfort.

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Prevention is by far the best method of defeating this somewhat incorrigible enemy of the berry bushes.  In years past, partially-composted fine sawdust has been the preventive mulch of choice.  Late last year, however, the lumber company deposited something new by accident, and after working with it, we think it could be an improvement on the old stuff.  The pros?  The new product is much less finely chopped, therefore we hope it will last longer. Also, it will be more resistant to forming a crispy outer crust, which the finer sawdust eventually does and which prevents both precipitation and helpful elements (such as lime or sulfur used in amending soil) from penetrating down to the roots of the blueberry plants.

The only negative aspect to the new product that we have noticed so far is that it is a bit more difficult to handle.  Instead of a shovel, we need to use a pitchfork to load and unload.  It doesn’t go on quite as smoothly as the sawdust did, therefore it is more tricky to get a thick, even layer on the rows.  In my experience, it is necessary to put down a layer at least 6-8 inches thick for good weed prevention.

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We were thankful to the Lord for nice weather on Saturday to accomplish quite a lot of work.  During the first part of the morning, Karise and I worked at it together…until I got the idea to start taking pictures and then I suppose it was mainly just Karise for awhile. 🙂

Then she snapped a few pics of me, as well.  Picture 038

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Later on, Grant and Daddy shoveled while I drove.  When Karise wasn’t checking on the sheep (latest lamb count: 81), she was inside making what turned out to be a very delicious supper of won-ton soup and stir-fried beef-and-broccoli.  (Chefs are just as important on work days as are the ones out in the hot sun!  There’s nothing like enjoying an exquisite and delectable sit-down meal after a hard day’s work.)

Here’s an unrelated but very cute picture of our nearly 7-year-old Lab, Mercedes.

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Our latest adventure…

Since there isn’t a whole lot exciting going on as far as the farm goes at this time of year, I thought you all might like to see a few pictures of our trip to the Grand Canyon this September.  It was a completely awesome trip and we even made it clear out to California to spend a little time with some of our wonderful family out there.  Yep, it was a LOT of time in the car, because we drove all the way out and back…in our old Buick, no less.  Some of us were more than a bit nervous as to whether our car could make it back in one piece, especially over the mountains.  But the Lord really blessed us with safety and a great time.  So, without further ado, here is a sample of the many  pictures we took of the Grand Canyon.

To begin with, we rode the bus around a lot during the first day (we spent two days at the Canyon).  This was very convenient and nice, but at times crowded.

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Wow! Awesome is the only word to describe it, and pictures DEFINITELY can’t get it across.  You lose perspective looking at it because the proportions are so vast.  Unfortunately, this probably makes for not realizing what imminent danger you could be in on the trails…but more on that later.

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After a while, we decided to venture a ways down the Bright Angel Trail.  Our first moments on it were quite exhilarating.  There’s nothing like knowing you could accidentally fall down a huge precipice! If you are afraid of heights, this is most certainly not the place for you.  No guard rails and spectacular views…it was amazing!

The next day, since the Bright Angel Trail was such a big hit, we determined to try the South Kaibab Trail, which was even better–more steep, and more treacherous.  🙂

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Daddy and Grant get ahead of us on the trail, making for a cool picture.

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Mother and Abriana in front of a scenic drop-off.  They were convinced I was taking pictures on the trail at the risk of life and limb.  🙂

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Trailblazers! 🙂

IMG_5629Unfortunately, we didn’t have time or energy to go clear to the bottom and come back up, so when we approached this large boulder (which partly overhung the edge) was about the time we turned around to head back up the trail.  Grant found that it was an excellent seat and vantage point for a view.

IMG_5639“Grant, will you PLEASE come down from there? The agreement was for you to stay on the PATH!”

And a few other random pictures…

IMG_5671We got to see a sunset as we ate supper.  A bunch of people were taking pictures of the sunset, but it was a  quiet atmosphere even with all the people. A few dedicated photographers really DID appear to be risking life and limb.

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Daddy enjoying the view.

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A fabulous time had by all!