With the 2017 season about to begin, I thought I would give everyone an assessment of what to expect when you come to pick.
First of all, for those of you who have not been here before, there are 7
“zones” of blueberries. The zones are clearly marked as to where the zone begins (as you are walking toward them.) Each have their own nuances. Here is what I see and predict:
Zone 1 (close to the bathroom). Being revitalized. Many newer plantings (not bearing yet). Variety: Mostly Bluecrop but have some Bluejay and Patriot mixed in. The berries are medium to small. Some early season berries are to be found within the 6 rows closest to the bathroom.
Zone 2. Also, being revitalized and has many newer plantings (not bearing yet). Many of the bushes are Bluecrop and therefore don’t have many leaves. I’ve pruned a lot of the smaller berries off the bushes to help with picking. Many of the bushes are thin on leaves. This makes the berries more “out in the open” as far as accessibility. However, the berries are medium and will take longer to fill a bucket. Also, make sure to sample as you go to make sure the berries are okay on a given bush since lack of leaves on a cane can affect the berry quality.
Zone 3. Pretty much the same as zone 2, except the 4 rows that are close to the pavilion. These 4 rows are doing well and have a lot of nice medium to large berries. The variety is Blueray. Some are starting to turn blue but will mostly ripen in 7-10 days.
Zone 4 (south of the Pavilion). The first 6 or 7 rows are Bluecrop. Most of these are doing pretty well and have medium to large berries. Some are just starting to turn blue. Most will ripen in another 7-10 days. The remaining 4 or 5 rows are Bluejay. This is one of the most shady spots because of the foliage. These bushes are loaded with berries. However, they are also loaded with leaves. Make sure to move the canes around because many times pickers don’t get to the interior of the bush and there are nice ones in there.
Zone 5. All these are the Bluejay mentioned in zone 4. These bushes are starting to turn and will probably be in full ripening by the week of June 19th. The 2nd and 3rd row from the south end of zone 5 are Toro, medium to large berries. The last row is Draper. These are very nice bushes with lots of large berries. Problem is, there is just one row. These will be in full ripening by the week of June 19.
Zone 6 (south of Herb Gulch). The first 8 rows on the east side are Patriot. This is where we will begin to pick next week because they are an early berry. The bushes are shorter (about 3 to 4 feet tall). The berries are medium to large. The last 3 or 4 rows on the west side of zone 6 are Blueray. These are very nice bushes with medium to large berries. They will be coming on right after the Patriot.
Zone 7. The first 3 or 4 rows are a continuation of the Blueray from Zone 6. Again, a very nice crop of berries there. And then the last 8 rows are Bluecrop (by the Asparagus patch). These are newer bushes but loaded with nice berries. They will be ripening around the week of June 19th.
IMPORTANT: During the first of the season especially, we will be directing you to walk along the pond bank and then go west from the picnic table (down the pond bank), then past the peach orchard, in order to get to Zones 6 and 7. So it is a bit of a walk. We do have limited parking closer to these zones for those who cannot walk far or are in wheelchairs. If you have a disability, please let us know and we can direct you to a parking spot closer to these zones.