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Logo of 2019 Adventist Agricultural Association Conference: True Success

Organic Blueberry Production - Part 1

Eric Pond

Recorded

  • January 16, 2019
    8:15 AM
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OK Well I was going to give you a short little background on global production because if you're planning on growing and selling in your region it doesn't matter what's in the store and where are they getting those varies from that might be in stores near you as consumer trends of changed so you know we used to can 150 quarts of peaches to support our family over the winter and that hasn't happened in 20 years or 30 years you know so are are you in an area where. Your customers would be coming out to you pick is that even popular anymore are you close enough to people farmers markets fans where you going to market your berries is the 1st question I ask about any crop before you grow the crop farmers are really great a growing things and they really don't do well at selling things or tracking how much it cost you to grow it and how much you made off of selling it so just. That's one of the key places I start is what why where am I going to sell these things or am I going to consume them myself I guess that from that perspective how many pounds of areas do I want to eat for the year. Generally. Blueberry Bush in full production should produce 30 pounds per plant so just to give you an idea how many pounds you might have. OK so. This is production 201-220-1420 extension 165 region and I just want to point out the growth that we've seen since 2012 and this is in metric tons so 1000000 I think it's 1000000 metric tons we're getting close to the 1000000000 pound mark is a global industry. North America is growing South America is growing and then the Asia you can see Asia Pacific region is also growing in their production so just to give you an idea. South America is counter season to us. So when you see fresh livers in the store now they're coming in from Chile Peru and Mexico sometimes Southern California so to give you some perspective an acre of blueberries can produce we expected to breeze produce 20000 pounds the acre Black Berries are only going to produce $10000.00 pounds the acre and raspberries are in the $12000.00 pound to the acre range and strawberries are like $40000.00 but that's a high density high intensive planting situation also in Calif. Runs like 8 I think it's like 18 months before they stop so they don't they're not a seasonal down there they're daylight neutral so they continue producing they rip them out so to get respect I guess Black Berries would be half that but then Black Berries are planted 4 feet apart so a lot farther apart so a cane on a Black Berry really spreads out just to show you that increases some of this is probably you probably may or may not care about this at all. One last Other look at it United States production has gone up by 40. 40000000 metric tons so that's. A big increase. Oregon and Washington now lead the country in production interesting lean of also Oregon is the highest yield per acre anywhere in the world so there's natural habitat in Oregon we have naturally acidic soils in the mid 5 range we have temperate climate in the wintertime we're usually not too cold not to wet. Well over 48 inches of rain. So the east coast used to be the big production. New Jersey and Michigan used to be the big production in the country they aren't they are slowly dying out and attrition is happening there and the West Coast is increasing although we're slowing plantings so in the West Coast and Washington they're mainly grown up north of Seattle on the west side and they're grown in the Tri Cities area Yakima eastern side there they're spreading out a little bit to wall and then there are some in Hermiston and in Oregon it's all it's all pretty much well Hermiston but it's all the way of valley so there's about $12000.00 acres of production in the well I'm a valley maybe 14 process so this is what's being produced fresh frozen in the United States is about half and half chiller you can see is mainly fresh production. That also just they export a lot they have 0 tariffs going into most countries and we have like a we when I 1st opened up South Korea to fresh blueberry imports it was a 45 percent tariff so. It's difficult Mexico's all fresh. One of the things to be aware of is the structure we step $25000.00 acres drivers in Oregon and when fresh strawberries became production in California started ramping up the frozen strawberry market out of Oregon moved as a secondary market for the off more seconds out of the fresh market so watch countries like this if you are planning on investing or building up some frozen production in one of the in say the U.S. It becomes a secondary market out of these other countries who are shipping globally that frozen market so you might have organic fresh coming out of there and then pretty soon a few years later as they build production not all of your production can go fresh We always have like 25 percent of it be sorted out and that will go frozen and then they're starting to sell that in the other countries as frozen products nothing wrong with that just happened so. Matter of like to read 3 years our organ strawberry frozen production industry went from 252-2500 it's never recovered here's where people eat fruit in North America eat blueberries for civically North America Europe and Asia Pacific not really surprising. This is the way people are going a lot of new plantings are there not even in the soil they're in substrate production this is organic liver is out of Mexico you can be organic with substrate production you can be organic from day one because the or soil is what matters on that so you can start out organic pretty much from day one whereas in the soil out in the field we have to go through a 3 year calendar year certification process to reach We're going to certification. During production faster you can also get higher yields per acre faster with this because you can cram Bush's together when you're young and in expand as they grow is that Bush grows you would you could space things out so it's quite interesting it's actually something I would try if you're in a climate that is not a natural climate for blueberries I would really think about this it's not that expensive especially fish that you can put this in greenhouses like this and actually grow them without a greenhouse part of the year you could move it sometimes people are moving these crops in and out of here too and there's now specialized containers for doing this so it's something to think about in the home garden space if you don't have a great soil for blueberry production. Another big key thing is the the harvesting labor is costly to especially here in the U.S. So this is a mechanic mechanized assisted and I'll show you actually machine harvesting later and how I'm thinking about it but this is you basically you stand on this platform and beat the bushes with a little rod and they fall off on the trees that are down here you pull him out put them here in this thing dresser the field so it's assisting smaller growers with. Hand harvesting THIS IS US IN CANADA kind of some strengths and weaknesses you can see genetics volume leader domestic market proximity mechanized. Harvesting and packing our weaknesses are variable in quality so we have weather events that happen on the East Coast or West Coast. There's a gap in if people are looking for opportunities for jobs careers there's a huge gap in agriculture right now of. Skilled. Agriculture professionals that are that have still have a decent lifespan so it's a great opportunity across the board. All plantings a lot of old varieties so you 2 of you mentioned you have 25 year old plants those are older genetics so that's that's what's happening here in the U.S.. Growth is slowing in the U.S. but people are taking out older plantings and reviving them with newer varieties OK So the next election we'll talk about development and how we. Have gone about it again this is a little larger scale. But. We'll put L. the relevant parts this is a development budget for liberties on a per acre basis this is what it costs to plant an acre of liberties. Land preparation we like to prepare the land the year before if I told possible so in the fall we like to do some deep subsoil ing by DB I mean just breaking down through the hard pan to get below that with usually a sub soil or a large one. We like to put the minerals on the year before so that the soils have a time to intake those and adjust. Help that process get started a lot of times you are having to acidify the soil so you'd be using something like a soul for to do that and I'm not making any recommendations today you would need to work with your local extension agent to kind of. Get those details bed forming making a bed we can talk about ways to do that so this is basically the budget what it cost to put in the full acre there are other expenses Bush which we'll get to but it's about $17000.00 so one of the things you've got to realize when you're making a commitment to growing blueberries or most of these berries is that there are long life crops so we've got livers in Northwest that are 75 years old and as always you're Perryman maintaining them they will last pretty much forever Black Berries are more about a 15 year lifespan and raspberries are more in the neighborhood of a 5 to 7 year lifespan and strawberries are about 3 years the painting on how you manage those I've taken into 4 years but production were significantly drops off so. OK this is what the. Yields and revenue look like and the cost of goods for harvesting and then the operational costs look like so. We don't harvest until you're 3 and so you can see the olds on the top here climbing up and I'm sorry I don't have a poet isn't a pointer here but. He does increase it takes about. Your 1st field comes in year 3. We get steady state production or we kind of level out here in year 9 and this is an actual budget of a farm project I'm working on right now so we're actually going to be developing for my current client about 100 acres next this fall so this is a budget for a farm that we're working on purchasing right now. About 85 percent of your various will actually make grade so we drop down to what's actually packed and sold here and in these are frozen. Commercial prices at the scale we're at we start these conventional. And then we transition right here in in the 3rd year so the 2nd year we start transition to organic we don't start them organic from the very beginning you can and I've done it but it's a much slower start the big differences the. Air could much arise is what blubber is required it it surrounds the root and fees nutrients and water into the point you go test your farm before planting blueberries you won't have any you go testify after plenty of blueberries you'll have some and in several years later you have more in the early the early growth period of just planting the blueberry it's really hard for that plant to take up organic fertiliser it takes quite a bit of time for granted fertiliser to work through the soil biological systems and then become available to the blueberry plants so we start them conventional with conventional fertilizer that being said we. We use a lot of like human acid and stuff and organic stuff with. Conventional fertilizer but we just get a much better start so the difference is we can actually hit this 1st harvest sometimes we're getting 8000 pounds the acre by starting that way if we do it organically some of those were only 3000 pounds so the big key is looking at return on investment which most of you probably don't care about so if you're starting from scratch we'll get into the from the home garden We'll talk about how to do that as well and then just. Pay attention to what you're spending every year just operate those deliveries you're planting something that has to it's a high and put high output if you're not putting into it a lot you're not going to get anything out of this blueberries are really there's a real correlation between how much you take care of them. How much they produce you can't really get you can't get commercial organ it wants you're buying a conventional plant anyway you're also wanting to buy virus free and we'll get into that in a minute in a little bit but it's really important not to go by your neighbors cutting or. Blackberries or different blackberries naturally to Pruett That's a great way to get new starts from Blackberries although they're not virus free blueberries don't recover from a lot of early mistakes. There's a field we've got a farm and there's a 2025 acre field on this farm that's a over crop in year 2 or year 3 year to injury the over crop and it has never gone above 10000 pounds the acre. So there's the bottom line so if you go through the development you go through the foreign cost you look you can look at this you're going to be negative cash flow all the way to your 6 so you're 6 when you start to make some money on this and then you haven't repaid back your investment without this isn't without like the cost of money or anything like that so you haven't repaid your investment until 11. A 100 acres does have an income a net income per year of $815000.00 roughly So if you were to go do that now the one thing this hasn't factored into it is the equipment there's about another half $1000000.00 worth of equipment that's needed to run this 100 acre farm so so we start looking at a farm that budget you just saw is actually for this farm it's for this 100 acres right here this farm is an organ So 1st we try to get the farm boundaries look at maps there's a really great website it's called per acre value by granular and you can look at the soil types on there so here's a Soil Map for the same farm I don't know soils all over the country so you would really have to take this kind of figure out what the soils are like in your area at a high level you're looking for Sandy or light loamy soil so now we do have some soils in the hills here in the foothills that are red clay soil and they're weird there are very few places that I seen this happen but they will drain they'll rain hard and the next day they're dry enough to go out and do work on them so it's a kind of a weird situation there really well drained their clay but not in the kind of clay that we all think about we do have white this white clay soil called Dayton here in Oregon as well and it's that's like concrete so this terrible so here warning lights in the loamy soil you can only amend it so far if you don't have that kind of soil and you're on a small scale bring it in and you know like make a grow better do something don't beat your head against a brick wall trying to grow in really bad soil it just blueberries die I mean they just blueberries are kind of like sheep. The sheep or born looking for a place to die was what a life the guy told me when we had some will sheep a few years ago you know years ago but. So. That's a serious liver is you know can be produced but it's a little harder so this soil this would burn so it won't so as W.B. right here. This soil and if you went out and looked at this farm that's a parfait you'll see this little undulation in the in the soil out there so it'll be just a lower spot this am of the soil is heavier they still produce as well and then the other thing you can tell by a Soil Map is that these maps can be off by 50 feet or more so if you only have 2 acres the entire soil profile that it says it should be might not even be on the 2 acres that you're so cool look to get up see what's there but from this map and from my experience of growing blueberries here we can tell that these are pretty good soils. We would probably be looking at doing something called tiling which we'll get to in a minute Thank you this is the form that we design I designed back in 2009 we purchased this farm and. It only had this field here here and this field and this 160 acres of livers It's now 300 acres of livers these are all blueberries. And I just want to take a minute and look at the vine here because it's some of the really new to think about so things I think about when you designing a new farm is. Actually. Here's the shop pretty centrally located Here's the office. Water came from Wells So this is a well thought here a well site here and another Let's see that's a power pole there. There's Wells There's a well here well here and there was another well on this personal So how do we connect things how do things going to connect how is the flow going to come through our farm if it's a small garden. Since relocating it toward to your house I mean how far these are things we think about when we're developing something so how far are my utilities or how far are the tools away or access to Pete pickers one of the big things is how do you pick this well it takes 120 people to pick 30000 pounds which is a semi load of blueberries in a day. Under good picking So how do we get and nobody seems to carpool that much so how do we hit 80 cars out here to get 160 people into the field to pick and and one of the fascinating things was on this or internet reform there's 15 percent in roads and headlands So it's nonproductive space it's not making any return on it that's just roads but we have to have it so there's a there's a spot right here that we bring in sawdust to really put we put sawdust on these fields every 3 years we open up the fabric will show will show you that later but all of these things have to go into thinking around how you develop something even probably as a matter if you have 5 pushes in your yard approach as a matter how far you have to walk to and how far you have to carry the sawdust and how far the water is but those are all things that we think about when we develop large scale farms so. Farms of this scale we actually have a falconer that we pay $65000.00 for the summer 10 week contract he comes in and flies. His Falcons he lives in a R.V. trailer with one of these A.T.V. trailers in the back is actually set up with bird cages in a freezer and he feeds them. There. Organic pheasant is what he feeds the birds Yes So they're really well fed I mean. And they fly and chase starlings is the big problem on a small scale netting is the best way to go just you just have to get good at netting them and keeping them out probably yeah probably going to encourage netting would be your best option 10 acres Yeah so they have things things called a birch creatures and they emit really horrible noises that sounds like the bird is slowly being pulled apart and dying yeah and so that you know scares the birds. I don't like it it just drives me nuts so. Yeah. But the Falcon I mean you really have to have like. $300.00 acres to pay for the cost of the Falcon so the small scale netting $2.00 acres is probably still netting would be a good idea he rings for he flies one of the time and each has its own specialty so early in the morning he flies one that and they are hybrid crosses one of them. Its favorite thing to do is go down through the bushes and kind of do this so he flies out the morning to get things out of the field that have been there and then during the middle of the day they have one that just kind of flies of about 2000 feet they call the cone of death it just scares everything that's down underneath it and it's funny the neighbor a mile away comes and yells at me because all the birds go to his place and all his various I'm like well you should sign up to now he's like oh I'm not going to pay that kind of money and all this kind of stuff he's is carrying on about it and yeah well every year he loses 15 percent of his berries the birds so whatever the Falcon actually aggressively chases the starlings and starlings are programmable. So you can teach a starling to stay out of your field by chasing it and creating a negative environment for it it's one of the few birds that that happens Robins don't care robins or go up there call the berries often and go on the ground and eat them and you can't shoot Robins because there are Songbird So you have to he will have tried others they've tried dogs to chase Robins out of a field and it's not work and you food safety either you can't really shouldn't have animals in the field so OK we digressed OK this is tile so you can plant on. But let me let me go to the next one OK we'll go back but this is tile we're putting in a 4 inch perforated dream pipe every 20 to 30 feet here on this farm in fact you see in this draw it's hard to see but I think you can tell there's a there's a draw there K. that draws a little heavier soil and does a summer there was water 4 feet down in there because there's a river that goes around this farm like this in a big horseshoe shape in the Tyler guy what he found was he couldn't go too deep because that river was flowing underneath that farm and back around it's just really funny but so we had to go up this is all done with the G.P.S. and it's all done on elevation so it's a huge grid if you're growing 2 acres you still want to make sure you will bring soils you can do this with a trencher you stuff to think about it and you know get all your laser your lines or whatever figure out how to make sure there's a fall in that and you have a place that an outlet for it too but he way will will tile to create even better drainage in the soil that might be a little bit heavier. Sometimes it takes pretty big equipment we'll see some more of this later this is actually a has hazelnut farm on the left side that's irrigation going in but it's going to show a new different. Ways we're we're doing this that trench or is a tiling trench or and the main line was happen to be the right size and so to save money instead of digging us with an escalator we brought in this guy with a train journey which is if a long and trench ahead of us and we would come in and I think I have a picture later on that shows us putting the irrigation system in this was a like a 15 inch irrigation system that came about a mile and a half to the river down there. So I'm plantings this is my basic recommendations that we've that we've kind of come to over what is it been 15 years of developing blueberries at scale so we really want to get the Ph In the 52 to 56 range when I make sure the fields well drained are tiled. Irrigation the best we have come up with for an irrigation system is drip you can use a soaker hose if you're on a small scale at home we'll talk about irrigation requirements later in the day so this is again still on like developing something. We use a double double entendre drip with 18 and she measures that are point 42 gallons a minute and they're made by another thing we've had the best results by the ones made by that company. We talked a little bit about logistics thinking about your headlands offload sites how are you going to get fruit in and out of that farm so that farm that we showed you a picture of produces 5000000 pounds of livers a year. So you have to think about these things that's a huge I used to know this number but. Used to have these statistics because they're kind of stuck. There are staggering. And you really have to think about this before 5000000 pounds at 30000 pounds in a truck is 166 loads of blueberries in and out of the farm and that creates coming in and then blueberries leaving the farm so you've got to think about that. We had a 1200 acre development that was going to produce 30000000 pounds of blueberries a year and you'll see pictures of that later so these are all things you have to really think about I guess not so much of it's a home skill but. And people get really caught up in trying to like put the plant between the drippers and where should they go don't worry about it is their own if you have 18 if you matters you're going to get water penetration in the roof of the livery plant we'll go and find those water spots one of the things about the river gauge and though is that it when it's driven in the soil it creates this tear shaped profile in the soil so to get around that what we do is pull Syria gate so that we keep we put down 10 minutes 10 minutes and it broadens that wedding pattern of the drip irrigation so to back to planting compost we be really careful with compost. Although tell you the best the best is pine pine but pine not bark but bark needles bark and the tree but pine not in the 2nd is dug for so we actually had like a 20 percent increase in year olds using pine bark it's not common in the west side of Oregon and it's much more expensive to get it here but if it depends on your scale if you're a small scale by pine sawdust probably I think you can get a lot of feed stores. Poirot Doesn't make sure none of us been ever treated with anything that's really toxic But anyway so we use pine sawdust and dug for or true for sawdust. I have not used I think you could use maple but things like OK and ash and some of these and cedar especially they all have a. Lily OPACIC effect the kill things around them. So well not to be careful with that I wouldn't recommend any of those types of sawdust back to compost. A lot of animal compost has high salts so blueberries don't like sell they're really sensitive to it so be really careful with that like some of the best homemade compost would be. Shredded stuff from your garden. Clover one of the best mulch is Ives I like is clover and alfalfa shredded compost is in applied that's really great and is all a fair amount and there are some nitrogen in alfalfa in fact there's a researcher at O.S.U. as a side note here on Black Berries that Fed is entire black berry crop on he bought. Alfalfa hay good quality from horse from a provider that was run into horse a so high quality. And he used like 3 in 4 inch flakes lated next to his blockers and go to Mosul same production as he would with like pellet of chicken manure and things like that so just some of the side but so we created a special blend of compost we had a we were buying $800.00 loads a year in these development farms so this guy was willing to you know batch up and do something we wanted we found that. We like the microbiology the bio activity from cow manure because of their extra stomachs and how that comes out so Kellner was I think 40 percent base then your debris waste which is grass and tree prunings and then we added. We added a rod of fur bark from old mill sites and then we had I think we put in about it works out to about 300000 acre of they call it Cross Station shell it's from Shell and crab shell and there's a huge bio active lift from using the shrimp and crab shell and something about livers really really like it. I was doing research on diseases and found out here in the coastal regions where the old native tribes had their oyster shucking areas in the woods the trees in those areas have no room really great well growing trees so something about this crab shrimp there's also some some nitrogen in those as well so the compost was that mix if you don't have all those ingredients. Peat moss works OK it's low ph one things we found with this compost it was high PH So we actually mixed it with dusting sulphur as just before it came to the farm so we used. Organically approved dusting So for that was mixed into that compost as it was loaded on the trucks that lowered the PH by 2 points we were getting that down to 6.2 that the natural ph that compost was like 8 so just be aware that it's high and it can have salt content too so. You'll see it later but we use for weed control one of the biggest changes in organic management was the fabric we use a 3.2 ounce polyethylene woven fabric it's grown landscape cloth or ground cloth they also use it under roadways so it's a Geo Tech fabric that people call to build roadways and you can get that we would buy in. Were brought to directly from China through the manufacturer but it would be it came in a $36.00 inch to $39.00 inch rolls and we put 2 pieces because we when we started doing this we only have single hand we put that on and there's no way to open it up and add more compost minerals or sawdust Syria or then. Restricted to liquid fertiliser feeding which is really expensive but it's also not as effective long term so we went to this we designed and built this thing out of a. I don't have a picture of a pier but it's a. It lays fabric along when they do road construction sites you'll see it with the stakes and it was the same machine we just put on 2 sides relayed down the side of the mountain you'll see it in a minute. And then we folded it together 1st with. Metal spikes and we got them to actually manufacture is a plastic spike so it's reusable the metal spike rusted into yours so when you go to open it and put more minerals on and sawdust and compost it was rusted you had to get a new one it would tear holes in the fabric so we now had to have a plastic spike but. We plant 11 foot row space scene and 3 foot down the road which is $1320.00 points for acre and then the cover crop in the row we grow a grass cover crop you'll see in a minute and we also this is a picture we create habitat so we brought back hedge rows to our farms because bumble bees are the best pollinator for blueberries they're better than honeybees you still need to have honeybees. But so we're trying to create a year around food source for the Moby's and we actually took out that $1200.00 acre farm field we did we have I think there was close to well there's 7 miles I think it's close to 7 miles of this headroom running down through the middle of the farm so on the river bridge we had habitat bees go in there move through the field move the center of the field be able to feed move to the other side of the field it was a mile across so we had this half mile we work with with circusy society to kind of design this and if you haven't been to their website they have a really they have a ton of great information they work with the networks all over the US You know what I did so my home place I have 10 acres I have a half acre garden festival garden I give away produce but. I haven't figured out how to sell it but on a small scale anyway the hedge rows so I have 10100 foot rows and the hetero's in night in my garden space between the next 10 vegetable beds are fruit so blueberries so I've got so that's small scale that means I'm. I'm farming I'm efficient at my 100 foot row of blueberries and then I have my vegetable rows in between so I have 10 of those beds those are 4 feet a piece of like 40 feet and then another for oh that's a I've done it on a small scale that 11 foot. So you have to think about your equipment can your of Quitman fit between that can you still manage the blueberries and how are you going to do weed control if it's 3 rows you could weed whack the edges when you could literally do like weed wacking they now have that really nice hedge trimmer head for weed whackers if you get those combination heads and it angles like this so you can you can just. Yeah you can just spend right through it so it's possible you. Guys actually inhalants planting corn field corn and grass seed Hazel is because havens are planted 20 feet apart. So that's a bed that's this bottom of this bed to the bottom of the other side is about 3 feet wide that's where they're growing for us. In this non fabric system which I wouldn't recommend because you just huge weed pressure then and goobers do not compete with weeds very well Black Berries will bumpers you can grow once or established with grasses and things and I would plant broadly some there to try to so you don't have much grass grass tends to choke out stuff but in Goober's they don't compete and so we have seen conventional fields where the roots are out here. But this hasn't seemed to limit our production at all so O.S.U. by the way O.S.U. organ State University is the premier worldwide Berry Research place burning strick isn't charge of that and there's countless articles in fact I coauthored an economic study of organic blue reproduction with her and the economic advisor Professor at O.S.U. so O.S.U. is a huge resource for Berry production. Like you know handles so a lot of the stuff you can find in places like that too these are varieties we use in the Northwest Draper blue ribbon legacy. This goes from early to mid to late season harvest early season for us would be this 3rd week of June and lease season for us is like the 1st of October so that's a kind of our northwest season Yeah great question so what I should say is liver is have I think it's 4 categories there's no other high bush which require high chill our soul requires cold for them to initiate fruit but set there's a mid chill or low chill which would be really cool southern high bush. Low Bush which would be wild blueberry production that's. East Coast as a lot of Canada there on the ground and wild is a misnomer because they're actually farmed on the ground so that's why we call them low bush blueberries and then there's rabbit which is a type of blueberry and that's this Titan and and. Over time are from the rabbit I category and they will actually handle cold weather or hot weather so legacy is a cross between low chill and high chill so the funny thing about legacy in this is actually a legacy field here. It's been harvested is that it won't drop its leaves when it gets really cold so in areas where you get a lot of snow that can be a problem because that snow going on there and break branches off. And it can and it's I saw the 1st flower last week and we're still it's way too cold to be flowering right now so it can get bit early in the season if it starts to come out and and have flowers blueberry flowers can handle it's like when the fur when the buds starts to open I think it's like 20 degrees 22 degrees something like that and then at 550 percent Bloom it's like 25 degrees and in full bloom it's down to about 28 degrees and then when you have that really the little blueberries on there just that really small little blueberry you really need keep them above freezing so on that farm on this far you see these wind machines here so this particular farm was in a low spot which made the soil really great had 8 feet of sandy loam the soil but it also was a cold spot were didn't have air drainage below it so air colder settled in here and was literally 10 degrees colder here than it was a half mile up the road where you got up on the bench so we we had these Frost fans in here and it did really well. With the OK a great place that provides commercial plants is full Creek farm a nursery it's located here and organise the worldwide premier blueberry breeder and producer of plants and they have a really great website I don't think you can buy directly from them but you can at least look up the varieties and then try to see if your garden center or somebody locally could get it now they would sell on to it or in 5 acre they'll sell that's from. That's more commercial production so. So in these profiles so blue croc crop is on the Tartar side but all of these blueberries. Well OK Eliot is a variety that's late and tart and nasty and then Aurora is supposed to be an improvement on it and isn't much better. Draper is rock hard you know bounce off a wall and then still be good in the fridge for 3 weeks it doesn't taste bad it has a good crunch but it's kind of this like nothing's there he's like you know you bit into something that's not there. Duke is one of the early most flavorful ones and my favorite right is legacy. Just the you freeze that in the winter time you open that up into in taste that in the wintertime fresh or frozen it's got a really incredible flavor that's one of my favorite writers it's also happens to be one that's really robust organically and it's kind of hard to kill it's one of the better easier ones to grow is legacy. This is a newly planted field. You can see the layout here one of the things that we were constricted by is the length of drip tube that you can run you can run about 500 feet before you lose too much pressure and then you can't flush it out really well so see this right in here this is actually another sub main that comes in we didn't want to chop these rows off base where this field was but there's another submarine that comes in and picks up the end of this field here so those things that we that we were thinking about when we were developing these farms so they're all set out rolling this is a $300.00 acre farm this farm produce 2800000 pounds last year and will produce about 5000000 pounds in full production we do E.S.L. English as a 2nd Language process here on work time free to the to the staff on this farm we pay full medical benefits we have free housing on the farm and we provide. 3 weeks paid vacation and we provide a it's all living wage so I don't think anybody below $15.00 an hour on the farm and most people are making $40.00 to $50000.00 a year some higher than that as wages just as a background on. Staffing this was something we designed Here's a picture of what it looks like nobody had designed equipment to really do this at the scale that we were doing so we had to come up with this ourselves this is from the Midwest and have so hilarious calling these people actually this I think this company am co is like from Arkansas or George or something like that and I couldn't understand it on the phone and I'm like things like tax when you talk about tax we don't tax here I mean was this this hilarious exchange trying to get these guys to build this thing so they built this for digging ditches these disks were turned the other way and they call it something. That contour farming back there was something to do with that anyway so we were thinking outside the box trying to figure out how do we go faster how do we make these beds on a 1000 acres without you know without. Officially And quickly so we came up with this we saw something like this down in California where they were mounting up all means we put it together and it's run by a 80 horse tractor 90 horse tractor on a. G.P.S. so that every center of those beds is accurate within one inch. And that's how you get. These beds. Looking like that so this row angle is the same here well I think this is the same as this one but we had a 3000 acre development you'll see later on we. Lined up from the beginning all the way across and it's 6 and a half it's 5 miles one farm was 5 miles long the other farm is a mile long and a mile this way I think it is and those rows lined up all the way through so when you're sprain organic farming we still spray quite a bit when your spring you just start it's just keep coping same with Mo ing so you can efficiency is one of the big keys here. That 100 acre farm when we looked at the on a budget to develop It was $17000.00 we did this $1200.00 acres 414300 so you can see the cost savings when you go to when you have scale and that's you know from a half acre to 2 acres to 20 acres there's a scale of efficiency that happens. That's just the way it is. This is a press fan they were using So once we formed it up you can see this bed's nice and form has weights on it will go through we have teeth in here and we'll put down our sawdust and compost and will incorporate it into the soil before we go to then drip to and then fabric and we burn a hole and we dig a hole in the fabric so this is the sawdust for putting down sawdust throughout the field that's a 3 year old planting that he's putting more sawdust on this is a new planting so we're putting down composting see the dark here and we put sawdust on top and we run that thrust press pan with incorporate are in it yes pine is the best if you can get it in your area and Doug fir is the 2nd best don't use walnuts or cedar or hardwoods because they they can they aren't so good and we've used white for Graham for and it cakes it's really strange and. 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