Summer

PYO – 2017 opening February
Last year we enjoyed some excellent weather and great pyo conditions. Many visitors including Polish and Japanese visitors are having a lovely social time with family and friends while picking blueberries. We open for 2017 in February.

Ladies picking berries on a very hot day. Hats definitely help!

Hay making

We recently made hay, which is great as this paddock doubles as our customer car park.

Hay making (in car park)
Hay making (in car park)

 

Decembers New Season Cultivar – Prepicked berries make a splash

In December and early January our new cultivar comes ripe and we frantically pick these to sell directly to our customers and through Moore Wilsons Fresh Wellington branch. We use a larger than normal 500g container. Sales via Moore Wilsons will continue again this year as this was a great success.

In order to preserve the early fruit from the greedy eyes of hungry birds we invested in cloche covers. The advantages are that we get to retain all fruit. The disadvantage is the area contained by the cloche is small and picking is challenging. For this reason Shelley and her family do all the picking.

Shelley inside Cloche picking
Shelley inside Cloche picking

 

Berries ripening
Berries ripening

 

Shelley closes Cloche so birds cannot access berries
Shelley closes Cloche so birds cannot access berries

 


 

Spring

Honey Bee Pollinates Blueberry Bushes
Honey Bee Pollinates Blueberry Bushes

Pollination

Bumble bees cruise their way up and down the rows of flowers that dangle waiting for them. Bumbles are joined by their less resilient mates the honey bee. We now have a bee hive to improve pollination rates. Honey from this hive is sold in our shop, and is very popular.

Sustainability and Mulching
We mulch all plants at this time of the year. This has two benefits, one water retention in summer, reducing the amount of water we need to use, and two, it improves the organic content of the soil. Mulching is an essential component to healthy soils and healthy plants.

 


 

Winter

Winter is a time for us to spray, prune, replace unhealthy plants and propagate new ones for the future on the berry farm.

Prune Blueberries
In winter we prune all our blueberry bushes – this is done by hand. Our plants are relatively free of damaged and diseased branches. They can now put their energy into growing new leaf and fruit buds as spring approaches.

As bumble bees continue to pollinate blueberries in a broad range of temperatures they are a valuable asset.
As bumble bees continue to pollinate blueberries in a broad range of temperatures they are a valuable asset.

Copper Sulphate Spray
All plants received a copper sulphate spray in early winter prior to pruning (this helps to reduce fungal spores wintering over in the plant understory or on the berry bushes themselves) and reduces the incidence of rust which saps the leafs energy.

Fertilize
We will wait (fingers crossed) until threat of frost is over and add some of our special organic fertilizer.

Update the Website and Planning
Shelley gets busy updating the website and plans for the new season. Who knows – one day our shop may also be a studio b and b with spectacular view of blueberry rows.

Hay Sales
In mid winter sales of hay cut the previous summer become popular at the farm. We have some regular customers who are delighted to find a hay source so close to Wellington. As some extremely cold weather was also experienced this winter, feeding out was very necessary.