Fall is here and I’m obliged (since it continues to pour) to sit still and compose this update. While I did a few rain dances earlier this year – it seems I don’t need to do them anymore. The ground is saturated. Too bad I haven't managed to get the garlic planted before now. Ah well, I am the eternal optimist and have no doubt we will be favored with a sunny dry spell before too much longer.
It was quite a year here, our best yet in terms of the blueberry harvest. This stands to reason, since the plants are one year older and that much bigger. I believe we can expect another 3 or 4 years or so of growth before the blueberries reach their optimal size and yield.
A major contributor to the successful harvest was our awesome picking crew – 10 able and willing folks picked for us and many more U-picked for themselves. Together we picked the field clean over an 8-week period, twice as long as the harvest in 2015. This summer’s cooler wetter weather contributed to a longer harvest period too. Up till this summer, I maintained a ‘we don’t pick in the rain’ policy. But, I had to relent and learn how to manage through many wet mornings. Always something to learn here!
Among the highlights for 2016 for Steve and I was the addition of a yurt to the property. It’s primary function is to provide a permanent shelter for sorting, packing and selling the blueberries during harvest. But, this version of the Market Hut will be used for many other duties going forward. We love it!
market hut version 2 version 1
the new Market Hut
If you have ever heard me talk about the other crops we are growing here at rmf, undoubtedly I mentioned dry beans. Superlative nutrition and flavor wrapped up in a beautiful, easy to store food. This year we participated in a bean seed grow-out, sponsored by The Victoria Public Library and The Life Cycles Project.
Participants from various regions of Vancouver Island volunteered to grow out a small amount of their chosen bean varieties. The ‘Seed Library’ provides access to free seeds and seed saving education, strengthening local food systems and increasing our region’s biodiversity.
We grew two types of kidney beans and the gorgeous tiger-eye for the project.
We're already looking forward to next year. We hope to welcome even more folks to the farm and continue spreading blueberry farm love ever deeper into the community.