Spring/Summer 2017

Certified Organic Blueberries
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Certified Organic Producer # 1506

Summer is already here as I write this and we are all ready for more sunny days. Our fall, winter and spring seasons have seen may changes at the farm: upgraded packing equipment to provide more gentle and yet more efficient treatment for our blueberries, a new garage and refrigeration for our delivery van, and expansion of our freezer storage, along with the accustomed seasonal tasks of weeding, cleaning, pruning, and field and building maintenance. We have also added a new staff member, Antonio, who brings new energy and insights from his previous eight years of farming experience. We continue with our Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices certification along with our Organic certification to insure an extra layer of protection for you – our customers. These certifications verify our good health and hygiene practices with workers year round. GAP/GHP dovetails nicely into our organic practices and food safety certification for frozen fruit. The packing equipment installed in 2012 has served us well but is no longer able to keep up with our thankfully growing fruit yields. So the packing room has been expanded and a new loading, sorting, inspection line will be arriving at the beginning of harvest. The new conveyor belts moves fruit gently and smoothly so we can continue to pack cleanly and gently, and yet more efficiently bringing more beautiful fresh blueberries to market.

We continue to have our all-natural products available. You will find all 5 yummy products, Blueberry Mango Chutney, Blueberry Mango Salsa, Blueberry Apple Compote, Blueberry Vinegar and Blueberry Lemon Preserve described and pictured on the Products page. They are available for purchase at our farm stand and in our farmers markets along with several of the Haggen Stores in Snohomish County. These recipes, made from our blueberries, have been part of our farm from its inception. They have brought smiles to the faces of our friends and relatives for years and we hope that they will do the same for you. Each of these products contains our organic fruit and is preservative free. They are also shelf stable, which means that they keep well for future use. You can also follow the availability of these products and our fresh fruit at farmers markets on our Facebook page. We will post on Facebook when we are in markets and notify you of changes in u-pick status in the fields.

We continue to produce frozen fruit during harvest that is individually flash frozen ensuring that flavor and quality is maintained for at least 1 year in the freezer. We sell this fruit in the Fall in the Edmonds and Lake Forest Park Farmers Markets and at the farm year round. We look forward to seeing you in our farmers markets and at the farm this summer when harvest begins in early-July.

Did you know?

The blueberry is a relatively new fruit to farming but the wild blueberry from which our current varieties are derived has been around for thousands of years. Native Americans harvested and used wild blueberries for fresh consumption, as a dried fruit staple, and for medicinal purposes long before the first European settlers arrived. In the early 1900’s, Elizabeth White, the daughter of a cranberry grower in New Jersey, began working with Frederick Coville, a USDA scientist to develop what we now know as blueberries. With her friends she gathered their favorite wild blueberry plants selected for a variety of attributes including hardiness, flavor, and size. These plants were cultivated on her farm and the process of crossing varieties began. In 1909 the first "blueberry" appeared.

Our farming goal has been to stay as close to the wild natural beginnings of blueberries as possible by selecting heirloom varieties and a wild cultvar that maintain the natural deep blue color, which produces the health benefits of blueberries, brighter and more vibrant flavor, and whose plants favor cold winters in order to allow for full dormancy (restful sleep), which produces sweeter fruit and more robust plants in the spring and summer. Our Spartans, Rubels and Jerseys are true northern, cold country heirloom or wild cutivars, known for producing unusually high quality fruit. Our fruits are delicious served fresh and hold flavor in both cooking and freezing. We sell only #1 grade fruit that is hand picked and culled before packaging. Please see our Products page for more information about each variety including our wild blueberry cultivar, Rubel.

In ending this little note you will notice that it is signed by only one of us. Tom passed away late last fall and we continue to cherish his memory and share in his love of our little blueberry farm in the meadows below Whitehorse Mountain. See you this summer…

Valerie Wall