Whitehorse Meadows Farm | Certified Organic Blueberries
Certified Organic Blueberries
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Certified Organic Producer # 1506
Spring is here and summer is on the way - hooray. We have had a busy winter, putting in new wood storage, upgrading the packing area and preparing for our USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit. We are very hopeful of completing this inspection just as the fruit season begins. It brings an extra layer of protection for you – our customers. This certification verifies our good health and hygiene practices with workers year round, when cleaning and caring for our fields, and when harvesting and bringing our fresh fruit to you. GAP dovetails nicely into our organic practices and food safety certification for frozen fruit. We are pleased and excited to be bringing our high quality fresh, local organic fruit to you with yet another means of assuring that our practices protect our fields, customers and workers. The packing equipment installed last year and enhanced this winter has shown us that fruit can be treated carefully and efficiently with less bruising than might occur in our previous "all hand packed" method. Somehow the conveyor belts move fruit so smoothly that it barely seems to notice! So we pack cleaner, gentler, and more efficiently bringing more beautiful fresh blueberries to market.
We are excited about our online products. You will find all 4 yummy all-natural products, Blueberry Mango Chutney, Blueberry Mango Salsa, Blueberry Apple Compote and Blueberry Lemon Preserve described and pictured on the Products page and in our online Store. They are available for purchase within the continental United States and come in several mix and match options and box sizes. 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. These products allow us to serve you on a year round basis. Each of these products contains our organic fruit and is preservative free. They are also shelf stable, which means that they ship and 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 and Winter in the Ballard Farmers Market and at the farm year round if available. We look forward to seeing you in our farmers markets and at the farm this summer when harvest begins in mid-July or hearing from you at our online store.
Did you know
The blueberry is a relatively new fruit to farming but the wild huckleberry from which blueberries are derived has been around for thousands of years. Native Americans harvested and used wild huckleberries 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 huckleberry 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 huckleberry cultivar, Rubel.