Our harvest season is finally approaching its end. Coming out of winter last spring we had reason to hope for the "good harvest" we needed to recover from the short yields of the prior year. With rededicated effort; dead, damaged, and excessive cane was pruned to balance the bushes. Careful attention was given to nutrition, damaging pests, and weed control. Copious fruit buds had survived a relatively gentle winter and the bloom had been abundant. An unsettled early summer threatened hail and wind, however as roads were washed away and crops ruined in southern portions of the county, Bayfield fruit farmers were blessed mostly with welcome rains. Eagles were frequently seen wheeling high in the sky above the farm.
The 2016 blueberry crop has turned out to be one of the most bountiful ever. Picking began early allowing two extra weeks of "high season" summer visitation at the farm resulting in a record number of "pick-your-own" customers. An excellent summer crew picked and packed a steady inventory of berries for our fresh and process seasonal wholesale markets. As summer ends and harvest resources thin--berries, seasonal customers, and employees--our freezers will be full to support "bonus" out-of-season sales.
Farmers are known to be optimists despite the fact that their risks are high, the work is long and hard, and often rewards can be disappointing for reasons beyond human control. Perhaps it is because we live by the seasons--close to the cycles and creative powers of nature--always with an eye on the sky for the signs of hope and renewal.