2020 Season is Open!

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We got off to a slow start, but the blueberries are ripe and ready for picking. If you’re scheduled out this weekend, make sure you check our website, or your email before you head out. There is some rain in the forecast for Saturday. Hopefully, it’ll be just enough to wash off the dust, and cool us all down.

Thanks for picking us!!

Registration Opening in 2 Weeks!

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There are two ways to purchase blueberries from our farm. U-pick OR place an online order and we’ll make the berries available at a location near you. Our reservation system will be open this year beginning May 11th. Picking will be during June-July, and rarely, but sometimes stretches into August. 

Pick Your Own: During this time of stay-at-home orders and expected continued social distancing after restrictions are lessened or lifted, it might be a great time for you and your family to come out and experience picking berries for yourself.

The scenic ride, wildlife, hummingbirds, clean-cut fields, wildflowers, exercise and the fresh air all just add to the enjoyment of picking your own produce. It’s also an opportunity for you to meet the people raising the food and learn about the organic, natural processes we use to ensure your food is safe and free from all chemical pesticides and herbicides.

If you do choose to pick your own berries (which also saves you a little money over ordering online), as many of you know, we’ve always maintained a reservation system for people to come pick, primarily so that we know there are enough ripe berries available on any given day, and also to ensure our fields are not overcrowded, which can ruin everyone’s experience. It appears our reservation system will be even more helpful this season, as just one more extra measure to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

One change we have planned is that we will of course closely monitor the number of customers at any given time to ensure social distancing practices can be maintained. Our fields and rows of berries are large enough to provide safe separation.

Order & Pick Up: The other option to purchase blueberries is to place an order online. Instructions for order placement are here. Orders placed online can be picked up at the farm, where if you choose, you can pick up your order without ever leaving your vehicle, or at numerous locations located in Sedan, Wichita, Winfield, and Derby.

We’ll have more information posted on farmers’ markets, using the reservation system, the status of the berries and more soon, so stay tuned!

The Blooms and the Bees: Our Friendly Pollinators

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Our farm has been blessed with a large amount of natural pollinators; however, as is for the case for so many other farmers across the country, our bees continue to dwindle. So this year, we invested time into increasing our bumblebee population.
 
Bumblebees, you ask?! WHY? Well, although there are far more honey bees available, bumblebees can pollinate many more flowers. They pollinate more, because with their fast wing speed and big bodies, they vibrate the flowers, causing them to release more pollen (this is called, appropriately, “buzz pollination”), which helps plants produce more fruit.
 
It’s true they may look more menacing, but they’re actually far more docile than most honey bees, and considerably less likely to sting. In fact, male bumblebees don’t even have stingers.
 
The bumblebees have been hard at work, and unlike honeybees, they don’t mind working in the rainy cool days. They’re hilarious to watch fly, they somehow seem to defy everything we know about gravity and aerodynamics and just fly anyway. Apparently bumblebees flap their wings back and forth, instead of up and down, and that’s why this big round, disproportionally-sized bee can fly.
 
If you find one flying around you, just stand still. It’ll fly away as soon as it determines you’re not a flower. Come berry-picking time, the bees will be off pollinating somewhere else. Once all the blossoms are gone, the bees will be too. And then it will be almost time for you to join us at the farm! Bees do an important job, and we’re grateful for their help. 

So. Much. Rain. (But the Berry Bushes are Happy!)

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Last spring was so dry — drought in so many areas — and this year? Rain, rain, rain. We can’t recall three straight days that didn’t include some amount of rain, including one day recently where it came down for somewhere around 12 hours.
 

 

But we do like rain. The early cool and damp spring helped develop an excellent crop of berry buds.
 
Each bush has lots and lots of healthy buds that have opened well as we’ve started to see a few days of sunshine. 
 

Healthy buds mean healthy blossoms, and about 2-3 weeks ago we began to see the first pink pedals of flowers developing as the buds cracked open.
 
Pink pedals quickly develop into little white flowers, and seemingly overnight, the bushes appeared covered with blossoms.
 
In a couple of days we’ll share some about the bees who help pollinate our plants, making sure we get to savor those berries we love so much.
 
 
 
 

Welcome Back to Blueberry Season!

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The 2019 season is just around the corner, or should we say… just around the rain cloud?
 
If you’re here, hopefully you’ve noticed that registration is now open for the 2019 berry-picking season, which runs from early-mid June through July. The first berries are usually ripe within the first week of June. Check out our How to Purchase page to sign up!
 
We’re as excited as you for the season to get open and on its way. Stay tuned in the next few days for a couple of updates from the farm about the blooms and the bees!
 
If you didn’t come out and pick last year, you will notice our reservation system has a little different look to it, and from the feedback we heard last year, it’s now much easier to use than in years past. We hope you’ll agree. More information to come, but the berries do go fast, so make your reservations early so you’ll be sure to get what you want. Berries do freeze well, so keep that in mind also.
 
We’re sad to say that our longtime partner Morning Harvest Farms has decided to turn a new page in their lives, and its owners have entered some strange realm called retirement. We are certainly going to miss them on many fronts but we wish them the best in their new adventures. Beginning this year, blueberries will be available from the following venders and locations:
 
We are also accepting orders now for our Order & Pickup service. Place your orders now, and we’ll notify you in early June when the first berries ripen.
 
If you prefer to Pick Your Own, we’re excited to get to see you again this year, and our days of operation will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday for reservations. The reservation process is to ensure there are enough ripe berries available for you on the day you’re out, and that it’s a fun and pleasant picking experience without too many people on any given day.
 
As always, this is a really busy time of the year for us as we prepare for the season. We appreciate all the calls and comments we’re getting, but if you call or text, and don’t hear back from us right away, please be patient, and know that we’ll respond when we can.
 
We’re looking forward to seeing all our “Berry Good Friends” at the farm again this season.
 
And as always,
Thanks for Picking Us!
 
Your friends at Chautauqua Hills Farm…