There is Increasing Interest in Local, Sustainable Food Production and Small Scale Farming
With an eye to the future and a desire to develop a detailed, comprehensive understanding of the requirements underlying the complete system of successful and sustainable small to medium scale food production and marketing on a local and regional level, what began as a hobby is now a regionally known farm utilizing innovative technology and web services to better serve our nearly 1000 customers each season. Known for its signature “Nickel Size Blueberries”, Chautauqua Hills Farm was featured as the “Quality Foods Farm Brand” in Kansas in 2013 by the Kansas Rural Center.
In response to the volume of questions received over the years, the founder put together a 30 page e-book “Successful Blueberry Growing – Critical Factors & Considerations” which is available for free via download further below. While this e-book is specific to Blueberries, it’s certainly useful as a reference tool by offering relevant questions and critical considerations when creating or refining a plan for growing virtually any food or produce on a small to medium size scale.
What we eat really does affect our health. There are many methods for growing and producing food. We believe consumers in growing numbers will continue seeking healthier food grown in a sustainable manner.
At Chautauqua Hills Farm we’ve chosen to grow the food we produce using sustainable and organic products and methods. We believe this offers us the widest assortment of choices toward the goal of producing the very best food we possibly can. We’ve also made the commitment to leave the biodiversity intact at our farm as much as possible as we work to enhance our growing areas.
Our approach does not involve the use of conventional pesticides and focuses on constantly improving the soil biology, microbial activity, plant vigor and health. We believe the combination of healthy, alive soil and vigorous plants yields the best results.
In the beginning years, a great deal of resources was committed toward establishing our specialty crop growing operation and spent hundreds of hours researching, learning and visiting with various companies regarding their products and growing methods. Of course, every year is different and this requires us to maintain our commitment to learning what works best under certain conditions and keep abreast of the latest inputs, products and technological innovations to maintain our produce quality.
At Chautauqua Hills Farm we eat what we grow and we continually strive to produce the very best for our customers!
There is an increasing interest in growing blueberries, as well as many other locally grown food. We’re approached frequently about how we grow, our methods, practices and the products we use at the farm. Blueberries are truly a unique, challenging, yet rewarding fruit to grow when everything comes together just right. But getting everything to come together “just right” can be extremely difficult, regardless of the crop.
Growing Food on Any Size or Scale Requires A Plan
Just as in business, it’s very important not to underestimate the difficulty or diminish the importance of every detail when developing a plan. Growing almost anything successfully on any sustainable or commercial scale requires a detailed plan, comprehensive range of skills, effort (hard work and sweat), the right nutrient, pest & disease management products and support team, resources, equipment, time – and let’s not forget the money. And all of that is after you have the proper location with the right soil conditions.
Have You Answered These Questions in Your Growing Plan?
- Have you sought experienced and knowledgeable advice from actual growers?
- Are you confident in the advice and guidance you’ve received? Why or why not?
- Do you have questions which you can’t find solutions for?
- Are you confident in where to begin?
- Are you clear on what steps of your plan should occur simultaneously?
- Do you have a clear timeline for your plan?
- Are you sure the critical steps of your plan will come together at the proper times?
- Are you confident in the soil testing, inputs, product sources and recommendations you’re relying on?
- If you’re already growing, are you seeing improvements in yield, quality, nutrient levels, soil life and health and pest and disease resistance? How are you measuring all these?
- Is your production yield and fruit quality really the best possible?
Successful Blueberry Growing
The founder of the farm has written this e-book to help you think through the critical factors that relate to growing blueberries successfully, whether you’re considering adding a few bushes to your garden, an established grower of other crops wanting to diversify, or perhaps a current blueberry grower who wants to improve quality, yield rates, or taste.
Even if you’re not planning to grow blueberries specifically, this e-book will be a useful reference and provide relevant questions to consider as you create or refine any growing plan.
This is not a how-to manual; growing blueberries is a process unique to every locale in which it is done. Rather, consider it a thorough field manual of questions to ask yourself and make sure you’ve considered.
Just like any good business has a well-thought-out business plan, you will need to make sure you’ve researched and answered the questions in this e-book, preferably in writing, for your own documentation, reference, and success.
The e-book is available in a printer-friendly version with fewer pictures (white cover) or one suitable for online reading with more pictures (blue cover). Click either image to be taken to the download page. You’ll have the option to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter first or go straight to your e-book. Enjoy!
Texas Plant and Soil Lab (TPSL), established in 1938, is a leading national testing lab for Soil, Plant, Water and Compost analysis. TPSL specializes in soil fertility and plant nutrition. If you don’t know what’s in your soil or water, if you are at a loss to explain poor plant performance, if you have been told your soil, water or plants are beyond help, if you desire better yields and consistent harvest, or if you are unaware of the heavy metals in your soil, water and crops, they can help with all your testing needs. In our experience, not all testing labs are the same!
Texas Plant and Soil Lab
5115 West Monte Cristo Road
Edinburg, Texas 78541-8852
Natural Organic Warehouse Inc.