HARRIS ROAD FARM - ORGANIC BLUEBERIES
When Russ retired from teaching in 2006, he had the soil of our acreage tested. The response was that our ground was suitable for blueberries or commercial blackberries. We decided on organic blueberries. Russ then prepared our field for blueberries.
Our neigbours at Smit Nursery, brothers Gerard and Pete Smit, suggested planting winter rye and then in spring churning the rye into the soil to break it up and make it richer. In 2007, we planted our field with 50 rows of 4 varieties of blueberries. The plants were in small 1/2 gallon pots. We had Teen Challenge students from Yarrow help with the planting.
In 2008 we planted Kiwifruit vines on trellis' - they are available for purchase after harvest in late November each year.
In 2009, we opened the first u-pick to help us harvest the berries. Mainly friends, neighbors and relatives came to help us. Russ used excess berries to make blueberry wine.
In 2010, we started taking email addresses to stay in contact with our customers for the next harvest. We had professional U-Pick signs made and placed them at Bradner and Beatty Roads. This brought a lot more customers. We also asked our customers to send our
Harris Road Farm Newsletters to their contacts which they gladly did. We had business cards made to spread the word. In 2013, we had the most blueberries and the most customers!
In 2017, we replaced the low bush Chippewa variety with a high bush variety. Chippewas produce small light blue berries and are amazingly flavorful and sweet. We dug them up with a mini excavator to be replanted.
We also have a leased Blackcurrant field, all the plants are cultivated using organic principles - although we are not certified organic, we use natural techniques to grow berries and fruit.