Sunday, January 31, 2010

The blueberries are snuggled once again in a blanket of snow. Our snowfall here was somewhat less than some of the Asheville area. We had 8.5 inches of snow covered in 1/2 inch of sleet. Today, Sunday Jan. 31, we are experiencing 39 degrees and the sun is shinning as bright as it can possibly be. I expect a faster melt than the 25 days that the last snow hung on the ground for.
One the closing for the day, the Hop'n Blueberry Farm was again selected for an AgOptions Grant. Was I ever so pleased to read that acceptance email yesterday. Our objectives for this year are going to focus on milkweed production and butterfly farming with a heavy focus on Monarch butterflies.

Stay tuned for more on our latest project as the new month begins!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

First winter thaw on picture to enlarge

We will remember this winter storm for a while, much like remembering the blizzard of '93. The picture above, showing the Craggy and Black Mountain Ranges just above our farm here says it all. There was a lot of snow, and it stuck around for a long time didn't it?

Although my tractor did look like this for a while, it doesn't anymore. We have finally had a temperature above 50 and it was a welcome for sure. Since our 13 inches of snow fell on Dec. 18, 2009, I still have snow on the ground in places around the farm. With an average high of only 36 degrees for 27 days and an average low of 22, the overall daily average was only 29 degrees, hardly enough for a good melt.

The blueberry beds had a nice warm? blanket over them for quite sometime, about 20 days as the temps dropped to the single digits. I was still waiting though, and anxious to get some more mulch on them and I knew a good opportunity was staring me in the face as soon as a big ice storm hit the area around Christmas.

There were a lot of white pine limbs that broke out from that and coupled with the snow storm, I knew there would be a lot of chipping of the tree litter. Luckily, I was able to get some of those chips at Blue Ridge Assembly where I am working part time during the winter. A chipper was on sight and I just parked my truck right in front of the machine.

I loaded up with chips and managed to so far add around 4 inches of pine chips on 20 of 50 new plants that were added last fall. I anticipate to have enough for the coverage of the remaining 30 with no problem.

I believe that with the anticipated 50 degree weather that we are going to have today, that most of this snow will be finally out of here. I don't know about you, but I have been ready for it for a long time already.