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Everything connected to growing blueberries

Archive for July, 2009

Summer forage for bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 31, 2009

Bees seem to like the kind of plant that has many small flowers. Globe thistle is a bee favorite. Mint is a nectar source for many insects.

Globe thistle

Globe thistle

 

Mint

Mint

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Blueberry ripeness – July 21,09

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 22, 2009

The first Bluecrop will be ready for picking in a few days. Bluecrop has been the mainstay of the B.C. blueberry market. Now it shares a place with Duke which is earlier and Elliot which is a later. Bluecrop will ripen over about four pickings spaced about a week apart.

Bluecrop

Bluecrop

We are part way through our second picking of Dukes. Dukes come in two pickings. By the time you get to the second picking you aren’t picking berries you are picking CLUSTERS of berries, The pickers love it!

Dukes

Dukes

Read the rest of this entry »

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Blueberry ripeness – July 17,09

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 17, 2009

The first pick of Patriots is ready for harvest. This berry is known for it’s large size and distinctive flavour.

Patriot blueberry

Patriot blueberry

As we finish the first pick of Dukes at one end of the field we are getting ready for the second pick at the other end. The next couple of weeks is the main harvest time for Dukes.

2nd pick Dukes

2nd pick Dukes

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Blueberry pie

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 15, 2009

Research from the internet reveals two things that could possibly be true about fruit pectin. 1)PROLONGED heating will gradually destroy the pectin. 2)Pectin is related to improved flavour.

To test these ideas Anne cooked some frozen blueberries and added a little corn starch. Overcooking was avoided. The cooked blueberries were allowed to cool for a few minutes and then poured into a precooked pie shell. A layer of frozen Duke blueberries were added followed by another layer of cooked blueberries. Click on pictures to enlarge.

frozen berries added frozen berries added 
more cooked berries more cooked berries 

 The pie was allowed to cool and refrigerated for a couple of hours. The picture below shows how nicely it jelled. The layer of frozen Duke berries added a nice texture to the pie. Taste tests are ongoing but results so far are promising. More tests are needed. This is fun!

blueberry pie blueberry pie 

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Bumblebees and Anise Hyssop

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 13, 2009

The bumblebees have started to show up regularly on the Anise hyssop. This plant will provide foraging opportunities right through to the fall.

Bumblebee on Anisse hyssop

Bumblebee on Anise hyssop

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Bumblebee pets

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 13, 2009

Ollie is a cute and furry puppy. People can’t resist bending down to pet him.

Blueberry yellowing 023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumblebees are cute and furry too. Some people like to pet them.

pet1

 

 

 

 

 

pet2

 

 

 

 

 

pet 3

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Vetch

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 12, 2009

Since vetch is a source of birdseed it’s no surprise that vetch keeps showing up around the farm. It’s a tough plant to eradicate once established. Vetch flowers are a favorite of  bumblebees.

Bumblebee on vetch

Bumblebee on vetch

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Productive and long lasting-fireweed

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 12, 2009

Fireweed has been in blossom for over two weeks now and has some time to go. Here is a description of this exceptional plant from top to bottom:

  1. Buds yet to open
  2. Flowers in bloom
  3. Long slim seed pods
  4. Side shoots that repeat the process ( only on some plants)
Fireweed

Fireweed

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Blackberry blossoms keep blooming

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 11, 2009

Almost a month ago we posted on blackberry blossoms and a month from now it would be no surprise to find more blackberry blossoms. In the picture below you can see well formed fruit, blossoms and blossom buds. Ever popular with bees, there are four bees in the same camera shot.

bees and blackberry blossoms

bees and blackberry blossoms

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Beautyberry

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 11, 2009

Bees can’t resist the abundant pollen on the beautyberry blossoms. (Callicarpa dichotoma)

Beautyberry pollen

Beautyberry pollen

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