Organic "Blue Fruits" Production
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Joyce Ford shows off a young aronia plant at Blue Fruit Farm.
Long-time organic vegetable farmers and educators
Jim Riddle and Joyce Ford took on a new venture four years ago: growing perennial,
high-value fruits—blueberry, elderberry, black currant, blue plum,
Jim and Joyce are knowledgeable organic producers, and are well known for being engaging and informative speakers. They will discuss how they planned and implemented this new multi-acre venture on their farm, including how they're dealing with weeds, pests and diseases when crops can't be rotated or soil tilled. Varietal choices have been important, with every crop providing successes and “learning experiences.” Jim and Joyce also will discuss their long-term marketing plans and future value-added products.
We'll tour their fields and see the solar-powered rainwater collection and irrigation system and how they're keeping birds from eating their valuable berries. At the end of the day, those interested can tour the farm's mature native prairie plantings.