Away from the farm for a short break and I found a form of farm work to keep busy with. Blueberry picking is as much fun as work. My wife and I picked nearly 10 lbs. in just a half hour. The berries are the nicest in several years, large, great flavor and sweet. We ate through 5 lbs. the first day. The kids kept returning for more and everyone was snacking on them. I thought about what made this drought year berries so good. The bushes had been loaded and weighed down with a heavy crop that was easy to pick. Why ....?
Of course it is a combination of factors. Last year saw a late summer with mild temperatures and above average rainfall. The winter was mild with an early end and a spring that was sunny and pleasant. The blueberries had everything needed to prepare for a big crop. This spring the conditions remained favorable. The great berries were a long time in developing. Our current drought had minimal impact.
Our annual crops benefited from the conditions of last season and winter. All of our spring and early summer root crops have been outstanding. With good soil moisture to start with, the potatoes, beets, radishes, salad turnips and early carrots have been exceptional. Big yields and fabulous flavor. Leafy crops have been impacted by the erratic temperature swings. Fruiting crops have just started to be harvested and look promising. Looking forward to what will develop for the coming fall, winter and spring is where concern lies. Work now is focusing on maintaining fertility and preparing for the potential for continued dry conditions. Next seasons bounty is dependent on a lot of factors and can be along time in developing. I'll do what I can to have positive impacts on the coming seasons.