Dirt

 When I was a child my sisters and I would ride out in the country with my grandmother. We would ride to visit her friends , or ride to a old country church that she wanted to china paint. Living in the rural South there is naturally a lot of farm land around us, and so we would pass by farm after farm as she drove us in her old gray Buick. Farms have smells. You can smell some farms miles away, and you learn to associate the smell that goes with the farm at a young age. Cow farm smells are very distinct from chicken farm smells for example. You also learn the smells of the activity that are happening at the farm. You can tell when a farmer has sprayed their cotton field, or when the soil is freshly tilled. It’s like when you know someone in the neighborhood just mowed the lawn. You smell it before you see it…. you see? I’ve walked you through all that just to say when she drove us we often smelled the smell of freshly tilled dirt, my grandmother would say to us “ Do you smell that? Mmmmmm I just love the smell of freshly tilled dirt?” Taking a deep breath to breathe in the smell I’d nod my head and smile in agreement, but secretly I was thinking …. “have you lost your mind? how can you love that smell?!?! It’s dirt!!!” Well I’ve lost my mind too because I am telling you I love that smell now. It’s a glorious smell.  The smell brings back a lot of wonderful memories of my childhood which I’m blessed to say was such a happy one.
   We are tilling lots of soil at the farm right now because we are planting so many new bushes.  We’re wrapping up Zone 1 which is a 6 acre plot of land. Because the farm is small we just can’t move as quickly on projects like many other farmers do in the area. I drive out to the farm each morning with my farming essentials -work boots, long pants, an old t-shirt, and water. I meet the lady I work with on her golf cart, and we load up the plants we need for the area we will be working on. Once we have the bushes we ride out to the area where we will plant.
Each breath I take I breathe in freshly tilled soil, and it soothes my soul. Genesis 3:19 comes to mind as I ponder over my fondness of the smell of dirt “From dust you are and to dust you will return. “  The dirt is apart of me and molds me into who I am. I learned to work on this dirt with my sisters summer after summer. The dirt nurtures the blueberry bushes and continues to nurture me.

Planting Blueberry Plants

Blueberries are a really laid back plant. Do you love blueberries and want a low maintenance plant in your backyard ? Then blueberry plants are for you. Blueberries love an acidic soil with a pH between and 4.0 to 5.0. If you want to be a little high maintenance, you could always send a soil sample to your county extension service to determine the pH in your back yard. It is a fairly simple process and doesn’t cost much. Otherwise, we suggest picking up a few bags of peat moss to plant your blueberry plants in. Follow a few simple steps to grow some happy blueberry plants!

  1. Purchase your plants from a reputable nursery ( we suggest 2 to 3 year old plants) and a few bags of peat moss or milled pine bark.
  2. Dig a hole 1 ft deep with a 2 1/2 ft to 3 ft diameter.
  3. Remove 1/3 to 1/2 of the soil and mix the remaining soil in your hole with your peat moss.
  4.  Remove the mixed soil and create a flat surface for your plant at the bottom of the hole.
  5. Place your plant in the hole and cover up with your peat moss or milled pine bark mixture.
  6. Space remaining plants 4 ft to 6 ft apart in order for plants to have enough room to grow.
  7. Space rows of blueberries between 8 ft to 10 ft apart.

If you are planning to plant several rows of bushes, then you would definitely want to have your soil tested to determine the pH. If it was determined that you had a high pH , you would want to spread sulfur 6 months in advance in your field to ensure the soil pH has time to lower to 4.0- 5.0.

For any other questions about planting blueberries give us a call or send us an email! We’d be happy to talk to you about any concerns or questions about growing organic blueberries.

Favorite way to use Blueberry Powder? Smoothies!!

I love the convenience of a smoothie. You can throw several different fruits and vegetables, blend them up , and take them to go. It’s nice to be able to kickstart your morning right with healthy foods that keep you feeling good about yourself and give you the energy you need to get through the day.

Convenience is why we are so excited about our blueberry powder too! It’s so convenient to just mix into a smoothie and take it to go. The shelf life is much longer than fresh blueberries and it doesn’t take up room in the fridge or freezer.

Blueberries are well renown for fighting off free radicals with their super punch of antioxidants. Antioxidants improve your skin health and fight cancer causing free radicals. Every time you eat blueberries or blueberry powder those free radicals get a round house kick to the face.

See below for one of our favorite smoothie recipes with blueberry powder!

Berry Berry Green Smoothie Recipe:

1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
1 TBSP of blueberry powder
3-4 small chunks of fresh ginger

Blend and enjoy! If you want a creamier smoothie you could add a little yogurt, or just use almond, coconut or cashew milk.

Blueberry Field Expansion Project

The demand for Byne Blueberries is much higher than the old days. Gone are the days of packing up flats by hand for the Columbia Farmers Market, the days when my mother, my sisters and I would sit all day at the market literally praying that a buyer would come by and purchase all the pints we had so carefully packed. Those days I do not want back, but we wouldn’t have gotten where we are today with out them. The sweat and tears of hard family labor has paid off, and now we are taking on the task of expanding. It is the first time in 30 years that we have expanded, and the anticipation is great. We would never have made it to this point, if it hadn’t been for family team work. We have worked so hard to make our business what it is, and cheers to us for not giving up.

I was watching Gone With the Wind on Netflix the other night, and I always get chills when Scarlett O’Hara’s father tells her that “land is the only thing worth living for , worth fighting for because it’s the only thing that lasts” I identify so much with that statement. My families’ love for our land and our blueberry plants runs deeps.The land has been my families’ means of survival since before I was born. Farming is tough-it’s humbling. The ups and downs will just about knock the ever-living breath out of you. But my parents passion for blueberry farming is contagious, and they give my sisters and I a lot of credit for making our business what it is today. My sisters and I are extremely sentimental about our blueberry farm, but it’s because our parents are. They taught us to love it like they do, and the recognition for our hard work kept our sentiment strong. We worked right along side our parents to survive, and the love we have for our blueberry farm will never die.

We hope this expansion will allow us to spread the joy our blueberries bring into many more homes and nurture the other hard-working families out there. We take much pride in providing families with a healthy, delicious fruit. The benefits of our labor we know will be sweet! Thanks to all our loyal customers throughout the years. Your continued support has been a blessing to our family for the last 30 years!

Governor Deal’s Super Bowl Bet Puts Waynesboro Blueberry Farm in National Spotlight

WAYNESBORO, GA (WFXG) – Richard byne and his wifeGovernors Nathan Deal and Charlie Baker have bet each other a wide assortment of delicacies from around their states.
Chocolate blueberries from Dick and Linda Byne’s Blueberry Farms in Waynesboro are a part of Deal’s wager, and it has been good for business.”We usually get about 25 hits on our website,” said Dick Byne. “I think we’ve exceeded 10,000 as of Friday. So, we’ve been inundated and I talked to the lady that does my website and she said it’s two-week’s worth of work and she may need some help.”

His wife, Linda, says they did not see this coming at all.

“It was a total surprise,” said Linda. “The first I saw on it was someone text Dick Bynes and saw the post from Facebook.”

Blueberry plants are dormant this time of year, but they managed to fill Governor Deal’s order.

“He probably got at least five pounds of blueberries,” said Dick.

And there’s plenty more where that came from to meet a possible boom in demand.

“We’ve probably got 60,000 pounds just in storage,” said Dick. “And we’re going to sell all those off during the year.”

The Bynes say they want the Atlanta Falcons to win, though it may actually be better for their business to have the New England Patriots come out on top.
If Deal loses the bet, then a northern audience would be exposed to the Byne blueberries, possibly creating new customers.

“We would be so excited if the Falcons won,” said Linda. “I believe they can. We’ve enjoyed watching them all season. But even if we lose, there’s our name out there.”

Regardless of the result, Dick Bynes says it’s been humbling to have his family’s blueberries put on the national stage.

“Nathan Deal didn’t have to pick my product. How many products are there in the whole state of Georgia that he could have chosen from?”

Harvest season for blueberries typically falls in June or July, but until then he’s still taking orders.
Since they are out of season, his stock is in frozen storage and may take inside a week to prepare depending on the size of the order.

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