Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fair Results

Some may think that this is a picture of the Grand Knight of the Klingville chapter of the Klu Klux Klan--but quite to the contrary. This is Genny "modeling" a Peruvian hat and poncho (made from llama wool) and a llama (not our's) at the Houghton County Fair to highlight the use of domestic animals for wool fabrics.

Genny also maintained the Gierke womenfolk dominance of poultry fitting and showing in Houghton County, gaining top honors for this as well as for her birds, culminating in the Matt Manderfield trophy for overall honors (an award her mother won a few years back).

Mike anchored the swine fitting and showing and his pig was the largest of the Fair, tipping the scales at a "svelte" 295 lbs. There is a monetary advantage of coming in furthest from 1st, however, because his is the last-chance pig at the auction, so the bidding was highly competitive, and given the pig's size, he made out like a bacon bandit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Its all over but the shouting...

The later varieties of berries were picked out quickly, totaling only a little more than 300 lbs. Picking now has slowed to a couple hours per quart, which is not worth the trouble driving out. Therefore we are closing for the season. Thank you for your consideration. See you next August, and hopefully the crop will be better.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Last Volley for 2007: Opening Saturday 19 August

The later variety of berries are 90+% ripe, and so we will re-open for picking on Saturday, 19 August, and we will remain open until we are picked out. When this crop is harvested, we will close for the year. There is no way to estimate how long picking will last, because we can not estimate the amount of the crop on the bush, nor can we guess how many pickers will show on a given day. We URGE you to CALL (906.523.6112) and listen to the answering machine message to get the most up to date report.

Monday, August 14, 2006

14 August 2006: Still Closed

We remain closed as the later varieties of blueberries ripen. Please continue to check in about the picking status, which is updated here on the blog and on our answering machine (906/523-6112)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Libby Update at 4.5 mos

There was an anonymous request on our blog to post an update on Libby. Here is a current picture. She is a quite a specimen of athleticism and agility, painted with an overabundance of enthusiasm. We are trying to schedule a brain implant, as it appears she may be lacking one. We are going to see if one grows in naturally.

Berry Building

We replaced the old, broken-down berry building with this new, hand-made building. Pete (Pekka) Olson, of Tree Hugger Lumber in Tapiola built it. Lynn wanted a fancier roof than what it came with, so we hired the best roofer from Greg Oja's Roofing in Sault Ste. Marie, MI to shingle it. Took the roofer, Jeff Gierke, less than 8 hrs, including beer breaks, to finish it up. The building is made from local aspen and the corners are swedish style.

Friday, August 11, 2006

11 August 2006: Please wait a bit to pick

I am sorry to report that the picking is getting slimmer. I suggest waiting a week or two, until the varieties that ripen later come in. It appears that the varieties that have ripened thus far are pretty well picked.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

8 August 2006: Berries are few

Berry picking remains slow. Although we have fewer pickers than last year, they are collecting berries faster than they are ripening. Approximately 2000 lbs have been picked. There are many berries still to ripen, but it is not possible to estimate when the best times to pick are. Although it has been suggested that we close the farm to picking for a few days, we are reluctant because it is impossible to get the word out and so it is inevitable if we did close, there would be a number of people showing to pick who would be disappointed (or worse). We are purposely not advertising this year simply because the yield can not sustain more pickers. It has been suggested that the lower crop yield is due to inadequate pollination last spring, and this is consistent with the reports of practically no wild berries. We plan to arrange for beehives next year, and hopefully that will address one of the natural factors affecting the abundance of berries.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Cass Tech Kids Visit

Here are some kids from Lewis Cass Technical High School in Detroit. They were at MTU as part of the Summer Youth Program and visited the farm to pick berries, hold chickens, and pet pigs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

1 August 2006

Blueberry fields are about 50% ripe. We are allowing pickers, but warning them that the picking is slower due to the need to be somewhat selective to collect only ripe berries. We anticipate that next week the peak should start, and this usually lasts about 2 weeks, and then the picking gets somewhat slower again for a few more weeks.

As of 30 July, almost 700 lbs of berries have been picked.