May 9, 2010
Burning Blueberry Fields
Our good friends Costas and Sally Christ own and run an organic wild blueberry farm called Blue Sky Organic Blueberry Farm in Harborside, ME. Their berries are amazing, so sweet and plump. Every other year they burn some of their fields to promote more blueberries the following year. The year you burn a field forces the plants to put all of their energy into forming new growth underneath and producing more foliage. The following year the plants produce more berries than they would regularly, both to make up for the loss of the previous year and because of the extra foliage, which provides the plants with more vigor. Pretty cool. Greg and I were invited to help burn one of their fields this year. It was crazy. Lots of fire, water and panic attacks. It was a perfect day to do it - wind blowing in the right direction and nice and dry - and because of that the fire stayed under control and everything went pretty smooth. To control the fire legally you need 1,000 gallons of mobile water at the site and about 4 to 6 people with indian pumps. You spray the edges of your fields with tons of water and amazingly IT STOPS THE FIRE. It was fun but definitely not something I want to do on a regular basis.