planting blueberries

Luck was on our side when we heard that a blueberry farm in Victoria was changing hands. The new farmers invited local folk to dig up several varieties of mature blueberries and take them home, for just a few dollars each. (Send me a note, Victorians, if you’re reading this in early May, and I can give you their details to get your own. There’s a few left.)


Just the sort of day for a blueberry farm adventure. You’ll want to get at least two or three varieties, as they produce more berries when they have friends.


You can get away with planting, or transplanting, a blueberry most of the year in this coastal climate. Dig down at least the length of a spade, all the way round, leaving a sizeable root ball.


When it has worked loose, get the spade right under and push hard to lift it.


We were so sore from carrying a dozen of these beauties, with all their earth. We lined the cars with tarps, but you could bring a large bag to move a plant this size too.


Best to bring a picnic on this sort of trip, not unlike blueberry-picking journeys in midsummer.


The little blueberry and strawberry plants I’d put in on a sunny spot welcomed a few more plants. There’s Reka, Bluecrop, Duke and Liberty in this mix. I dug quite deeply and widely, mixed in some rich compost and a bit of homemade bone meal, and mulched with pine needles to give them the acidity they like. The heavy spring rains have kept them well watered in. Fingers crossed for a big crop!

We are delighted to have berries put in at the lake. We may always pick at a local farm for preserving, yet it’s such a basic pleasure to eat fresh fruit from our own garden. Do you have a berry patch?


Over at the autumn Highland Heritage Fair, not so far from our little cottage, they held a tug-o-war.


Such an entertaining bit of fun, suspenseful, silly, everyone pulling together. The tug of war dates back at least to ancient Egypt and China, and was made popular in Britain in the 1600’s by an enthusiastic Lord Simpson. It is at once Olympic and yet requires little skill to thoroughly enjoy.


My girls prefer to sit in a tree and watch this sort of thing, but somehow it wrapped up a day at the fair (of fiddling, a hay-toss, pottery, the opening of a new local museum, and of course, fabulous tables from the likes of a local stonecarver, an old-time photographer, jam preservers and bakers, a fuller & beader, and yours, appleturnover) just perfectly.