The dog days of summer are here and the blueberries continue to ripen across our 15 acres of blueberry fields. At Jones Farm we grow five varieties of highbush blueberries that ripen at different stages of the blueberry season, so there are always berries to pick until the very end.
How did we get all of these varieties? During the early 20th century, a horticulturalist named Elizabeth White domesticated the wild blueberry that grew in her home state of New Jersey. In 1911, White teamed up with botanist Frederick Coville joined forces and by 1916 they had developed 68,000 hybrids! They chose six of the plants they considered best for commercial production, and the modern highbush blueberry was born. At Jones’ we grow Patriot, Bluejay, Blueray, Bluecrop, and Coville.
This summer’s heat waves have caused the berries to ripen earlier than usual, and their flavor is incredible. Check out the Harvest Kitchen’s recipe guide for ideas about blueberry care, freezing, and fresh new recipes.
In addition to blueberry harvesting, pumpkin weeding, and Christmas tree pruning, the Jones farmers are working hard to prepare for a huge event at the beginning of August. Jones Family Farms will be hosting the 50th meeting of the CT Christmas Tree Grower’s Association at our Homestead Farm. The fourth generation of the family, Philip Jones, served as the association’s first president, and after fifty years the annual meeting is returning to its original site.
Philip will be honored at this year’s event, and he has been named Honorary Chairman for this historic meeting. Tree growers from all over New England will spend several days touring the farm, speaking with scientists from the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, and enjoying our beautiful corner of Connecticut. We’re looking forward to a fun and busy weekend!
See you in the fields!
(Top photograph courtesy of Farmer Katrina)