One of the joys of hosting days when folks can you-pick our certified organic blueberries is seeing the farm through other people’s eyes. Yesterday, a woman commented:
“Yesterday, we picked at another farm, and decided to come here, today. Your berries taste so much better, and I could hear insects and birds singing! I felt like I was back at my grandfather’s farm.”
Of course, I thanked her for the compliments about the flavor and quality of our fruit, and described how over the past forty years, John has foliar fed the plants and the soil in order to increase their health. We also discussed how organic farming makes a difference for the environment, in this case, allowing crickets and cicadas and other insects to live. While I would prefer the Japanese Beetles exit our land, even they have a purpose as they devour the climbing vine, Virginia Creeper. The visitor described the plethora of birds residing in our blueberry bog. From Red-winged Blackbirds, to Goldfinches to Bluebirds, they chortle and dart above the bushes, splashing color. As a birdwatcher, I love seeing the Sandhill Cranes stalk along the berry rows, and I try not to ponder the amount of fruit they consume each season.
Another customer spoke about the painted turtles in the little pond near the rows of Jersey blueberries and how he rarely saw them in rural ponds or lakes. Other people describe the deep voice of the bull frogs and the trilling tree toads, making the air hum. From bumblebees, to turkey feathers, and to deer tracks….that morning, I had spotted a mother and twin fawns…the blueberry bog offered each person something to delight in and for some, it ignited old memories from their childhoods. Hidden treasures to tuck away and to be remembered when they bit into a blueberry muffin and recalled a brilliant summer afternoon.
Sometimes folks ask me if I am able to travel much, to get away from the constant workload. While it is nice to now and then to visit friends or participate in a writer’s conference, I respond, “I live where you come to vacation.” And every day on the farm reveals another small treasure waiting to bring joy.