What do you DO all winter?

That’s the most frequent question I’m asked once the farm is closed for the season. What do you do all winter? So as a new year is upon us, I’ve decided to post weekly (hopefully) blog updates to let you know what goes on behind the scenes here at the farm.

Today, I’m beginning to get plant orders placed. Just before the New Year, I had some quiet time in my office to get field rotations planned. The only fields that never change are the blueberries. Dad planted his first planting of blueberries in 1982. We have since planted again in 1990 and once more in 2004. Every year I order a few more to replace the plants that have died or have been removed due to disease, and a few to sell to home gardeners. The blueberry plants I order will come from a nursery in Michigan. The main large blueberry nurseries are all in the USA. It’s important to start off with the healthiest plants possible, free of virus and disease. I have been ordering from DeGrandchamp Farms for many years now. They provide high quality plants and are friendly to work with. In order to import plants, I must first apply to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for an import permit that lasts for 5 years. My permit expired last year, so I will need to do this once again early on 2019 to be ready to import the plants in April.

All of the other crops except apples, are planted in different fields from time to time. Changing what is planted in each field, each year, helps with disease control, weed control and soil fertility. In the photo below, you can see I have the fields all marked out using Google Earth. This is a really great tool that helps me know just exactly how many plants to order. Using Google Earth’s ruler function, I can measure my fields exact length and width. I can determine the number of rows per field and number of plants per row.

So I will start by ordering blueberries strawberries and raspberries. Apple trees were ordered last fall. Next week I’ll get on to seed – peas, beans, sweet corn and pumpkins.

Only about 130 more days until the farm opens with fresh asparagus!

Farmer Morris

Barrie Hill Farms
Barrie Hill Farms

Barrie Hill Farms is a second generation family farm, owned and operated by the Gervais Family, that grows over 200 acres of fruit and vegetables.