Blueberries, Bees, and Blue Crab
For the latest news, please "like" us and add us to your interest groups on Facebook Updated Thursday, October 16 *Sign up for our mailing list by sending us an email
Farm news The end of the blueberry season makes it time for pruning each and every bush, completing our rejuvenation pruning cycle. When we bought the farm almost four years ago, the bushes were overgrown, far too tall, and with only a few very thick, old canes and hardly any new growth. The task of steadily cutting back the old unproductive growth so new canes had room (and sunlight) enough to come up from the 30-year-old crowns has taken three full pruning rounds.
The bushes responded strongly, and there are more flower buds on the canes than we have every seen. The buds form in the fall and emerge in early spring, setting fruit and then beginning to ripen in mid-May. In some ways, this is the most important time of year for the blueberries as we shape the plants that will be producing through the summer.
It is also time to help the bees get ready for winter, shifting from their summer accommodations with screened bases and extra ventilation space to solid bottoms and less room for warm air to escape. Each colony gets inspected and its strength and population assessed, and the weak are combined with stronger hives to be sure they make it through the winter. We monitor their stores of honey and pollen, and see if the queen is laying enough eggs to keep a strong colony. Visit our beekeeping page for more details.
We so appreciate all of you volunteers who came out to spend time pruning blueberry bushes, working with the bees, and just lending a hand over the past couple of months. Thank you for taking the time to join us at the Pearl! We hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor and that your new plants (or jars of honey) remind you of sunny days here as the seasons begin to change. Workshop visitors, volunteers, shoppers, and "just curious" passersby are always welcome when the farm gate is open. And it is always great to see you at the farmers markets, where everyone has a chance to try something new along with long time favorite treats. Your support of your local farms keeps the best we produce here in our area.
The crab boat is getting a much-needed upgrade of its fiberglass hull, inside and out. A new pot-hauler and davit arm to make pulling the traps quicker and easier also are being installed. Like most of our farm work, it is all "in-house" so the warm sunny weather makes that job easier. If only the love bugs weren't quite so attracted to freshly laid fiberglass...we will be back on the water soon, bringing freshly harvested wild blue crab to you.
Find Blue Pearl at the farmers markets on Saturdays at Charleston's Marion Square from
until 2 pm (near the music stage in the middle of the King Street row) every week until December 21. Sample some of our small batch, hand-crafted Blueberry Compote and Blueberry-Chipotle Savory Barbecue Sauce, try out our Buzz line of skin products made from our beeswax, and taste delicious local, raw honey.
Interested in growing your own Lowcountry olives? We harvested our first crop this year. Two-year-old Arbosana, Arbequina and
Koronecki olive plants adapted to the Southeast let you grow your own for table or oil. These plants are vigorous growers and reach about 12-17 feet. Plants are in 3-gallon pots now; plant
heights of 18-24" are $12; 24-40" are $23. Each
variety is self-fertile, but all will produce more and larger fruit with
a pollinator pal.
Blue Pearl Farms has a limited number of three-year-old heritage varieties of
organically tended rabbiteye blueberry plants for sale in 3-gallon pots. The
plants are field-dug and ready to be
planted this year. These varieties require cross-pollination, at least six hours
of sunlight, and some space between the plants (4-5 feet) so they don't
grow into each other.
It's easy to schedule a farm tour or an event for your group or family or a special workshop for your group of five or more. For details, contact email@example.com or call us on the farm line at 843-887-3554.
Blue Pearl Farms is one of the state's most recent Certified
Roadside Markets, and we are proud to be part of the Certified
South Carolina farm products group. We are preparing for our
organic certification on the farm, and rely on mulch, compost and
natural products to support plant health. All our maintenance is done by
hand, and Blue Pearl Farms will always be GMO-free. If you ever have
questions about how plants grow here, please ask or come visit.
Hwy 17 to McClellanville, and turn beside The Palmetto Store onto Hwy. 45
at the flashing yellow light. Randall Road is the first left, about a block north of Hwy 17. You will
find the farm entrance gate on the right, before you pass the farm sign, after
about 1.2 miles.
To be added to our mailing list, just send an email request . We never share your name or address.
We follow organic practices to nourish
the soil and keep plants healthy and ensure our honey and foods are the best you can eat. Please remember,
no pets and no smoking at the farm.
Blue Pearl Farms hosts weddings and private events and can provide a full plug-and-play PA system and stage. For details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on the farm line at 843-887-3554.