Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blue Berries

When I arrived at Beach Haven, on Orcas Island (within the San Juan Islands) I sketched the roadside, honor system blueberry stand. Within the stand were the most beautiful blueberries, which I purchased and sketched (and then nibbled) back in my cabin. I wanted to find their origin and located Wren’s Berry Farm on island. “Grower and Weeder” Laura and Matt Zybas welcomed me to sketch and Laura gave me the tour of the approximately ½ acre farm. Eight different varieties of berries are growing in an opening surrounded by northwest coastal forest. The blueberries are the stars underneath the waves of aqua nets to protect them from the birds. I was so impressed with Laura’s hard work to maintain an organic berry farm. She is keeping bees for pollination, trying out different berry varieties that ripen at different schedules to foil cyclic berry diseases instead of employing chemical pest controls. Some berries are for baking, some for other edible products and others are for just enjoying as is.

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