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Berries survive killer spring

Unseasonably warm weather in March and killer frosts in April have decimated cherries, apples and juice grapes statewide. But blueberries seem to have escaped with minimal damage, and all signs are pointing toward near-normal production for the year or better—just ask Merrill Post.
“If we can get the size, it looks like we will have the biggest or second biggest crop we’ve ever had,” said Post, owner of Post Farms, 9849 Myers Lake, in Courtland Township.

He said that last year he put in 500 more blueberry bushes, and brought in bumblebees. “Every blasted blossom must have pollinated,” he remarked. “They are really thick.”
Post said he frost-protected the blueberry bushes with water. “When the water freezes, it protects them,” he explained.
Michigan is the no. 1 blueberry-growing state in the nation, producing more than 100 million pounds of blueberries each year, which is 30 percent of the national crop.
Post, who has put in an average of 500 bushes each year for the last few years, said he will continue adding bushes for another three or four years. “I can’t seem to grow enough for people,” he noted.

Raspberries are another popular item at Post Farms that are just starting. “They were hurt a little, the canes got touched a bit (by frost),” he said. Last year was his biggest raspberry crop to date, but he said he hasn’t really made money on them yet because he hasn’t had the volume he needs. Post said he plans to beef up his raspberry production over the next few years.

Post said he will have more corn than he’s ever had this year, including the standard corn, super sweet corn, and a new early corn, which he expects to harvest mid to late July. “I’m continually upgrading to increase my volume,” he explained.

Check out the Post Farms Facebook page for more information on what produce is ready to pick, and for pricing on both u-pick and pre-pick produce. You can call for availability at 874-7569.

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