Blueberry season is in full swing and will be for the next few weeks.
What You Need To Know
- With blueberry season lasting no longer than two months, farms look to innovate
- Cost of fertilizer, fuel cited by Green Acres Blueberry Farm in Spring Hill
- BELOW: Information about upcoming festivals
This tradition has families visit different farms to pick out some of the best blueberries in our area, and farm owners love sharing the experience and the potential for added income - especially when they are being impacted by higher prices everywhere.
Samantha Haas grew up on Green Acres Blueberry Farm in Spring Hill.
“About 15, 16 years ago," she told Spectrum Bay News 9's Katya Guillaume, "my dad started doing some research into the market of farming and decided that he wanted to try the blueberry farming. And so my parents and myself own and operate the blueberry farm.”
With blueberry season lasting no longer than two months, she said they need to save where they can. But that’s not the only thing hurting their bottom line.
“The prices of fertilizer going up, the prices of gas going up," she added. "We got diesel for your tractors, gas for your vehicles to go back and forth to the markets."
She said the entire farming industry is looking for creative ways to stay afloat.
For Green Acres, it’s making adjustments while preparing for their biggest event of the year.
"So we’ll break out the printer," Haas said while preparing labels for their packages. "We’re going to be printing all of our own clamshell labels.”
It’s been a busy week around the farm.
Mom, Tina Brooks is preparing packages for the Brooksville Blueberry Festival this upcoming Saturday and Sunday.
Tina said, “I’m hoping that it will bring a lot more people to the farm to help support us locally because we’ve growing for our community for quite some time.”
She said that selling berries is not as profitable as it once was.
“Back in the day," she said, "we use to be able to make some money at it. $5, $6, $7 a pound, well nowadays with the market the way it is, we’re lucky if we make $2.50 a pound after the majority of it.”
She thinks it's the result of bigger corporations’ impact on local farming. Despite that, they really enjoy this.
Their focus now is on preparing for their first big festival.
“We got everything being weighed out today to be prepared for tomorrow and we’re super excited and ready to see everybody,” Haas finished saying.
This is the first time Brooksville will have a blueberry festival since the COVID-19 pandemic. Green Acres will be one of two blueberry farms supplying the blueberries this year.
Green Acres will also be hosting their own festival the following weekend. Details are below.