The end of blueberry season was a welcome relief for most of us, in the same sense as how you feel after a long day of work and you finally get to sit down and breathe. It was satisfying, and extremely productive, and we all got a great sense of what customers like and buy in terms of the other products we offer. Now that we've de-briefed, we are sitting down and looking at new and exciting ways to bring our farm business, and continue keeping our valued customers happy!
The house has settled more or less back into it's usual routine, and as our weather stretches on with all this sun, the kids are enjoying some extra time on the deck and running around outside before it starts getting too chilly. We're still having to tell them that, unlike the summertime, they probably don't want to go running out onto the dewey back deck in nothing but their bare feet right after breakfast, and it's a concept that will probably be learned the hard way. Soon, snow will be falling, and they will forget all about chalk on the back deck and will be too excited about making snow angels on the front driveway to care!
Something fun we did in early September was to throw a Harvest Festival, to bless and show our appreciation for many individuals who made this season possible for us. We invited our pickers, our neighbors, and anyone we could think of who pitched in and helped the season flow smoothly. Here are some shots from the evening of activities!
Musician Trevor played his guitar and filled our little valley with some wonderful music for the start of the evening!
Liz drove the tractor around the property and did hay rides for the kids and excited adults. Who doesn't love a good hay ride?
Our food tent, and Fanny hard at work getting those delicious hot dogs and hamburgers set up.
Liz spent part of the afternoon beforehand picking sunflowers and making these flower arrangements for the tables as decorations. Not too shabby!
Katie, getting some much needed grub.
We had a bouncy castle set up for the kids - they had a blast!
Over-looking the main set-up and stage. Amanda played us some beautiful piano music for the evening.
The hay bales worked quite well as seating! Not even that pokey!
Elijah, enjoying dinner.
A little better view of the food tent, and it's decorations. I'm not sure Susan or Fanny left that tent much!
Charlotte, just hanging out!
It was really great to see everyone mingling, and getting to know each other better. That's what it's all about.
We had a blueberry pie eating contest!! Marc spent the night before making these little tasty treats, and we had a prize for whoever could finish theirs the fastest. You could use your hands, or not, it was up to you how you got it down!
Josh didn't win, but he seemed like he enjoyed his, at the very least!
This was Jacob's expression more or less when he *thought* he had won, and when forced to swallow the massive amount in his mouth before being declared winner, was out-paced by Aaron. Poor guy...extra points for outfit preparation though!
Aaron, who GREW UP on this farm and has therefore had years of experience when it comes to blueberry pie eating, won the contest. Who saw that coming? ;) Here he is holding up his prize. (It's a game.)
The kids might have come in last, but certainly not for enthusiasm! What a bunch of monkeys.
Evelyn even got to try some of daddy's delicious baking. Not a piece went to waste!
Something else fun we did was hand out prizes to some of our pickers. There was the prize for 'fastest returning picker', and 'fastest new picker', and we also gave out a prize for 'most enthusiastic'.
Overall it was a big success. As with any event, there are probably things we will do differently next year, but we had lots of people tell us how wonderful it was to feel appreciated, and to have a chance to talk and meet people in a less official and crazy time like blueberry season.
So now what? Now we wait until the leaves have turned red and fallen, and the boys can begin the long and chilly process of pruning all over again. They feel confident that they have a good handle on it this year, with experience behind them and also being able to see the bushes during the summer, and see where they should have pruned differently. We have faith in you, boys! Liz has said she wants to give it a try and some point, so time will tell if she's a good pruner or not. You never know until you try!
Last but certainly not least, our farm will be growing by one more next April. Yes, Liz and Josh will be expecting their second, making the adults seriously out-numbered by little rascals next year! Heck, we're already out-numbered. What's one more?