Area blueberry crop looking bright

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Summer may have just officially started, but time is running out to hand pick a tasty treat ripe off the vine here in Mobile.

It’s a fruit some people may not know is grown here in the area.

BLUEBERRIES SHOWING THEIR COLORS

There’s something about the deep, rich color of blueberries hanging off green bushes, still dripping from a morning rain, that makes you think of summer.

Blueberry growers like Frank Knippenberg with Blue Moon Farm and Nursery in Grand Bay said there are more berries than usual this season.

Knippenberg said, “We had a lot of temperatures above freezing, but, below 45, and those are called “chill hours” for blueberries. Blueberries and peaches need chill hours, and we had all the chill hours we needed, so, they put out a lot of buds, a lot of flowers, and, of course, that’s given us a lot of fruit on the bushes.”

That means lot to pick for customers who come to Knippenburg’s farm.

BERRIES BY THE GALLON

A gallon of blueberries sells for eight dollars.

Knippenburg said he has a lot of young customers who help out.

They’re joined on the property by his dog, Gumbo, who could be a guard dog: one day.

Knippenberg said, “That’s our future watchdog to keep the deer out of the blueberry patch.”

If Gumbo doesn’t eat all the blueberries, Knippenberg’s grandson might, especially when you bake them in blueberry cobbler.

SEASON ENDING SOON

Knippenberg said the season for blueberries started about the first of June, and its coming to an end soon.

He said, “We’ve got a four or five week season for blueberries, so, we’ve got another week to ten days left, but the bushes are loaded up, and we need help picking right now.”

Brandon and Jesse Woodham are glad to lend a hand.

Brandon Woodham said, “I come down here about three times a week, sometimes.”

When asked if there was secret to picking berries, Jesse Woodham said, “I don’t eat them, I just pick.”

Blue Moon Farm and Nursery is located in the 13-thousand block of Tom Gaston Road.

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