We have been very busy readying for another blueberry season at Hillside. The bushes were all pruned again this past January, new sawdust was spread on all rows in May, and hand weeding continues to insure that you are still picking the safest fruit I can provide to you and your families. I am just seeing the very first signs of blue in the Spartan rows now, so stay tuned. The weather has been all over the place and we will indeed need some constant sunshine to open.
Mother Nature, as you all know, decides when the fruit will be ready to sell. My guess is July 4th weekend.
Saturday, August 8th will be my last official picking day this year. I still have lots of beautiful Nelson fruit so if you are wanting Hillside berries this will be your last chance to pick this summer.
Many thanks to all of you who have ventured out for 2020 blueberry fun! So many of your faces are now posted on the gallery page and continue to make me smile.
Until we meet again, best wishes to each of you. Stay safe, be well and practice kindness often.
Whatever is not picked this weekend will be gleaned next week for the Oregon Food Bank.
A huge shout out to all of the volunteers that came this past weekend to help glean Spartans for the Hillsboro United Methodist Church food bag giveaway. It was such an honor to pick and process fruit with each of you. To Pat Salas for leading and directing our efforts, to Ella and Bryan for being the best gift I ever gave myself, to Logan and Alice, and dear friends Rob and Deb, my heartfelt thanks for all of your time and generosity of spirit.
It is indeed cool to be kind, as my new recyclable cups from my daughter say. I continue to be humbled by the sweetness of joined purpose. Together we can make the world a better place!
I am excited to open the Nelson rows for you this weekend. The weather conditions so far this summer have produced one of the most beautiful and abundant crops we have ever had at Hillside! I still have lots of Spartan fruit to pick as well, and am so enjoying seeing all of your familiar faces once again; masks and all!
Welcome to all of you who are new to our field. We pride ourselves in providing quality fruit to you and your families in a beautiful setting. May we all stay safe, well and flexible as we continue to navigate our way through 2020.
I am beyond grateful for all of you who ventured here this past weekend to pick. Everyone was so gracious, patient and protocol compliant and I feel hopeful the season ahead will be a huge success in keeping us all safe while still getting our fill of wonderful Hillside fruit.
Most of you know that I am a one woman operation behind the scenes, but for those of you that are new to Hillside please note that I am not a commercial farm with a huge staff. If you call the posted phone number during picking hours it is ringing to my home phone line and I will not be able to take the messages off until the field closes and I am back inside. Also, please do not call my home after 7 pm. On picking days I am up at 4:30 am to ready for all of you and I need some personal time to put all of this down.
I am doing the very best I can to keep up with all of the daily request forms but want you to know if you submit after 8 pm now, I will not process them until the following day. This is very labor intensive on the scheduling side for me and I am still managing all of the property, and the rest of my life.
I have learned a great deal this past week as I have lived in real time birthing something new for Hillside. As I reflect over the past few months of 2020, it is my dream that we collectively are all doing the same for our world; growing pains and all.
A huge heartfelt thanks to all of you who have filled out request forms, waited for my e-mail response, and then pre-paid your fruit order to guarantee your appointment. The new system IS working (albeit with a few glitches), and I so appreciate all of the behind the scenes suggestions to help make the process more clear. We are all engaged in a learning curve currently - a real sign of the times we are living in!
Friday, July 3rd looks to be a very busy morning with 1 hr. appointments now completely booked. Saturday, July 4th, Sunday, July 5th and Monday, July 6th appointments are still available so I would recommend that you try and book now on these days. My daughter rebuilt the calendar this morning so you can more easily see what is currently available.
We are almost there. The crop is huge and the fruit is glorious. I look forward to seeing you all this coming weekend. Please remember that masks are required to enter the field and must be worn at all times.
The Spartan crop is finally ready and will be available next weekend by appointment. Please read the Scheduling page and the Covid 19 page to learn about the new protocols for this year. The fruit looks amazing and I am proud to again make it available to you. Remember that you must have an appointment that is confirmed by pre-payment and a mask to enter the filed. All instructions are on the web site on the Scheduling and Covid-19 pages.
I just launched the Covid-19 page this morning and ask that you please read it carefully. I will not launch the Scheduling page until I am sure the fruit will be ready and abundant. The bushes are still very green and although the crop has loved the cooler temperatures and rain of this past month, it now needs lots of sunshine to ripen fully. My best guess is that I will open the weekend of July 3rd.
Please stay tuned. If there is enough ripe fruit for 1 or 2 days next weekend I will open the field. Since you are prepaying your orders this year, I am committed to making sure you have the best quality fruit while you pick.
Be well and stay safe! We are almost there...
We are busy at Hillside Blueberries updating the website and readying our field for the 2020 season! Please stay tuned and look for our new "Scheduling" and "Coronavirus Protocol" pages to launch mid June.
January saw all 14 rows pruned, mowing began in earnest mid March, irrigation lines were repaired and tested in April as the bees arrived to pollinate, and gopher trapping and hand weeding consumed most of May.
The crop is still growing and, with cooler temperatures, has not yet begun to turn blue. I am still aiming for the typical late June/early July opening but can only announce when Mother Nature has completed her magic and the fruit is ripe and ready for you.
Thank you for all of your notes of support and offers of help. They have meant more to me than you will ever know!
Thank you to all of the pickers who have come out this year! We are so glad you came. We are picked out. Please check the website in the following days for updates to the Gallery page. Find yourself in our fields! We look forward to seeing you again in 2020.