Sustainable, Local, and Delicious: The next 50 years at Linbo Blueberry Farm

Linbo Blueberry Farm is not a modern industrial farm, as such we are unable to depend on agribusiness to help us move forward. Much of agribusiness relies on creating a product that can be shipped worldwide, visually appeal to the public, mechanically harvested, and has year round availability. Taste, texture, and nutrition are not part of agribusiness' goals. And where nutrition is a selling point, products are often artificially fortified.

Our plants are pre-industry, so the varieties in our field cannot be harvested by machines. Our berries are too delicate for mechanical harvest. As a result our fields are full of berries not found in the typical grocery store.
Nowadays, large commercial blueberry farms are a monoculture of plants that produce large "blue" berries, meaning they look blueberries, but often lack the sweetness and taste of a real Blueberry. The belief that if it looks like a blueberry, it is a blueberry is not true. And the community is coming to realize this again. However, it is not easy competing against large corporate farming. We rely on our local community - you - for support in keeping our farm open.

At Linbo Blueberry Farm, the number one concern is growing the blueberries we want to eat and actually enjoy eating. As anyone who has picked at our farm and who has sampled the various bushes can tell you, not all blueberry varieties are alike. There are many varieties of blueberry plants in our field that produce berries with different growth pattern, ripening time, size, and taste. And as our unique plants age and eventually die, we cannot just replace them with the newest commercial blueberry plant. If we did our blueberries would not be much different from the fruit found in the grocery stores.

Our only reliable source of blueberry plants to replace our aging ones are the very same ones growing in our field. Over the last few years, we have been improving our method of growing blueberry plants from seeds to ensure our many varieties will survive the future. Why all the way from seeds and not just take cuttings? Growing from seeds will eliminate disease transfer from the parent. With cuttings, the new plant will inherit the same afflictions as the parent, thus reducing the plant's health and long term viability. With seeds, it's literally a new start. It is a process that is time consuming and requires patience as the plants take up to three years to grow enough to start flowering and producing fruits.

With patience, time, and most importantly support from the community, we can work to ensure that our field will continue to produce the best blueberries for you and your future generations.

These one to three year old blueberry plants, which are grown from seed, help ensure that the blueberry field will be enjoyed by future generations.
Linbo Blueberry Farm
1201 South Fruitland, Puyallup, WA 98371
www.linboblueberries.com

page updated: 7/11/11