Summer Blues

Cosby, Tennessee

Summer Blues is a CNG blueberry farm gently nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains of East Tennessee. We are located about 25 minutes from Gatlinburg. We have 200 rabbiteye blueberry plants and are adding about 100 more this year. They are growing on a little more than an acre.

We first planted our blueberries in 2003 so most of our plants are just reaching maturity. We've been selling at farmers markets for four years and are looking forward to the 2012 season.

We market our blueberries, produce, herbs and potted plants at the Gatlinburg and Dandridge farmers markets and sell our blueberries at The Mustard Seed in Newport and the Three Rivers Market in Knoxville.
We are committed to growing everything we plant in a way that benefits the earth and her people.

Last season was an interesting season for us. When I went to the field for the first pick of the season I thought perhaps I would come out with ten gallons of berries and ended up with barely two. I couldn't figure out where my beautiful berries went. They were there last week and turning wonderfully blue. Berries were mysteriously disappearing.

One day Jay was mowing and I was taking a shade break when I saw three baby racoons come from the wild place, climb up the bushes and hang upside down letting the berries fall into their little mouths.
We immediately called a professional trapper and thanks to Doug Ashe of Classic Wildlife Control managed to trap sixteen raccoons and six opossums.
In the fall we had the wild places mulched so they couldn't find anyplace to hide. We are now in the process of installing electric fencing and planting a more managable landscape.

We couldn't save the berries last season but are looking forward to a bumper crop this year. At this writing the plants are blooming with a few berries already making and that's about two weeks earlier than we are used to.

We have managed to build ten 8x4 raised beds for our garden and are trying to fill them between rain showers. We put up a small greenhouse in February with solar powered vents and bottom heat. Sure beats seed starting in the living room!
We are adding two bee hives to the farm this year. We are really looking forward to learning about beekeeping.

We will be at market this year with a variety of vegetable, herb, flower and native plants, along with berries in July and any extra produce we can manage. Hope to see everyone there.

We could stop the raccoons but we couldn't stop the rain. I know many farmers out there are losing crops to the drought. We lost our entire midseason crop to the rain--9" in 8 days and it's supposed to rain again tomorrow. Luckily we have some late season varities still ripening up so we are still holding out hope for some berries in August. Farming is not for the faint of heart.

(This listing was last updated on February 25, 2014)

Contact

  • Producer: Shirley and Jay Swan
  • Day: 828-777-7925
  • Evening: 865-453-2503
  • Email

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