Despite the fact that organic Wild Blueberries are available, not all Wild Blueberries are certified organic. Please read the label on the package if you want to buy organic wild blueberries. Demand and supply for organic wild blueberries are increasing, but it can take several years for a grower to transition their land and become certified.
Remember that Wild Blueberries are a completely safe and uncontaminated food source. They’ve thrived in Maine and Eastern Canada for over 10,000 years and are naturally resistant to many local pests and diseases that threaten their survival. There is also a natural deterrent to pests and disease thanks to the harsh winters and unique two-year cropping cycle used in this growing area. Wild Blueberries are considered a low-input crop in the agricultural industry. What does it mean to say that? It’s saying that the farmers and growers work hard to provide the best care for the crop with the fewest resources possible. Pest management techniques for Maine’s wild crops are closely monitored by our growers in collaboration with the University of Maine Extension. There may be times when fields need to be treated, but this is done with great care to avoid unnecessary intervention.
Growing Organic Blueberries
Pest control and fertilization in organic farming must be done without synthetic chemicals. Certified organic growers must adhere to the National Organic Program’s production standards and obtain USDA approval before selling their berries under the organic label.
Considerations for Production
The Process of Choosing a Location and Getting Ready
Organic farming can only be practiced on land that has been free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers for three years. Taking the time to prepare the site and soil before planting is also essential. Depending on the current state of the soil, this may take longer.
Choose a location at a high altitude where the soil has good internal drainage and enough air movement. Before planting, organic gardeners should check the pH of their soil and, if possible, order their plants first to ensure that they are in the correct range. There are no iron chelate materials that organic growers can use to lower soil pH.
Crop rotation is an important part of site preparation because it reduces weed pressure. Planting should be avoided in fields with a history of difficult management of aggressive perennial weeds. Cover crops, composts, green manures, animal manures, and approved fertilizers all help to improve soil fertility. Crimson clover, buckwheat, rye, and spring oats are some of the cover crops that can thrive in acidic soils. A certified organic field’s cover crop, green manure, or smother crop must be grown from organic seed. Some certifiers will allow the use of conventional seed if they cannot acquire organic seed.
Selection of Cultivars and Stocks
Non-synthetic plant material is essential for the production of certified organic crops. These cultivars are known for their large, firm, light blue fruit, which has a pleasant aroma and taste.
Planting and Crop Maintenance
When you grow blueberries in raised beds, there is less risk of Phytophthora root rot because there is more space for water to drain. Rows should be planted with the north-south axis in mind. Organic mulch should be applied after planting. For blueberry growers, oak and walnut wood products should be avoided unless they have aged several years to remove organic acids from the wood.
For cross-pollination, two or more cultivars should be planted together in the same area. Even though bumblebees are more effective at pollinating blueberries than honeybees, their populations fluctuate far too much from one year to the next to be a reliable indicator. Consequently, pollination by bees is essential for farmers, who should have at least two beehives per acre of cropland. There should be two rows between cultivars with similar flowering and fruiting times.
Bloodmeal, fishmeal, and cottonseed meal are just a few examples of organic nutrients that can be added to a plant’s diet in addition to compost. In general, the use of overhead irrigation is discouraged.
A maximum height of 6 feet is the standard for commercial growers on sites where plants are doing well. From February through bud break in the spring, annual pruning is essential for helping to establish and develop strong plants, as well as increasing fruit size and ensuring a good harvest the following year. Aside from trimming dead and diseased canes, pruning is essential for removing unwanted branches. Two to six years old canes are typically the most productive.
Control of Pests
Good production practices are a primary focus of pest management for inorganic plants. Fast-growing plants are better able to withstand or outgrow pest infestations because they are healthier. A high-quality organic crop can only be produced by adhering to sound principles of integrated pest management. Proper soil preparation, careful site selection, and good cultural practices are all part of this. The goal is not to eliminate pests and diseases but rather to manage them to keep crop damage to an acceptable level for economic considerations.