RHE recently visited Blue Acres Berries and Old Spanish Trail Honey was also in attendance to teach about bees.
Our day began with a lesson on growing blueberries. From the shallow root system of the plants, to how they like pine mulch, and when they should be pruned, Mrs. Margaret Richardson was very thorough in her excellent presentation. She was also extremely patient as she answered this (younger) kid-preferred question, numerous times, "But how do the blueberries get on the plant?"
The next section of our educational outing was devoted to bees. Mr. Jerry Smith was excellent at explaining the short, but exhausting, life of a bee. He gave us many little tidbits of interesting information, but a couple that stuck with me are that in its lifetime a bee will be able to produce only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. In addition, all of the worker bees are female, which I believe surprised the kids. We ended our bee lesson by spotting a queen bee and getting a taste of Old Spanish Trail Honey. (Which I highly recommend!)
Our next stop was seeing how the blueberries are processed to go to stores. They are sorted, as you see here, and packaged. If you're in the North Florida area be sure to look for the Blue Acres label!
We concluded our day with the part the kids were most anxious for - blueberry eating! I mean, picking, definitely blueberry picking. Ok, so they did a little of both. The blueberries were wonderful, of course. We discovered that the Tif Blue variety were the favorite for our family, but there are many different varieties to choose from, including a savory option. You can visit the farm and pick your own for $10 a gallon, or have them picked for you for $20 a gallon.
In true Florida fashion we were rained out before most families had concluded their picking, but we still went home with honey and berries, both of which made for fabulous pancakes the next morning, by the way. We want to thank Margaret Richardson from Blue Acres Berries and Jerry Smith from Old Spanish Trail Honey for hosting our trip and teaching us about their delicious trades.