• Madison Wynne

Blase Family Farm

Last week, I made a stop at the CUTEST family blueberry farm in Rockwall, TX. This farm, Blase Family Farm, is not only a blueberry farm, but a Pumpkin patch too! They provide many ag tourism opportunities that make the farm unique and important to many families within the community! This small farm holds a BIG place in the Blase family's hearts, and I can unquestionably see why! They just finished up their blueberry season, but thankfully I got a peek at what the farm is all about. In the beginning, I was thinking I was getting information about how their blueberry production worked and what the year looked like for them agriculturally, but I got so much more. I was not only informed about the blueberry farm business, but how passionate her family is about this industry. Jill definitely showed me how extraordinary family businesses are in agriculture and how important it is to keep these local businesses running! I believe it is so important to share the farm's background, so here is how their business all began:

The Blase Family Farm started out with Mr. Blase's love for farming and agriculture, something he at first proclaimed he would never do again...or so he thought. After graduating from college and getting involved with a career in the dairy industry, he traveled a lot and gained many promotions. Later on, he met his wife, Jill Blase, in Colorado, and after years of traveling, they finally settled down on land in Rockwall, TX that would later be the home of Blase Family Farms. Although he grew a variety of crops outside of blueberries, the couple decided to take up the opportunity and try something new. **FYI: If you didn't know, blueberries can be difficult to grow because they require acidic soils that Texas cannot provide naturally.** "He couldn't stand the land not working for him." Jill Blase said. Mr. Blase understood how important it was to raise a family within a farm environment, so he knew that this was something he needed to do. After developing the farm and expanding their property since their opening in 2011, they have ended up with enough land to operate a pumpkin patch, 12 beehives to help cross-pollinate the blueberries, and enough space to produce around 1,285 bushes of blueberries (some being up to 10 years old)!

Jill was kind enough to take Brenna, my FAV photographer, and me on a tour of her farm and facility. She goes into depth about how they've prepared the farm and the steps they went through to continue its production annually. Let me say, it isn't just a job that lasts a couple months but throughout the year! Blase Family Farm opens up their blueberry picking season whenever the berries start becoming blue, which is generally around late May till early July. Jill says that the rest of the year, they continue weeding, shaping, and fertilizing the bushes. They work with the TAMU Agri-life system to make sure their bushes receive the right amount of nutrients and make adjustments as needed. In addition to years of adjusting nutrients, they took time to find out the best methods for growing the bushes and how to water them as well, which resulted in them using smart pots and a drip irrigation system (as seen in the picture above). Jill goes on to emphasize how essential her hives are to the blueberry production, saying, "We wouldn't have blueberries if we didn't have...bees." Not only do these fellas help with her blueberry bushes, but she also collects honey from these hives to make SPECIAL, HOMEMADE blueberry honey.....uh YUM! (They usually sell them the first week of the pumpkin patch and sell out within 10 days...so GET THEM WHILE YOU CAN!) As Jill said, pollinators are so important to the production of our fruits and veggies year-round! So thank you little bees for keeping the Blase Family Farm in good shape!

If you recall me mentioning earlier, the farm also has ag tourism opportunities! They host an annual pumpkin patch and provide opportunities for schools, groups, and more to tour the grounds and advocate agriculture! The pumpkin patch provides an experience for families of any age to come together and have fun! Some of the activities include a maze, hayride, petting zoo, and of course, PUMPKINS! At the end of every season, you probably wonder where all these extra pumpkins go...well they definitely do amazing things with what they have! Any pumpkin leftover at the end of their season are generously donated to women in need who cannot afford pumpkins for their families to enjoy...how amazing is that?

This farm has done many wonderful things for numerous families and communities beyond Rockwall. I was absolutely honored to have this opportunity to learn more about what this family does within agriculture and how they benefit the community as AGvocates. Thank you, Jill and the Blase family, for letting me have a taste of what your wonderful family does! And for you readers, you should definitely check out this link to learn more about upcoming events and ag learning opportunities.

Thanks for reading and don't forget, GO LOCAL!

Blase Family Farm: https://blasefamilyfarm.com/

Brenna's Blog "All The B's Wax" : https://allthebswax.blog/

#feelingtheblues #blueberries #blue #farming #AGvocate #agriculture #farmHER

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