What sets us apart--Why Foremost in Quality?
Many farmers spend their days as "tractor jockeys" managing 1000's of acres of product. This is NOT who Childs Blueberries is. We are dinosaurs by the standards of modern farming because we use vinegar (which snakes hate so you seldom if ever see one in the field) to kill weeds instead of Roundup, use a weedwacker, mulch and weeding bushes by hand.
Childs Blueberries is BEYOND ORGANIC and a TRUE FAMILY FARM. I would put CHILDS BLUEBERRIES up against ANY blueberry on the planet for taste. Studies show that blueberries grown in the right soil with the right climate and the right organic matter, have substantially more nutrients and anti-oxidants than blueberries grown in the wrong soil--they are "NUTRIENT DENSE". At Childs Blueberries, we micromanage our fields, continuing to follow Cornell Universities teaching since 1984, by checking pheromone traps daily to monitor for pests. If we catch a pest in one of the traps, we spray with the mildest of sprays where the food can be eaten the next day. It is 200% more mild than the spray used on most certified organic produce with less residual. As with preventative medicine, by catching the pest incursion early, we cure it quickly and move on--pest free. For this reason, I believe our way is better and "Beyond Organic". Many times we go years with no spray at all.
The glaciers stopped about 100 feet down the hill from our farm. One mountain range over is Thunder Rocks in Allegany State Park---also left untouched by the glaciers at the top. This means the soil on top of Childs Mountain is perfect for growing blueberries. The berries grown in flatlands with the wrong soil will grow but the flavor is just not good and the healthy benefits one desires as an added bonus from a nutrient dense Childs Blueberry is not present. If you see blueberries and corn or potatoes planted in the same area then you need to try some of our berries because the two should not grow in the same area.
Lastly, store bought blueberries are often grown in sand and are thus bland. They are machine picked which means the entire bush is allowed to ripen which translates to 1 in 4 of the machine picked berries being overripe and thus rancid in flavor, 1 in 4 under ripe and thus tart and 4 out of 4 bruised by the mechanized bats that swat the bushes.
USDA ORGANIC fruit is often grown in foreign countries where there is no oversight. In the USA, the organic is grown on huge farms which supplies the box stores which means they can't micromanage their fields. The only solution available to them is to use organic certified, labratory made chemicals which they spray on the organic produce. Due to overuse, the pests have developed tolerance so the only chemical that works left is Spinosad. Spinosad has moderate residual and 3 days to harvest. This means it does not wash off easily and you can't eat the food for three days after application. It is on 99% of organic including the frozen produce. Organic regulations state only 3 applications are allowed per year but tracking is impossible and since it is the only organic spray that still works, it is applied every 3 to 5 days for the entire harvest. Big farms equal big problems but the price of their profits is high so wash your produce!
Bob Childs or as many customers called him-Mr. Blueberry, founder of Childs Blueberries, had several mottos for the business. We teamed up the second year of operation in a partnership 36 years ago and his lessons ring true to this day:
1. "These folks at our farmers markets are not just our customers, they are our friends." referencing our need to maintain the highest standards of quality. If we can say, "Yes" to requests, we do.
2. "There is honor in producing" We don't buy and resell also known as "Huckerstering". Technically, all grocery stores are hucksters.
3. "There is strength in honesty". We know that business is tough and competition is tougher and we believe if you delivered a consistently high quality product with honesty and integrity, people will support it.
With the conglomerate farms, you get mass production, often exploitation of third world labor, mass spraying and mechanization that delivers a third rate product. In the end, the big businesses often offers loss leaders to match against the local farmers peak season crops paying people to buy their product to not only get them in the store to buy full priced goods but also to put a dent in the farmers pocket. Farmers Markets go back through the ages and are one of the last bastions of free market entrepreneurship for the "little guy".
Why not pick your own or buy our peak season specials and freeze your own CHILDS BLUEBERRIES. Stores charge $3.99 for 4.4 oz of blueberries during the winter which translates to $12.49 per pint because local competition is only in season summers when they run loss leaders. I don't understand how businesses can import berries, often grown with dubious farming practices, in bulk bins packing them in the USA so they can put "packed in the USA" on the bag misleading consumers. I don't understand how these locally respected big box stores can look the other way when imported berries are "rubber stamped" as organic with no real oversight? The list goes on but the reality is, big business cares about the bottom line although they may try to pretend to live by Dad's mottos above--their actions say otherwise. We appreciate your trust and encourage you to continue to "know your farmer".
We do appreciate your business and hope you are willing to continue to spread the good word on supporting local farmers who live by a code of ethics you can agree with.
See you at our UPICK or a Farm Market soon!
Dan & Carrie Childs BTW, our best advertising is done by word of mouth so feel free to share with people you like.