- Jump in: NC’s growing network of “cow pools” connects livestock farmers directly to consumers. Read more here.
- Pick your own: Orange County hopes a new agritourism app will bring fresh faces to working farms. Read more here.
- The appeal of pre-peeled: Grist weighs in on the controversy surrounding Whole Foods’ peeled oranges packaged in plastic. Read more here.
- Stormy weather: The USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub launches an email alert system to let subscribers know when there’s a climate change threat in their area. Read more here.
- Got blueberries? Debbie Roos reminds growers it’s time to prune. Read more here.
Food of the week: blueberries
It will be months before North Carolina’s blueberries ripen, but now is the time to plant new bushes or prune existing ones. Most commercial blueberry farming takes place in Southeastern NC, where the bushes thrive in more acidic soil, but as NC State horticulturalists Charles Mainland and William Cline note, the shrub can do well in almost any garden with the right species and soil preparation:
Blueberries are an ideal year round addition to the landscape. They have delicate white or pink flowers in the spring, the summer fruit has an attractive sky blue color, and the fall foliage adds great red and yellow colors to the landscape. In addition, blueberry plants lend themselves to the organic approach of gardening, since pesticides are rarely needed in home garden plantings.