4262 Kennebec Rd
Dixmont ME 04932
Photo by American Images, Marshfield WI
Jean Hay Bright David Bright
July 19, 2017
Our Pick-Your-Own Season has Begun
Our RED RASPBERRIES finally
ripened, and our HIGH-BUSH BLUEBERRIES are getting
there soon (I've picked a few quarts so far).
So we're opening up our fields to Pick-Your-Own, starting tomorrow (Thursday, July 20) and this weekend, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (best picking in the morning).
We hope to open next Tuesday and Thursday, but openings are weather-dependent, so call ahead just to be sure (207-234-4225).
We will clear the field if a thunderstorm threatens (usually an afternoon event).
And please, no open-toed shoes. Also remember, raspberry canes have small prickly thorns.
RASPBERRIES are $4/pint box U-Pick, or $6/pint box if we pick (advance orders only).
Also taking orders for frozen raspberries, $10/lb. or $12.50 per 20-oz (quart)
We have three varieties, seven 100-ft rows, of raspberries that are ripening now.
variety ripens a little later but the blossom set looks sparse on that late
Raspberry patches are way out back (can't see them from the road).
you don't see us in the blueberry patches, drive in on the farm road all the way
to the end.
Or call my cell (234-4225) to let me know you arrived, and we'll go from there.
HIGH-BUSH BLUEBERRIES are $4 per pound U-Pick, or $7.50 per quart if we pick (advance orders only).
We have more than 300 blueberry bushes, seven varieties, with different ripening schedules, early, mid-season, late, so we should be picking for several weeks.
Some are loaded with berries, one variety (because of this strange spring weather) did not blossom at all. (It's been interesting farming this year.)
We accept cash or checks. We are not set up to take credit cards.
|Limited U-Pick mid-July and August.
Call before coming to check for availability
|Pre-order, fresh or frozen.
Limited U-Pick mid-July and August.
Call before coming to check for availability
Limited quantities in 2017
Some Frozen Qts. available at Natural Living Center
(Don't get your hopes up, John's Ice Cream gets most, usually all, of these)
Hoophouse Tomatoes Snap Peas Winter Squash Pie Pumpkins Fall Onions -- Ailsa Craig & Yellow Storage
Most sold Wholesale, Orders accepted
Vegetable Seedlings Were Available in May & June
BrightBerry Farm is a small organic farm in the hills of Dixmont, Maine, about 20 miles southwest of Bangor. The farm is the last 30 acres of a large dairy farm that was first homesteaded in 1830, and, as far as we can tell, has been farmed or homesteaded continuously since then. Our piece includes about 20 acres of open fields, a year-round stream, two spring-fed ponds (which we have expanded) and about 10 acres of woodland on the edges of our property. The property is quite steep, particularly around the house, but it slopes south and southwest, which is great for sun exposure and drainage. That orientation was key to our excited purchase of this farm in 1999.
(Jean owned and operated Hay's Farm Stand in Blue Hill, across from the Blue Hill Fairgrounds, in the 1980s and early 1990s.)
So far, we've planted about two acres in several different kinds of berries, extending the season with early, mid-season and late ripening varieties.
Blueberries. Our 360 high-bush blueberry bushes are two patches, which are finally full-grown. We'll have Pick-Your-Own high-bush blueberries again this summer (2017). Last year the blueberry season went from mid-July all the way through August. Call first to check for availability (to make sure previous pickers haven't cleaned out the patch for the day).
Raspberries. Three varieties of red raspberries are ready for pickers this summer. The season is short, but should run from mid-July through early August. Again, call first. Because they are so fragile, we do not sell fresh raspberries wholesale to stores, and only sell them fresh here at the farm if they are pre-ordered, and we carefully coordinate pick-up with same-day picking. That's why, for our raspberries, pick-your-own is best.
We freeze and wholesale our red and black raspberries to folks who do great things with them -- like John's Ice Cream, Wild Cow Creamery, a candy maker or two, and vendors at the Common Ground Fair in Unity. Collectively they've been taking our entire crop (except for the U-Pik) several years running now.
Blackberries. The thorns on our single row of blackberries are wicked, so those are only available pre-ordered, fresh or frozen, not U-Pick.
Strawberries on our small patches were limited this summer (2017). We've planted 1,500 new strawberry plants, hope for a bumper crop next year.
Tomatoes. In addition to the various fruits, we have about half an acre in vegetables. We grow tomatoes (only full-sized slicers this year) in a 20'x48' unheated moveable hoophouse. We wholesale them to the Natural Living Center. We may have extra 10-lb flats available in August, pre-order and we'll see what we can do.
Other Veggies. We also grow and wholesale limited quantities of snap peas in July (sorry, no shell peas), and a ton or so of winter squash and pie pumpkins in the fall.
Changes. The original farmhouse, with its fieldstone foundation, was remodeled in the 1980s and early 1990s, so in 1999 when we moved in we could concentrate on developing the property into our dream of a pick-your-own raspberry and high-bush blueberry operation. Three years ago we turned our focus to our housing again, adding a three-car garage/barn on the east side of the house, and last summer, having a small addition and second story built over our kitchen and what we call the West Wing (our packing area) on the west side of the house.
Included in the addition is a small room off the kitchen which we hope will serve as our farmstand next year, replacing the self-serve table.
We'll let you know when that's open for business.
Enjoy your summer in Maine!
Look for our label!
Here's hoping for a great season!
Jean Hay Bright
Our best raspberry patch.
Common Ground Fair award winning specimens!
Some agricultural links
Maine Dept. of Agriculture web site http://www.state.me.us/agriculture
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association http://www.mofga.org
Maine Farm Bureau http://www.mainefarmbureau.com