Lookout farm brings blueberry 'You Pick' season by mid July
The Blueberries at Lookout Lavender Farm are not ripe just yet.
The owners of the farm tell Channel 3 why they're hoping for some decent rainfall over the next week or two. Even though the yearly rainfall is nearly 12 inches above normal, it's been below normal since June 1. So far this month too, July, we're below normal, about 0.70" so far.
The newest drought monitor released on Thursday morning from the Climate Prediction Center shows parts of the Tennessee Valley could use rainfall including Marion, Sequatchie, Grundy, and Bledsoe counties.
"Berry production is down state wide in this area, fifty percent, so I feel like we are doing that pretty well," states Alice Marrin, owner of Lookout Lavender Farm.
Marrin adds the lack of rain, and a disease called mummy berry may be to blame.
"When the berry starts to develop, and it just kind of turns and shrivels up, and it turns kind of mummy-ish. Some of them turn white, and they fall," adds Marrin.
As the berries stay in the ground, they release spores the following year and can re-infect the berries. Rainfall now, would help plump the berries as they're still too small to pick. The special treat at Lookout Lavender, is an apiary with four hives is on the premises. The honey gets an added bonus from the berries.
The farm has a beekeeper, Bella Donna, who is a specialist. She tells us what's ever in bloom, could actually be impacting the taste of the honey that's extracted. The bees are not pollinators to the berries, but they are extracting sugar from the fruit. Donna tells us most beekeepers will use sugar to make their honey sweet, but here, it's what's in bloom. This means the honey this summer is going to taste like blueberries.
"What they do, is other insects get in the blueberries, and when they break them open, then the bees will go in and get some juice, so we can have the blueberry flavors in the honey," states Donna.
Have a weather related story idea? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.