On the local website Castanet I found an ad for blueberry bushes for sale. They were just $6.50 each and it said they were 3 -4 year old plants. I sent an e mail and said I’d like to come by and purchase some. Mindy the owner phoned and said they had to be dug out of the ground and were about 3 feet tall. I said I had a Honda Civic and she said she thought they’d fit into the car, lying down.
I arrived on a farm near a nursery in the Glenmore Valley and was met outside by Mindy. We went out to their blueberry and raspberry fields and she explained they were downsizing so were selling off almost all of the blueberry bushes.
Mindy’s a slight woman of East Indian descent but she wielded the shovel like a construction labourer. It took two of us to get the root balls out as they were 30 or more pounds each. Once out of the ground, each plant with its branches and root ball was massive.
We managed to get the four plants out of the ground and onto a tarp, then dragged them to the Civic, one by one. Two were hoised onto the back seat, and the hardest part was lifting the other two into the trunk. Somehow Mindy got the trunk lid shut.
We were both sweating and I handed her $26.00 and drove off wondering that would happen when I got home. It’s funny but I’ve always pretty much lived in a fantsy world where I imagine something magical is going to happen. It rarely does.
When I got home there were no elves waiting to help me unload, so I got a tarp and the wheelbarrow and began with the two behemoths on the back seat. Somehow I got them out, and was amazed at the amount of soil left behind. I’d brought a roll of plastic garbage bags but even with that there was dirt everywhere.
Lifting the huge root balls out of the trunk nearly killed me, but I did it. Then I put them on a tarp, and one by one, dragged them down to the lower yard where the next day I dug four holes and planted them. I doubt they’ll amount to much given the shovel went ka-wang! many times on rocks after about 18 inches of depth. I think that’s the sum total of soil I put into the beds, and under that it’s solid bedrock.
At the gym today one of the instructors asked me what I did on the weekend and I said you don’t wanna know because my life is filled with mad eccentricities, and told her about the blueberry caper. Most people just go to Art Knapps and buy a quart-sized container of plants.
I purchased a soil-testing kid and peat moss as Minday said blueberries like soil with a PH of 5 IE very acidic. This afternoon I hoed around each plant and dug in as much peat moss as I could. Then I put the sprinkler on them as she said they like a fair bit of water.
From the past three days of working with the blueberries, I find I’m a complete physical wreck. My hands are a mess and my body’s in a lot of pain. But if I can whip up a nice blueberry fool in the summer it’ll all be worth it.
Now I’m ready to phone a guy named Sal, who advertises cuttings from exotic stuff he grows here in Kelowna like paw paw, persimmons, pistachios and more. Fun!