blueberries straight from the bluegrass state
In an era in which Kentucky’s farmers are faced with the decline of tobacco as a mainstay crop, Kentucky Bluegrass Blueberries offers a unique alternative. Larry and Jenny Martin have been in the blueberry business for most of their lives and for the past twelve years have shared their plants and expertise with Kentucky’s farmers.
Thanks in part to a microloan from MACED, the Martins own and operate nine acres of farmland in Edmonton, Kentucky. In addition to supplying delicious blueberries worldwide, the Martins also provide the plants and knowledge needed to help others get started with their own blueberry crop. They formed the Kentucky Blueberry Grower’s Association and travel all over the state educating others about producing blueberries in the Bluegrass State.
The University of Kentucky claims that blueberries are one of the top alternatives for tobacco farmers seeking a new source of income. With businesses like Kentucky Bluegrass Blueberries, the state is well on its way to established blueberry production. Compared to around ten acres of blueberries twelve years ago, Kentucky now farms nearly 100 acres of blueberries. That is no match for other states like Michigan that farm over 18,000 acres of blueberries. However, in Kentucky the blueberry business is much more profitable.
Kentucky blueberry growers are able to beat out many top sellers in the market because the blueberries grown here ripen a month earlier than in other locations. Larry Martin says that Kentucky Bluegrass Blueberries “ships to thirty different countries,” and has “more demand from customers than we do blueberries to sell.” The Martin’s hard work and dedication has paid off, bringing in $13,000 – $15,000 per acre of blueberries.
To purchase plants and learn more about blueberry production in Kentucky, visit www.bluegrassblueberries.com.
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