Dick Byne, owner of Byne Blueberry Farms says, “I don't think it'll be a record crop for me. But I think it'll be above the norm than we normally have. I expect a good crop and I'm already out selling it. And I feel like my crop is sold and I'm looking to oversell.”
Despite a late season hard freeze that damaged 10% of his crop he still expects to do well this year.
Byne says, “Last year was an exception this is the rule this year. The 13th and the 11th, 2011 and 2013 will probably be the norm. We should crank up the first week of June. That's what I'm anticipating right now.”
Byne says the warm weather that lasts almost year round helps Georgia lead the way in blueberry production.
Keeping his blueberry production local helps the local economy, and it's good for Byne financially.
Byne says, “It eliminates anything that could take away from the ultimate product as far as cost goes. I'm a lot more competitive. If the grocery store has a problem, I'm there. I can talk to them or trade something out.”
One local chef is benefiting from last season's blueberries from Byne Farms.
David McCluskey, Executive Chef, of Taste says, “We've come up with a little moonshine berry as we're calling it. So we're using some dried local berries that we got from last season. We dried out in the dehydrator. We've macerated them in a little bit of moonshine if you will and we're gonna roll them in a little bit of sugar, a little bit of pecan.”