The Farm Report
The Wild Blueberry Business
This week on The Farm Report, Erin ushers in blueberry season! She welcomes Ed Flanagan, CEO of Wyman's of Maine to the program. Wyman's of Maine is a family owned company that specializes in the growing and marketing of wild blueberries. At the top of the show, Ed explains that Wyman's of Maine believes in the Japanese philosophy known as "kaizen," roughly translated as continuous improvement. Simply put: Wyman's has to do all they can to grow their business. Erin and Ed then delve in to discuss the details of the blueberry business, beginning with the distinctions between the wild and cultivated blueberry, Wyman's approach to the growing season, as well as the topic of honey bees and how vital they are to the business. With concerns such as colony collapse disorder, a strange phenomenon where worker bees abruptly disappear, Ed explains how Wyman's had to research, adapt and become invested in bee-keeping to further sustain their livelihood. Grab a smoothie and tune in for a great discussion on the super fruit! This program was sponsored by Fairway Market.
"A wild blueberry is much smaller, about three times smaller, than a cultivated blueberry. Generally, the flavor of a fruit is condensed around the skin, so in a handful of wild blueberries you're going to get more flavor." [7:14]
"We aspire to get to that point someday where we absolutely need no preventative chemicals." [12:50]
"What happened for us that was pretty good luck was right about the time that blueberries were being regarded as a healthy food was just about the same time that people started drinking smoothies." [19:45]
"We are out of business if there are no honey bees to put in our fields." [26:26]
--Ed Flanagan on The Farm Report