Red Canoe Farms produces eight varieties of northern highbush blueberries. In April 2010, we planted 4600 bushes with the help of many volunteers. We believe that the local market for blueberries is high and that our investment will be worthwhile.
Soil and climate conditions are great. Rich volcanic deposits from geologic ages combined with gravelly remains of large scale flooding from Lake Missoula have created a loamy, well-drained environment for blueberries.
Northern highbush blueberries are cultivated for northern climates. They require several hundred hours of temperatures under 45 degrees to be productive in summer. They require well-drained, acidic soil, lots of water and sunshine. Red Canoe Farms feature eight varieties of highbush blueberries: Duke, Patriot, Spartan, Draper, Bluegold, Bluecrop, Chandler and Liberty.
Duke (Rows 1-5) produces a large light blue berry early in the season. These berries are clustered closely, and have a mild sweet flavor.
Patriot (Rows 6-10) is a smaller bush but its berries pack a large flavor. They bear early-season, along with the Dukes, and are a freezer favorite with our early customers. "Get lots of them and get them early so we have berries for the winter," is what we hear.
Spartan (Rows 11-15)--Large and sweet, a favorite with the relatives!
Draper (Rows 16-21) "Crisp." "Crunchy." This is what we hear about this variety. It seems to have a higher fiber content and a tighter surface tension. A ripe one squirts flavor into your mouth.
Bluegold (Rows 22-25) has been described as "delicately sweet." Two of our customers remarked this berry has "overtones of basil." I can't imagine a blueberry tasting anything like basil, but Bluegold is a distinctively flavored berry--a flavor open to interpretation by anyone who tries it.
Bluecrop (Rows 26-28) is the most widely planted blueberry in the United States. Perhaps that's why it's flavor is termed "classic."
Chandler (Rows 29-34) is the world's largest blueberry. I picked one recently and compared it to a quarter. The Chandler was larger than the quarter. These berries are awesome for just grabbing a handful and putting them in your mouth. They're full and sweet. And popular. Some of our customers come out here only for the Chandlers.
Liberty (Rows 35-40) is the hottest new variety out there! Full-flavored; sweet but definitely possessing a zang. Some of our customers have said that these berries lean toward huckleberries in flavor. My recommendation: mix these with Chandlers for a great taste experience.The picking season runs from mid July through August.