Hampstead blueberry farm prepares for Mother Nature - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Hampstead blueberry farm prepares for Mother Nature

HAMPSTEAD -- The combination of a late spring frost and a summer drought in 2007 left a small Hampstead blueberry farm in ruin.

While this summer the berries are looking better than ever, the blueberry farmers are preparing for the worst, just in case.

On Farmer Mac's Land in Hampstead, three generations of McClungs have picked blueberry bushes for decades.

This year's yield already looks promising, which is a much different story than last season.

"Last year over Easter we had three days of freezing and that not only wiped out our entire crop, but about 50% of the entire crop in North Carolina," said Melissa Hendrickson, the co-owner of Farmer Mac's Blueberries.

Just when they thought they had seen the worst, drought set in.

"Irrigation doesn't make the berries as big as natural rainfall would, it helps, but its just not the same," said Hendrickson.

So, this season they are implementing new blueberry varieties that will be able to withstand almost any terrible element.

They're not only tougher, they are sweeter as well.


Reported by Carmin Black

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