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Blue Moon Blueberry Farm PDF Print E-mail
Monday, July 26, 2010 4:04 AM

You still have time to pick your own blueberries at the Blue Moon Blueberry Farm near Pandora. Harvesting will hopefully last another two weeks.

Farming around Pandora and in Riley Township is the most diverse I have ever seen. The farmers raise the ordinary crops like corn, beans and wheat and they raise cattle and other animals just like anyplace else in the area. Most of us are aware that the Pandora area has two large truck farming operations where you can find cabbage, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, strawberries, melons and pumpkins.

But did you know they also have a blueberry farm and a vineyard? Potatoes are still a special crop around Pandora also. They have a couple farms that practice open range farming.

Just take Rt. 12 East out of Pandora to Road 3 where you turn left and you will discover the Blue Moon Blueberries. Jeff and Chrissy Lugibihl started the blueberry patch back in 2002. They wanted a project to keep their three children; Owen, Grant and Lydia busy during the summer months. Jeff’s grandparents and parents had a thriving potato business so Jeff and his siblings worked in the potatoes. Jeff said with the Roundup Ready Soybeans and other weed control methods there aren’t as many weeds to hoe. Realizing the importance of keeping the kids occupied, they got into blueberries. They also plant the regular corn, beans and wheat. This two acre patch has become quite a business and the blueberries are very delicious.

Growing blueberries requires a lot of research. Blueberries require acid soil, something we don’t have around here. Lugibihl had to add 1500 pounds of sulfur per acre to get the soil ready for planting. He adds 300 pounds per acre to the patch every other year. Keeping the birds from feasting on their crop is a challenge. They use a propane cannon on a timer to scare them away.
The patch contains 1600 plants. The season during the last couple years has lasted six to eight weeks because Mother Nature has been very co-operative. In the past the harvest time lasted three to four weeks, from the end of June to the end of July. Eighty percent of the berries are harvested by the U-Pick Method. They do sell at some Farmer’s Markets or to those of us who don’t want to pick our own, but you better call first at 419-384-7338. The U-Pick days are Monday and Thursday, from seven to ten in the morning. Customers are requested to call ahead. Blueberries are especially good for us. We hear that over and over again.
Jeff Lugibihl said they also sell blueberries to the Hillside Winery in Gilboa. Last year about 1200 pounds of this tasty fruit was crushed into wine.

Their neighbors, the Suters formerly raised black and red raspberries on Raspberry Lane over on Road Q. However they have since given it up because their kids were growing up and the raspberry plants were dying.

Pandora also has a vineyard on Road 6, which supplies the grapes for the Hillside Winery in Gilboa. Stop in Gilboa for a wine tasting and you won’t leave empty handed.

Another neighbor of the Lugibihl family, Mark Schutz grows several acres of potatoes. He followed in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents.  This has not been a very productive year for potatoes because the crop was first flooded out ... then too hot and dry. Mark supplies the potatoes for the French fries sold by Fiske French Fries at the county fairs. The Fiske family has two stands at the Putnam County Fair. They go to the Carolinas in the winter and Schutz hauls potatoes to them.

The Suter and Schulte Truck Farming operations will be covered at a later date. Also we hope to have something of the Luginbill Free Range Method of raising livestock and chickens.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:14 PM

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