"The Lost Art of Growing Blueberries With Fire" Discussion Thread

Welcome to the discussion thread for the story, The Lost Art of Growing Blueberries With Fire. You can share your comments and thoughts about the story in the conversation below.

Thank you for the wonderful article about a favorite seasonal treat, and congratulations to Greta Rybus for the gorgeous photographs.

1 Like

It isn’t a lost art if people are still practicing it. It’s just an obsolete practice. Own up: calling it a lost art is cheap melodrama–especially as there no evidence of it being any kind of art. “Lost Art” turns up so often on this site that it has begun to lose all meaning.

It’s not even an obsolete practice. I’m from Washington County here in Maine. The heart of blueberry country. Sure, the big companies use machines but most of the smaller growers still burn by hand.

There are a few misconceptions in this article.

  1. There is plenty of information out there on growing berries. The University of Maine even has a blueberry farm where they experiment with different ideas to try to improve the fields and yield.
  2. The big companies (Wyman’s, Merrill’s) use machines to burn but most small farms still burn by hand.
  3. The big companies may flash freeze their berries but there are plenty of small farms that sell fresh to the local grocery stores, at farmer’s markets, or at road side stands.
  4. If we are tight-lipped about our blueberry growing practices or anything really, it’s for two reasons.
    A. We are raised to be private people.
    B. People from away come here, buy up
    land, and think they are so much better
    than we are. They look down their
    noses and expect us to just tell
    everything without respecting the
    process. Without respect to the
    generations that have passed down that
    hard earned knowledge.