Gail Blate, DeerHaven Hills Farm
Blueberry Irrigation Project
Grant Award: $6,000
Gail is establishing an irrigation system for 700 blueberry plants in two acres. She aims to ensure the sustainability of the operation even in periods of drought like the county experienced in 2007-2008. The drip irrigation system increases plant growth and fruit production as well as facilitates weed control and water conservation, both of which are aggravated by overhead irrigation.
Gail has created relationships with local Polk and Rutherford County health food stores, commercial jam producers, local farmer’s market vendors and local organic processing and distribution plants. DeerHaven Hills, which established blueberries, black walnut trees, boxwoods and muscadine grapes in the last 10 years, is the only certified organic farm in Polk County.