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West Virginia blueberry farm offers an alternate version of pickin’ and grinnin’

By Rick Steelhammer, Charleston Gazette-Mail

FLAT TOP, W.V.a — Back in 1993, when Jim Beha opened a you-pick blueberry operation on his Mercer County farm, it was uncertain whether the 300 bushes then available to pickers would exceed demand or provide the foundation for future growth.

On a sunny afternoon last week, the answer was clear, as Beha, a retired Mine Safety and Health Administration employee, watched dozens of pickers fan out through what is now the largest you-pick blueberry farm in the state.

“We’re still here, and those six rows with the original 300 plants — rows 60 to 65 — are still producing,” Beha said. “If you keep them pruned, they’ll last forever.”

The Beha family’s Blueberry Hill you-pick operation now is composed of 12,000 plants spread over 15 acres of gently sloping hilltop land.

“Right now, we’re as big as we need to be to for the size of our market,” Beha said. “When we started, I expected that most of the people who would come to pick would be local, but it turned out most of our customers come from outside the area, from places as far as Huntington, Bristol, Roanoke and Charleston.” …

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/blueberry-hill-offers-an-alternate-version-of-pickin-and-grinnin/article_e5d4523a-8b32-5144-86fd-e0c3189278fe.html

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