Blueberry Bush Updates

The short but sweet 2017 blueberry picking season at Trout Brook Valley was a great success.  We planted, fertilized and through an anonymous donation we added netting to a number of rows to protect the berries and the result was a bumper crop. Volunteers and supporters helped us to gather over 30 lbs of berries that were frozen and will be made into Aspetuck Blueberry Jam. As if that was not enough our blueberry bush sponsors provided us with 75 new plants for the patch. Tom Johnson, our Blueberry Czar, carefully chose 5 new variety's of blueberry bushes that will ripen at different rates and lengthen the picking season at the patch. 

MANY THANKS TO ALL OF OUR VOLUNTEERS!!
Your pruning, fertilizing, weeding and mulching has been invaluable! The 2017 season was amazing....

We are continuing to consult with fruit experts at the University of Connecticut, conduct extensive soil testing and spread lime, potash and aged woodchips to the rows.  

If you would like to sponsor a blueberry bush, please click here.

Annual Blueberry Update

As the nurturing of the orchard and the blueberry plants continues we will be reinvigorating the orchard with new plants. Our blueberry Czar, Tom Johnson, has chosen a special variety for the orchard and our order has to be in on July 1st. Our goal is to plant 50 new bushes (although more would be welcome). Many thanks to those of you that have already become blueberry bush sponsors. We will be placing signage in the orchard to memorialize your gift.  PLEASE consider becoming a sponsor today for the 2017 plantings (note: this is separate from being a member!).  This is a wonderful program for any family with children or grandchildren. We will have a planting date this fall that we will announce to you in August. You can come and plant your bush as a family though we are more than happy to do this for you.  Dedicate your bush to your family or to a special friend as you see fit. Tags will be placed by you (or by us if you prefer) on each plant with the dedication or name as requested. You can then come and nurture, prune and cultivate your plant during our volunteer sessions or when you have time for a family hike! See it grow, fertilize it, prune it and pick its fruit. Show your children how the process works while creating family memories. We are already in the process of working on this project and are arranging for the areas that will be planted. Our goal is to replace lost bushes and if the support is large enough to create new rows of bushes as well. Holes will be dug and soil will be fed. For you, the sponsors, much or all of the work will be done. You can choose how involved to be with the project. Please come to the orchard and highlight the activities a farmer does for your children/grandchildren by planting a bush with them and coming back to reap its fruit. Note: We currently anticipate planting the bushes in late September, final dates will be determined. If you are concerned about the dates of this project and your availability please contact: Administration@AspetuckLandTrust.org.

We will do our best to accommodate you.

New Children's programs

Aspetuck Land Trust believes that there are numerous benefits derived from outdoor play in a natural setting; fresh air, exercise, and imaginative play to name a few.   We also believe that getting our children outdoors helps our community in many ways including building appreciation and support for open space.   Children need open space and the outdoors now more than ever. Click here to read a moving account of why its so important for kids to spend time outdoors. To meet this need Aspetuck Land Trust has recently created, with the support of the William C. Bullitt Foundation, the A.L.T. Jr. Ranger Program which provides guided activities and rewards for you and your child to do together as you explore nature and our preserves (see details below). We also have created a Children's Hike Series (aka Short Hikes for Short People), built the area's first Natural Playground, and have commissioned a local nature loving mom to write reviews of our nature preserves called Exploring with Kids to make it easier for you to hike our preserves with your children. Finally, we have included some Backyard Nature Activities tips for you:  10 ways to get your kids outside in nature and why it matters.  If you would like to read more on the subject we recommend the book "Born to Explore" by Richard Wiese, a real life explorer and resident of Weston. www.borntoexplore.net/richard-wiese.