Blu By U History
Formerly Veterans Farm, which was started in 2010 with the Blueberry bushes in 20 gallon containers and wide rows so the Veterans could maintain them easier in their wheelchairs and scooters, etc.
Blu By U purchased the farm in August 2015 off of Craigslist.
Blu By U farm located at Long Branch Road Jacksonville, FL 32234 is a Jacksonville address located in Clay County with our post office in
Baldwin, FL with Maxville just at the end of the road.
Blu By U Farm has 8 acres surrounded by an 8ft tall fence around the perimeter to keep the deer and other animals out, with the Blueberry field on 3 acres within the 8 acres.
The farm also consists of a 1/4 acre pond, 2 70ft long greenhouses, 2 deep wells for irrigation and a house/office that was built between 1870 and 1905 which was moved to the location in the 1950’s, modern conveniences have been added, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, a storage room, be sure to ask to look at the houses rafters made out of round poles and rough cut wood and rectangular headed nails, and also check out the windows with ropes and weights to raise and lower them. We have also added a 50 x 70 shaded picnic area connected to the house which has a sandbox, swings
and a corn hole game, we also have a volleyball net and horse shoes.
Our first season was April 30 - May 28, 2016, we had a wonderful first season with 700 likes on Facebook before we even opened the gates. 2500 pounds of Blueberries were picked in our first season, we were happy that it went so smooth with 300 people every Saturday and mommy and me groups and others through the week. Our second season in Spring of 2017 was not as great, a late freeze on March 15th 2017 took most of our berries as well as many other Blueberry Farms in Florida and Georgia, we had green berries on them in early February 2017 and were able to open 2 weeks earlier than the previous year, opening on April 15th, 2017 which was Easter Saturday only picked about 500 pounds that second year, we were sad and so were our customers, we were only open 2 weeks.
We prayed for a better year in 2018 and we opened April 28, 2018 and we were able to match our first year in 2016 by picking about 2200 lbs despite the cool weather hanging in which kept some of our berries from turning blue consistently which delayed our opening by 2 weeks later than 2017. We also had to close mid-season because the berries hadn't re-ripened, but we were able to stay open an extra week into June 2018 and ended up having a very good season with about 2,000 pounds picked.
Blu By U Blueberry Farm opens every year during Spring April/May for about 4 to 5 weeks, so anybody can come and pick their own blueberries. U-Pick is $6.00 per pound and We-Pick is $8.00 per pound. We also sell Blueberry plants in 1 gallon containers for $12.00 and 3 gallon containers for $20.00, we sell local honey from Apiaries located on the Westside of Jacksonville, FL. They also bring their Bees out to the farm for pollination before our picking season, we also sell locally made soy candles and goats milk soap bars provided by Inspired by Light which works with Teen Challenge. We have Blueberry recipe books, snacks and drinks for sale.
As we grow, Blu By U will be adding items so in the future we can be open more during the year. As of November 2018 we have the
Two by Two petting zoo including ducks and chickens, goats, Jerusalem donkeys and Alpacas. We had our first baby goat born at Two By Two on February 15, 2020.
We added an Aquaponics system to our farm in 2018 using fish in a 250 gallon tank to fertilize a few crops we are testing with; tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and of course blueberries and cabbage.
We added a butterfly house in 2018, we had much flooding in 2018 including in the butterfly house, so we made enhancements to the butterfly house and the rest of the farm to help drainage.
In 2019 our Blueberry picking season was our best season ever by hosting almost 1,000 pickers on our opening day, running out of parking, the Little Bit of Country food truck sold out of most of their food.
A total of 1,500 Blueberries were picked on that one day,
making it our best day ever.
The 2019 Blueberry season ended up with 4,500 pounds picked by our wonderful pickers who also enjoyed the peacefulness of our farm.
In 2019 Blu By U acquired a Hydroponics system to grow up to 12,000 strawberry plants.
All farms had their struggles in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic but we were able to manage with signing up people with time slots to pick blueberries with signup genius. We were able to plant 3,000 Strawberry plants in our Hydroponics system, we had some issues with our pump system and weather, but were able to pick about 200 pounds.
We officially added a Country Store providing even more items including Jackie's Jam's which is made with our own Blueberries, Jackie has a variety of jams and butters and also does wood burning by hand. You will see Jackie at our check in booth training you how to pick at our farm. We also have T-shirts by Kristen in the country store and honey, etc.
The farm had its first Fall festival on Oct. 31 2020 which had 40 vendors, live music, food trucks, fishing and a petting zoo.
The 2020 Blueberry season ended up having 3,500 pounds picked.
To start off 2021, the farm hosted its first Spring Festival on Easter weekend which was also a huge success. The blueberry picking season in April/ May opened up with signups being increased so more pickers could enjoy our sweet berries, we were able to allow some to pick Strawberries which were very limited and picked about 600 pounds of Strawberries for the year. Blueberries came in at about 3,000 pounds picked.
Our 5hp Farm pump failed and had to be replaced in July of 2021,
luckily it was after picking season.
The beginning of 2022 we lost our dear friend and farm hand Darius, he was a Great friend and a true asset to the farm and
we will miss him very much.
Strawberries are vey temperamental, even heavy rain can damage them, they need daily pruning and weeding. We continue to grow them and hope to grow many more in the future.
Our 2022 Blueberry season produced about 4,000 lbs of Blueberries.
We are looking for a bumper crop in 2023.
Our Farm has a friendly peaceful atmosphere,
some people just like to come out and set a spell.