Going Blue in Headland - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

June 19, 2009

Going Blue in Headland

 

Posted by: Judd Davis - bio | email

Headland , AL (WSFA) - There's something different happening in one Wiregrass town.   It's been going on for three years and it has farmers excited.   Now raising crops down here is nothing new, but what they're growing in Headland is different.   It has the whole town feeling blue.

"Farming has gone by the wayside," said blueberry farmer Kent Scott.   "Peanuts and cotton aren't viable crops like they used to be and we wanted to find an alternate crop."   They did.  Around 4 years ago a man named Wyatt Oates helped start the Wiregrass Blueberry Growers Association.   Now 30 farmers have more than 300 acres of blueberries and it's paying off.    After you plant a blueberry bush you usually can't get any fruit off it until year 3, and many of these farmers are now in their third year.   "They're extremely productive for their 3rd year," said blueberry farmer Clint Smith.

Along with all the crops Wyatt Oates has a packaging facility.  "This is our label, The Wiregrass Blueberry Growers," Oates said.   The blueberries pass through several stations with crews along the way tossing the ones that don't look just right.    And recently they got a huge break.  They sealed a deal with Wal-Mart so this batch of blueberries is heading to its distribution center in Kentucky.    "A lot of people said it wouldn't work," Oates said.   "But it's working."

It's a whole new way of life and it could have the Wiregrass seeing blue for years to come.

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