Caceres Organic Blueberry & Turmeric Farm
We are a family owned and operated organic blueberry and turmeric farm approximately 40 miles west of Gainesville. Our 25 acre farm has everything from Muscadine grapes, wild blackberries, wild fox grapes, peaches, pears, persimmons and a vegetable garden. We have a fresh water lake filled with fish: bass, bluegill, and speckled perch (crappie). Fires by the shore on a starry night playing guitars and harmonica are highly encouraged.
The main farmhouse sleeps 7 helpers comfortably. That said, we are HipCamp hosts as well so we have ample facilities in the campgrounds that include two solar showers, picnic tables, private fire rings, a large bonfire area, full volleyball court, etc. Glamping I think is the word. There are also two standard RV electrical hookups and one non-RV electrical hookup. Water hookup is available on one of those sites.
The farmhouse is nestled beneath lofty oak trees and is surrounded by wonderfully crafted barns. Kayaking opportunities are less than a mile away on the beautiful Suwannee River and some of the best underwater cave diving in the world is in the area. There are also numerous springs and swings along the river for a real Florida experience. Google Ichetucknee Springs State Park. It is 20 minutes away.
Also, check out Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park - it is 40 minutes away.
Leisure activities include long distance swimming at the lake, fishing, baking, bonfires and playing music! Also, did I mention that during harvest you will eat more blueberries then you have in your entire life! We use a tractor, 2 golf carts, and a truck to get around. So bring your swimsuit, guitar and sunglasses.
The farm is situated on the Great Florida Birding Trail and The Nature Coast. There are a number of bird species that live or frequent the property. They include: cardinals, robins, blue jays, mocking birds, swallows, humming birds, woodpeckers, owls, ibises, herons, split tail kites, red tail hawks and the occasional bald eagle. Bats come out at dusk and swirl around the lake. You will also see the odd fox chasing a rabbit.
Blueberries, Peaches and Turmeric are our main crops, and the majority of responsibilities will surround their care. We currently have 8 planted acres, and are now in the process of cultivating a new 2 acre field. Maintenance, in the form of laying pine bark, tilling, installing drip lines, pruning, weeding, etc., continues year round. The blueberry harvest season begins late March or early April and lasts until the end of May or beginning of June depending on the weather. Turmeric is a winter harvest between December and March.
We have been a WWOOF host since 2012 and have hosted over 750 volunteers over the past 10 years. So we know what we are doing. We accommodate all diets and lifestyles and we are also very environmentally conscious.
SOLAR UPDATE: we were a Winner of the 2017 WWOOF Small Farm Grant to build a Multipurpose Solar Complex! The implementation is now complete. First, we built a Key West style pole barn to house the solar showers and the solar electric systems that will be placed above it. Second, we installed two shower stalls and the solar water heater that heats the water. Imagine taking a shower with a full view of the main blueberry field and the peach grove beside it.
Much of the wood and piping are re-purposed building materials ""collected"" at construction / renovation sites. Dumpster diving at it's best! Then, a thermal heating station was built close to the barn to use the hot water to wash bins, lugs, picking buckets and peaches off the ground. The idea is to kill any bacteria such as E-Coli. - a GLOBAL GAP certification requirement.
Lastly, we will install the solar electric panels on the roof to charge the gold carts, RV's and the refrigerated delivery trailer. We might even throw in an ice maker as well! But to be honest, these are but the first steps in Caceres Farms' stated goal of becoming the first certified organic, commercial farm in the state of Florida to be powered with 100% renewable energy - and all by 2026.
To see a 5 minute video of the project, click below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhTXy8cVEj0&feature=youtu.be