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Roberts Family Blueberry Farm delivery service puts produce into customers hands
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Blueberries are grown on the Roberts Family Blueberry Farm in Clermont. The farm is offering a new produce delivery program. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Roberts Family Blueberry Farm
Where: 5517 Clarksbridge Road, Clermont
More info: 678-316-3598 or www.facebook.com/RobertsFamilyBlueberryFarm/

Blueberries are popular in Ruth Hill’s Clermont home.

Her husband puts them on his cereal while she and her four grandchildren love eating them. Hill picks up the blueberries from Roberts Family Blueberry Farm in Clermont.

Now, the Hills —  and anyone else in the area — can get produce from Roberts Family Blueberry Farm easier. In June, farm owner Terry Roberts will start a new farm-to-table program at 5517 Clarks Bridge Road in Clermont.

Customers may call the farm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, find out what produce is available and place an order. Customers will have three options to collect their produce: They can pick it up at the Clermont farm, pick it up from another to-be-determined location or have it delivered as long as they live within 8 miles of Gainesville’s square.

Roberts got the idea to deliver produce directly to customers after being a part of the Gainesville Farmers Market on the downtown square. Roberts said he sold produce at the square but realized it was difficult for the older population to get there. Parking on the square also was an issue. He added the farmers market happened during the hottest hours of the day, from 2:30-6:30 p.m. from May to September.

Roberts said he’s heard of similar produce delivery services offered in Atlanta, and it has been extremely successful there. After he posted his new program on Facebook, he received a positive response from customers, including Hill. She said she plans to give the new program a try.

“I’ll know what’s in stock every week, what’s available and plan my weekly menu and needs around that,” Hill said, adding she will probably pick up the produce at Roberts’ store after ordering it in advance.

“I’m real big about supporting local farmers,” she said. “We try to eat organic as much as we can. It’s really nice to have another organic source locally. That’s really important to us.”

She credited buying local honey with helping her stay healthy. She said she hasn’t had a cold all year and attributes that to eating local honey.

Plus, she especially likes the sweet potatoes from Roberts’ farm.

“The sweet potatoes are wonderful,” she said. “They last for months and months if you keep them in a cool, dark space.”

Roberts’ idea of getting fresh produce into his his customers’ hands doesn’t stop with the delivery service. He plans to sell fresh produce to several retirement villages via a food truck.

“It’ll be the same process as the way the milk guys used to deliver milk to your house,” he said. “We got away from a lot of that. We tried to modernize. We’re really backing up and we’re not servicing the customer like we need to.”

Bringing food items directly to the customer is more convenient, he said.

“It’s going to help them fight the traffic, fight the heat and they’re going to get fresh produce that’s picked that day straight to their home,” said Roberts, whose farm has been open to the public for nine years.

Produce grown on the Roberts Family Blueberry Farm Produce includes tomatoes, okra, green beans, peas, squash, zucchini, lettuce, kale, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and sweet potatoes. A few other products for sale are blueberry syrup, blueberry salad dressing, honey and blueberry juice.

“Everything we grow here is naturally grown,” Roberts said. “We don’t use any pesticides. We don’t use any harsh chemicals. All we fertilize with is fish emulsion, which is fish fertilizer. “

To place an order from Roberts Family Blueberry Farm, call 678-316-3598  on Wednesday or Thursday.

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