WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) – There are a number of things going on in Waynesboro. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks blueberries at the top of the list for antioxidant activity.
The super fruit takes a lot of time, patience, and wit to grow but one man in town has found an almost perfect way.
“That freeze really knocked me for a loop.”
Dick Byne is creating his own ecosystem on his slice of Burke County.
“I thought if we could get some cooperation between bugs, which is what we ended up doing. The fire ant is a beneficial insect and I’m probably telling your audience that for the first time. They’re saying no it’s not, yes it is. It eats the larva of a lot of bad bugs. In fact, it is probably more a culprit of good things than bad things,” said Byne.
The Waynesboro City Councilman keeps bees on his land for pollination and sells the honey.
“I get stung, I get bit. It’s life you deal with it and move on,” said Byne.
But Byne’s true passion is blueberries.
Byne said, ” I Love blueberries. Think I fell in love based on the color. I like the color blue. My house is blue, my eyes are blue, most of the time I’m wearing blue. My wife is blue so you know I’m just kind of consistent with that.”
Byne Blueberry Farms is one of the oldest organic farms in America. They’ve been open for business for more than 40 years. Byne holds a master farmer award.
“We’ve also won the flavor of Georgia award five times which is more than anybody else than the whole State of Georgia. I think that is being creative as far as different things you can do with your blueberries,” said Byne.
Innovate ideas like blueberry barbecue sauce. You can find some at Pineland Bakery in Waynesboro.
Curtis Martin, owner of Pineland Bakery said, “That’s probably one of my favorite parts of the job is working with local, other business owners and selling their products. Getting to know them well.”
“Even if it doesn’t work, even if you fail, you’ll learn something. And I’ve learned that. That is something very valuable. Most people don’t do anything because they’ll fail. Well, I’ve failed more times than I’ve won. People look at my success but I fail sometimes. People used to make fun of me but they know I’m going to learn something and bounce back and do something with it. That’s what makes it challenging and just a lot more fun,” said Byne.
Byne Blueberry Farms is a family-run business. Byne has four daughters who grew up working on the farm along with his wife. Byne hopes to leave everything to his daughters one day.