Saturday, November 11, 2017

Many Apples & Pecans for Sale Now

   Today our workers almost finished harvesting all remaining 'Enterprise' apples, and I should pick the rest early this next week.  'GoldRush' apples will keep ripening on the trees for the next 10 days to 2 weeks, and customers can still pick their own 'GoldRush' apples for the next few days, until about Nov. 14.
   We have many harvested 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale now and for the next 8 months or so, until late June.  Small amounts of harvested apples cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  A 20-lb. box of apples costs $23.15 + tax, which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  I sort apples into two plastic bags per box, so you can get a mixed box of one bag each of  'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples, and still get the 20-lb. discount.
I pack some 20-lb. boxes with one bag each of 'Enterprise' (left) and 'GoldRush' (right) apples.
   We also usually have some harvested 2nds apples, with small cracks or hail damage, great for baking or for making applesauce or apple butter.  Usually 90% to 98% of the fruit is still usable, but they're 62% to 69% the cost at $0.83 per pound + tax for less than 20 pounds, $0.79 per pound + tax for 20 pounds, and $0.74 per pound + tax for 40 pounds of harvested 2nds apples.
Bill drove a pecan harvesting machine over our main 20-acre pecan orchard yesterday, after shaking the trees to cause nuts to fall to the ground. The pecan harvester scoops up pecans from the ground with rubber fingers.
   We started harvesting pecans last week, and cleaning and cracking the pecans for sale.  We now have cracked 'Osage' pecans for sale.  Cracked 'Kanza' pecans should start in late Nov.  We should have cracked pecans for sale until late June.
   Pecans cost $15.28 + tax per 4-pound bag.  These pecan bags contain at least 75% pecan kernels, so you get the equivalent of at least 6 pounds of in-shell pecans in each bag.  These pecans are very fast and easy for customers to pick out, and when you pick out the pecans, you get at least 3 pounds of nutmeats.
   For payment, we accept cash or checks, but NO credit cards or debit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of apples and pecans you'll buy.  Thanks.
   We're still open our fall hours until Nov. 30: open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  On cold or rainy days, I'm in the sales building, sorting the apples we have harvested.  I'm usually out harvesting apples, so I put a sign on the sales building post to ring the bell for service.  Ring it loudly, once or twice, and I'll hear it and come to the sales building.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pecan Harvest Started, Apple Harvest Goes On

    We've almost finished harvesting all remaining 'Enterprise' apples now, and should pick the rest later this week.  'GoldRush' apples will keep ripening on the trees for the next 2 weeks or so, and customers can pick their own 'GoldRush' apples from now to about Nov. 12 or 14.   We have many harvested 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale now and for the next 8 months or so, until late June.
   We're expecting a very good crop of pecans this year.  We just started harvesting pecans, and just started cleaning and cracking the pecans for sale.  We now have cracked 'Osage' pecans for sale.  Cracked 'Kanza' pecans should start in late Nov. once we get a hard freeze of 26 F or lower.  We should have cracked pecans for sale until late June.
'Osage' pecans, our earliest-ripening pecan variety, are now cracked and ready for sale.
   It requires 5 different machines to harvest pecans and prepare them for sale.  First, Bill uses a tractor-pulled stick rake to remove fallen branches from the pecan orchard floor.  Next he uses a tractor-mounted trunk shaker to shake pecans from the trees.  Then he drives a self-propelled pecan harvesting machine, which scoops up the pecans from the ground with rubber fingers, over the orchard.  
Yesterday Bill used our tractor-mounted trunk shaker to shake pecans from trees near our house. Our main 20-acre pecan planting is in the background on Neosho River floodplain land.
   With the wet weather lately, we have to place newly-harvested pecans on drying racks for a few days before cleaning and cracking them.  Then Bill runs the dried, harvested pecans through a cleaning machine, and finally he runs cleaned pecans through the pecan cracking machine and blower.  Then he scoops cracked pecans into bags by hand and weighs them.
   Pecan prices are explained in the previous blog post, and prices for apples are detailed in the blog post before that (scroll down).  For payment, we accept cash or checks, but NO credit cards or debit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of apples and pecans you'll buy.
The 'Brandywine' red maple trees I planted 6 years ago to shade the sales building still have beautiful fall color now.
   We're still open our fall hours until Nov. 30: open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  On cold or rainy days, I'm in the sales building, sorting the apples we have harvested.  I'm usually out harvesting apples, so I put a sign on the sales building post to ring the bell for service.  Ring it loudly, once or twice, and I'll hear it and come to the sales building.
Looking south from the sales building, past a 'Brandywine' red maple, our thornless blackberry bushes are developing their fall colors.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

'Enterprise' Apple Harvest Finishing, 'GoldRush' Apple Harvest Goes On

   Great weather for harvesting apples returned today, and several pick-your-own customers took advantage of it, as did I.  This weekend will be unseasonably warm, and our workers will be here all day Saturday, harvesting 'Enterprise' apples into large bins for winter storage.  I sort apples out of these bins all winter and spring, and we'll have many harvested 'Enterprise' apples for sale for the next 6 to 7 months, until May or June.
Up till now we've saved the 'Enterprise' apple trees toward the front of the orchard for pick-your-own customers, so there are still many apples to pick near the trees' trunks, though the outermost apples have all been picked. Come in the next few days if you want to pick your own 'Enterprise' apples, as we hope to finish harvesting all remaining 'Enterprise' apples within the next week.
   Customers who want to pick your own 'Enterprise' apples should come within the next few days, as we hope to finish harvesting all remaining 'Enterprise' apples within the next week.  'GoldRush' apples will keep ripening on the trees for the next 3 weeks or so, and customers can pick their own 'GoldRush' apples from now to about Nov. 12 or 14.  We'll have many 'GoldRush' apples for sale for the next 8 months or so, until late June.  I've harvested a few boxes of 'GoldRush' for sale now, along with many boxes of 'Enterprise' apples.
'GoldRush' apples will keep ripening on the trees for the next 3 weeks or so, and customers can pick their own 'GoldRush' apples from now to about Nov. 12 or 14.
   Pecan harvest has just started, since we just had a hard freeze that advanced opening of the shucks.  Once harvested, the pecans have to be dried, then cleaned and cracked for sale.  We hope to have cracked pecans for sale starting about Nov. 14, as stated in the Fruit Harvest Seasons sidebar at left, and we should have them for sale until late June, when we sell out.
  The price for pecans will be $15.28 per 4-pound bag + tax.  These pecan bags contain at least 75% pecan kernels, so you get the equivalent of at least 6 pounds of in-shell pecans in each bag.  These pecans are very fast and easy for customers to pick out, and when you pick out the pecans, you get at least 3 pounds of nutmeats.
This past Mon. morning we hosted an apple-picking field trip for 42 1st graders and 6 adults from Pittsburg, KS. The kids had a great time picking 'Enterprise' apples.
   Prices for apples are detailed in the previous blog post (scroll down).
   We're still open our fall hours until Nov. 30: open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  I'm usually out harvesting apples, so I put a sign on the sales building post to ring the bell for service.  Ring it loudly, once or twice, and I'll hear it and come to the sales building.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Frost Won't Hurt Apples

   We still have many 'Enterprise' apples for pick-your-own customers, for the next 10 days or so.  We also have many harvested 'Enterprise' apples for sale now, as my workers and I have harvested over 5000 pounds of them so far, and we have over 4200 pounds of 'Enterprise' apples in our two coolers now.  'Enterprise' apples are sweet-tart, crisp and juicy, great for fresh eating and for making pies, applesauce, apple butter, etc.  They keep well in a refrigerator for 6 to 7 months.
   We also have a few 'Sundance' and Coop 27 apples, available pick-your-own or harvested.  'Sundance' apples are tart-sweet, very crisp and juicy, and great for fresh eating or baking.  Coop 27 apples are mildly sweet-tart, good for both fresh eating and baking.  Both 'Sundance' and Coop 27 apples keep well in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
   'GoldRush' apples have just started ripening, and I've harvested a few boxes of 'GoldRush' for sale.  Customers can pick their own 'GoldRush' apples from now to about Nov. 12.  'GoldRush' apples keep well in a refrigerator for 8 to 10 months, and do not reach peak flavor until at least one month in cold storage.  If eaten right after they were harvested, 'GoldRush' apples may still be tart and starchy.  While stored in our cooler or your refrigerator, starches convert into sugars, so 'GoldRush' apples get sweeter, and are my favorite apple to eat from Dec. to July.
This afternoon I harvested these bins of 'Enterprise' (red apples) and 'GoldRush' (yellow apples).  Tomorrow I will be in the sales building, sorting these bins of apples.
   A frost of 29 F is predicted for early Sat. morning Oct. 28, and 28 F is predicted for early Sun. morning Oct. 29.  This will not hurt the apples at all, but it will be too cold to pick apples on Fri. Oct. 27 and Sat. morning Oct. 28.  I will be in the sales building those days, sorting the apples we have harvested, and we'll have harvested apples for sale.  Good weather for pick-your-own apples should return on Sun. afternoon Oct. 29 and most of the next week.
   Small amounts of harvested apples cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  A 20-lb. box of apples costs $23.15 + tax, which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  I harvest apples into two plastic bags per box, so you can get a mixed box of one bag each of two varieties of apples, and still get the 20-lb. discount.
   We also usually have some harvested 2nds apples, with small cracks or hail damage, great for baking or for making applesauce or apple butter.  Usually 90% to 98% of the fruit is still usable, but they're 62% to 69% the cost at $0.83 per pound + tax for less than 20 pounds, $0.79 per pound + tax for 20 pounds, and $0.74 per pound + tax for 40 pounds of harvested 2nds apples.
   Smaller amounts of pick-your-own apples are $0.93 per pound + tax for #1's and $0.69 per pound + tax for #2's (2nds).  For 40 lbs. or more total of #1 and #2 pick-your-own apples, the price goes down to $0.88 per pound + tax for #1's and $0.65 per pound + tax for #2's.  Weekdays are good uncrowded times to pick apples, for those who are able to come then.
   From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 we're open our fall hours: open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  I'm usually out harvesting apples, so I put a sign on the sales building post to ring the bell for service.  Ring it loudly, once or twice, and I'll hear it and come to the sales building.
   Please remember, since there is no phone line to the sales building, we do not have a card reader.  So we can NOT accept credit cards or debit cards for payment.  We accept cash and checks from any state, so please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of food you want to buy.  Thanks.
   We're expecting a very good crop of pecans this year.  Many people have been asking when we'll have cracked pecans for sale.  Pecan harvest starts about the same time every year, in early Nov., after we have a hard freeze that advances opening of the shucks.  Once pecan harvest starts, the pecans have to be dried, then cleaned and cracked for sale.  We hope to have cracked pecans for sale starting about Nov. 14, as stated in the Fruit Harvest Seasons sidebar at left, and we should have them for sale until late June, when we sell out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Many 'Enterprise', Some 'GoldRush' Apples Ripe Now

   Many 'Enterprise' apples, our main pick-your-own apple variety, are ripe now, and more will ripen over the next 2 weeks.  Many customers have been picking 'Enterprise' apples, but the trees are still loaded with fruit.  We also have many harvested 'Enterprise' apples for sale now, as my workers and I have harvested a lot.  'Enterprise' apples keep well in our cooler or your refrigerator for 6 to 7 months, so we'll have them for sale for the next 6 months or so, until late April or early May.
We still have many 'Enterprise' apples for pick-your-own customers, plus many harvested 'Enterprise' apples for sale now.
   We also have a few 'Sundance' apples, available pick-your-own or harvested.  'GoldRush' apples have just started ripening, and I've harvested a few boxes of 'GoldRush' for sale.  Customers can pick their own 'GoldRush' apples from Oct. 20 to Nov. 12.  'GoldRush' apples keep well in our cooler or your refrigerator for 8 to 10 months, so we'll have them for sale for the next 8 months or so, until late June.
I've harvested a few mixed boxes of 'Enterprise' (red apples at left) and 'GoldRush' (yellow apples at right) for sale.  This box sold shortly after I took this photo, but I picked a couple more boxes this afternoon.
   'GoldRush' is a real storage apple, and does not reach its peak flavor until at least one month in cold storage.  If eaten right after they were harvested, 'GoldRush' apples may still be tart and starchy.  While stored in our cooler or your refrigerator, starches convert into sugars, so 'GoldRush' apples get sweeter, and are my favorite apple to eat from Dec. to July.  Other apple varieties do not get sweeter during cold storage.
'GoldRush' apples have just started ripening.  Customers can pick their own 'GoldRush' apples from Oct. 20 to Nov. 12.
   We use plastic grocery sacks in different colors for pick-your-own apples, and appreciate it if customers can bring some clean, non-ripped, used bags.  I have plenty of white bags, but am very low on brown, yellow, gray and blue bags, so need those.  Reusing is better for the environment than recycling.  Please also bring back any peach boxes or berry containers you got from previous visits to Brenda's Berries & Orchards, so we can reuse them.  Thanks. 
   We finished harvesting 'Harrowsweet' European pears 2 weeks ago, and we now have six 20-pound boxes for sale, until we sell out.  This pear variety lives up to its name: it's very sweet.  We also still have a few boxes of 'Luscious' European pears for sale for the next few days.
   Prices for apples and pears are detailed in the Sept. 27 blog post (scroll down).
   We're now open our fall hours, from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30: open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  I'm usually out harvesting apples, so I put a sign on the sales building post to ring the bell for service.  Ring it loudly, once or twice, and I'll hear it and come to the sales building.
   We're expecting a very good crop of pecans this year.  Many people have been asking when we'll have cracked pecans for sale.  Pecan harvest starts about the same time every year, in early Nov., after we have a hard freeze that advances opening of the shucks.  Once pecan harvest starts, the pecans have to be dried, then cleaned and cracked for sale.  We hope to have cracked pecans for sale starting about Nov. 14, as stated in the Fruit Harvest Seasons sidebar at left, and we should have them for sale until late June, when we sell out.