Saturday, April 18, 2015

Asparagus Yielding Heavily, Strawberries Blooming

   Asparagus is yielding heavily now, and harvest should go for the next 6 weeks or so.  These are nice thick spears and I snap them off where they break easily instead of cutting them at ground level, so almost all of the harvested spear is tender and usable.  Phone 620-597-2450 to order asparagus, which we sell harvested for $2.79 per pound + tax.
We grow 'Jersey Knight' asparagus, an all-male variety that produces nice thick spears, and I snap them off where they break easily, so almost all of the harvested spear is tender and usable.
   We still have many harvested 'GoldRush' apples, both #1's and #2's, for sale now and for the next 6 weeks or so.  Harvested apples are kept in top condition in our cooler, which is now down to about 500 pounds of apples (about 200 pounds of #1's and 300 pounds of #2's).  #2 apple prices are still $1.00 less for each 20 lbs. than last fall.  Scroll down 2 posts for prices.
   We also still have 5-lb. bags of cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for $14.86 + tax per bag.  We have about 16 bags (80 pounds) of pecans left before we're sold out (until next Nov.)
Strawberries are blooming now in our 3-year-old strawberry planting.  Strawberries are sold pick-your-own only, by appointment only.
   Strawberry harvest will be very limited this year, as this is a replanting year.  We took out our 6-year-old strawberry planting last summer and just replanted it this spring, so only the 3-year-old strawberry planting will produce fruit this year.  Strawberry harvest will run from about May 12 to June 5 this year.  Strawberries are sold pick-your-own only, by appointment only, for $2.55 per quart + tax.  Phone 620-597-2450 to set up a day and time to pick strawberries.
   From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so phone a day or so ahead (or at least a few hours ahead) and leave a message on the answering machine saying when you're coming.  Thanks.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Asparagus, 'GoldRush' Apples & 'Kanza' Pecans for Sale

   Asparagus harvest started a couple days ago, and should go for the next 6 weeks or so.  These are nice thick spears and I snap them off where they break easily instead of cutting them at ground level, so almost all of the harvested spear is tender and usable.  Phone 620-597-2450 to order asparagus, which we sell harvested for $2.79 per pound + tax.
Our asparagus row is sending up many new spears each day, and will keep doing so for the next 6 weeks or so.
   We still have many harvested 'GoldRush' apples, both #1's and #2's, for sale now and for the next 6 weeks or so.  Prices are listed in the previous post.  Harvested apples are kept in top condition in our cooler, which is now down to about 700 pounds of apples.
Our apple orchard is in bloom with the start of next fall's apple crop, as redbud trees bloom along the driveway in the background.
   We also still have 5-lb. bags of cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for $14.86 + tax per bag.  'Kanza' is a larger pecan variety, with excellent flavor.  They keep for 3 years in the freezer in great condition.  We have about 20 bags (100 pounds) of pecans left before we're sold out.
   Strawberry harvest will be very limited this year, as we took out our older strawberry planting last summer and just replanted this spring.  Strawberry harvest will run from about May 12 to June 5 this year.  Strawberries are sold pick-your-own only, by appointment only, for $2.55 per quart + tax.  Phone 620-597-2450 to set up a day and time to pick strawberries.
   From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so e-mail a few days ahead or phone a day ahead (or at least a few hours ahead) and leave a message on the answering machine saying when you're coming.  If you drop by on a nice day and I don't see you come in, since I'm working elsewhere on the farm, ring the bell on the sales building.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Frost Didn't Hurt Peach Crop

   We had a brief frost this morning.  Temperatures dropped to 27 F at 7 a.m. at our place, then warmed to above 32 F by 9 a.m.  I checked peach blossoms at 10 a.m. and found some damaged pistils, as I expected, but many other flowers were not damaged.
Peach flowers, with pink petals, had some damaged pistils after this morning's frost, but that provides some beneficial fruit thinning since blooms are so heavy this year.  Asian pear trees in rear, in bloom with white petals, had no damage.
   This light frost provides some beneficial fruit thinning, since we have very heavy blooms this year.  If no further frosts occur, we will still have to spend many hours thinning the peach crop, starting in late April.  First we'll use pneumatic limb shakers to jar off some excess fruit, then we follow up by hand-thinning remaining fruit to about 8 inches apart on each fruiting branch.
   For the past couple days our workers and I have been busy pruning blackberry and raspberry plants, and we'll continue this for the next couple weeks.  I'm also busy controlling weeds in the blackberry and raspberry planting, the strawberry planting, and the orchards.
Our workers Brandon Ledford, Ben Miller and Tim Epler (left to right) and I pruned blackberry and raspberry plants today, as redbud trees bloom along our driveway in the background.
   We still have about 850 pounds of harvested 'GoldRush' apples, both #1's and #2's, for sale now and for the next 2 months or so.  #1 (practically perfect) 'GoldRush' apples keep well for 8 to 10 months in a refrigerator, and get sweeter as the starches convert into sugars.  Fully-ripened 'GoldRush' apples have a taste similar to 'Honeycrisp', and 'GoldRush' is my favorite apple for fresh eating.  #2 'GoldRush' apples (with small cracks) are wonderful for salads, apple slices, baking, applesauce, apple butter, etc.
We still have many 'GoldRush' apples for sale, both #1's (green box at right) and #2's (blue box at left).
   #2 apple prices are still $1.00 less for each 20 lbs. than last fall.  Smaller amounts of harvested #2 apples are still $0.83 per pound + tax, but 20 lbs. #2's are just $14.86 + tax ($0.74 per pound), and 40 lbs. #2's are just $27.87 + tax ($0.70 per pound).  You can also get the 40-lb. discount by buying 20 lbs. #1's ($22.29 + tax = $1.11 per pound) and 20 lbs. #2's ($13.93 + tax = $0.70 per pound).  Harvested #1 apples are still $1.21 per pound + tax, 20 lbs. #1's are still $23.22 + tax ($1.16 per pound), and 40 lbs. #1's are still $44.59 + tax ($1.11 per pound).
   We still have 5-lb. bags of cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for $14.86 + tax per bag.  'Kanza' is a larger pecan variety, with excellent flavor.
   We also have Bill's homemade jams and fruit butters for sale, all made from fruit we grow.  He uses low-sugar pectin, so our fruit products are made with more fruit and less sugar.  They cost $5.57 + tax per pint jar, and if you return the clean, empty jar to us after finishing the jam, you get $0.50 off your next jar of jam.
   Asparagus harvest should start next week.  These are nice thick spears and I break them off instead of cutting them, so almost all of the spear is tender and usable.  Phone 620-597-2450 to order asparagus, which we sell harvested for $2.79 per pound + tax.
   From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so e-mail a few days ahead or phone a day or so ahead (or at least a few hours ahead) and leave a message on the answering machine saying when you're coming.  If you drop by on a nice day and I don't see you come in, since I'm working elsewhere on the farm, ring the bell on the sales building.    

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peach Trees in Full Bloom

   Our peach orchard is in beautiful full bloom now, praise God.  If we make it through the next 2 weeks without a killing freeze, we should have a great peach crop this summer.
Our older peach orchard, looking north with 'Challenger' trees in the foreground, is in beautiful full bloom now.
   Our older peach orchard, which I planted in 2002 to 2004, still has about 100 bearing trees.  Our newer peach orchard, planted in 2012 to 2013, will have its first substantial crop this year on about 50 bearing trees.
Our two plumcot trees, with white petals, bloom amidst the peach trees with pink petals.
   Last week I planted 10 replacement peach trees in our newer peach orchard, to replace trees that had died.  This evening Bill and I laid out two additional rows of peach trees in this orchard and dug holes, and tomorrow I'll spend all day planting 28 more trees.
I marked spots for Bill to dig holes with the auger for planting two more rows of peach trees tomorrow, with our newer peach orchard blooming in the background.
   I'm planting 14 more trees of 'Intrepid', my favorite peach variety, since 15 years is a long life for a peach tree, and the 'Intrepid' trees in our older peach orchard have started dying off.  I'm also planting 14 trees of 'Souvenirs', a promising new variety.
Bill dug holes with the auger for planting two more rows of peach trees tomorrow, as the sun was setting over our newer peach orchard blooming in the background..
   We still have harvested #1 and #2 'GoldRush' apples, kept in top condition in our cooler, for sale for the next 2 months or so, until late May.  The cooler is now down to less than 20% full with about 850 pounds of apples.  We also have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale for the next 2 months or so, and Bill's homemade jams made from our fruit.  Scroll down 4 posts for prices.
   From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so phone 620-597-2450 a day or so ahead (or at least a few hours ahead) and leave a message on the answering machine saying when you're coming.  If you drop by on a nice day and I don't see you come in, since I'm working elsewhere on the farm, ring the bell on the sales building.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Still Many 'GoldRush' Apples & Pecans for Sale

   We still have many harvested 'GoldRush' apples, both #1's and #2's, for sale for the next 2 to 3 months.  We also have a few #1 'Scarlett O'Hara' apples for sale for the next few weeks or so (until they sell out).  We've now sold out of #1 'Enterprise' apples and have just about 10 lbs. left of #2 'Enterprise' apples.
   I eat a fresh 'GoldRush' apple every day with my lunch.  'GoldRush' apples keep well in a fridge or cooler for 8 to 10 months, so they're still crisp, juicy and sweet for fresh eating, with an intense flavor that makes them my favorite apple.  #2 'GoldRush' apples (with small cracks) are wonderful for salads, apple slices, baking, applesauce, apple butter, etc.
#1 'GoldRush' apples (in green box at right) are great for fresh eating.  #2 'GoldRush' apples (with small cracks, in blue box at left) are wonderful for salads, apple slices, baking, etc.
   Harvested apples are kept in top condition in our cooler, which is now down to about 30% full with 1400 pounds of apples.  We also have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale for the next 2 months or so, and Bill's homemade jams made from our fruit.  Scroll down 3 posts for prices.
   Warm weather is forecast for this Sat. March 7 and all next week, so I'll be out pruning apple trees or pear trees every afternoon.  Our workers will join us when they're on spring break from college or high school.
   From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so phone 620-597-2450 a day or so ahead (or at least a few hours ahead) and leave a message on the answering machine saying when you're coming.  If you drop by on a nice day and I don't see you come in, since I'm working elsewhere on the farm, ring the bell on the sales building.  If it's very cold or raining or snowing and I'm not in the sales building, phone 620-597-2450 or come up to the house.