Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Peach Season in Full Swing

  Many thornless blackberries are still ripening and ready to pick now.  We have 3 different varieties of thornless blackberries with ripe berries now, and they will continue to ripen over the next 2 weeks, until early Aug.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes.  All our blackberries have large fruit and great taste.
   Sandhill plums are still ripening, and will also continue until early Aug.  Sandhill plums are too small and tart for fresh eating, but have a hint of apricot flavor and make wonderful jams and jellies.
   All our berries and sandhill plums are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries and sandhill plums both cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.
   Peach season is getting into full swing.  We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 1/2 months.  We're now harvesting 'Newhaven', 'Intrepid' and 'Contender' yellow peaches.  We're also still harvesting our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', and it will keep ripening until about July 30.

We're now harvesting 'Newhaven' (front box), 'Intrepid' (2nd box) and 'Contender' (3rd & 4th boxes) yellow peaches.
   Peach harvest goes until about Sept. 10, and our heaviest time for peaches is now to about Aug. 31.  We sell all peaches harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.
Our 6 workers and I harvest all peaches.  Here, Emma Gregory harvests white peaches.
   I give taste samples of all peach varieties.  White peaches have a different taste; they are low in acid so taste sweeter to some people. White peaches are best for fresh eating, while yellow peaches are great for fresh eating, baking, jams, preserves, canning and freezing.
'Nectar' white peach will keep ripening until about July 30.
  Small amounts of peaches cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $23.15 + tax.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, mostly with small bird pecks or rain cracks or other surface damage, which sell for $0.69 per pound + tax. 
  If you want more than 40 pounds of peaches, phone 620-597-2450 a day or two before you plan to come.  Leave a message on the answering machine with you name and phone number, the day and time you plan to come, and how many pounds of peaches you want to buy, and I'll return your call to confirm.
We're just started harvesting 'Contender' yellow peaches. They will keep ripening until early Aug.
    For payment, we accept cash or checks; NO debit cards or credit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover what you'll buy.
   Come during our open hours for summer: Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 to 9 p.m., & Sundays 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church (as we are year-round), and from June 1 to Aug. 31 we're closed from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high heat.  (Please arrive at a time that allows you enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Thanks.)
   Have your vehicle cleaned out so there's room to put peach boxes and trays of berries.  These fruits travel best in open trays, where they receive air conditioning from the vehicle, not in a car trunk or in an ice chest, so don't take up room in the vehicle with an ice chest.  We keep our cooler at 50 F, ideal for peaches, as they can get chilling injury at temperatures below 50 F or if put directly on ice.  Once you get them home, both peaches and blackberries keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Many Blackberries, Yellow & White Peaches Ripe

   Many thornless blackberries are still ripening and ready to pick now.  Each of our 4 different varieties of thornless blackberries has ripe berries now, and they will continue to ripen over the next 3 weeks, until early Aug.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes.
Customers picked many very large 'Apache' blackberries on Sat. July 11, and more are ripening. 
   'Apache' blackberries have very large fruit, and 'Ouachita' and 'Triple Crown blackberries have large fruit.  'Natchez', with huge fruit, started ripening a month ago so will finish in the next week, so come soon if you want to pick 'Natchez'.
Aiden Wiles picked 'Apache' blackberries with his mom and grandma on Sat. July 11.
   Sandhill plums have started ripening, and will also continue to ripen until early Aug.  Sandhill plums are native to sandy, hilly soils of central KS and central OK.  Sandhill plums are too small and tart for fresh eating, but have a hint of apricot flavor and make wonderful jams and jellies.
Sandhill plums, sold pick-your-own only, make wonderful jams and jellies.
    All our berries and sandhill plums are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries and sandhill plums both cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.
    We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  We also appreciate it if you can bring some cardboard trays, such as those used for 6-packs of energy drinks or beer, to place your quarts of blackberries in to bring home.  Some customers have brought plastic or metal trays to bring home their blackberry quarts.  Others have brought us some cardboard trays to use for other customers, which we greatly appreciate!
   We're now harvesting 'Newhaven' and 'Challenger' yellow peaches, and still some 'Surecrop' peaches.  We'll start harvesting 'Intrepid' yellow peaches later this week.  I harvested some of our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', over the past couple days, and it will keep ripening until about July 28 or 30.
We're now harvesting 'Nectar' white peaches (left) and 'Newhaven'  yellow peaches (right), plus 'Challenger' and 'Surecrop' yellow peaches.
   I give taste samples of all peach varieties.  White peaches have a different taste; they are low in acid so taste sweeter to some people. White peaches are best for fresh eating, while yellow peaches are great for fresh eating, baking, jams, preserves, canning and freezing.
  Small amounts of peaches cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $23.15 + tax.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, mostly with small bird pecks or rain cracks or other surface damage, which sell for $0.69 per pound + tax. 
   Come during our open hours for summer: Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 to 9 p.m., & Sundays 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church (as we are year-round), and from June 1 to Aug. 31 we're closed from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high heat.  (Please arrive at a time that allows you enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Thanks.)
   Have your vehicle cleaned out so there's room to put peach boxes and trays of berries.  These fruits travel best in open trays, where they receive air conditioning from the vehicle, not in a car trunk or in an ice chest, so don't take up room in the vehicle with an ice chest.  We keep our cooler at 50 F, ideal for peaches, as they can get chilling injury at temperatures below 50 F or if put directly on ice.  Once you get them home, both peaches and blackberries keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Many, Many Blackberries Ripe Now

  Many, many thornless blackberries are ripening and ready to pick now.  Each of our 4 different varieties of thornless blackberries has ripe berries now, and they will continue to ripen over the next 4 weeks, until early Aug.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes.  All our blackberries have large fruit, and 'Natchez' has huge fruit.  (Come soon for 'Natchez', as they started ripening 3 weeks ago and will end first.)
'Natchez' thornless blackberries are still ripening their huge fruit for the next 10 to 14 days.  Come soon for 'Natchez', since they started 3 weeks ago and will end first.
    All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.
    We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  We also appreciate it if you can bring some cardboard trays, such as those used for 6-packs of energy drinks or beer, to place your quarts of blackberries in to bring home.  Chetopa Foods saves cardboard flats for us, which we very much appreciate, but we go through thousands of trays and are now running extremely low on the size that holds 6 quarts of blackberries.
Ben Miller, Brandon Ledford (on back side of peach tree) and our other workers harvested 'Blazingstar' peaches this morning from our new peach orchard.  I planted this new orchard 4 years ago, and this is our first substantial crop from these trees.
   Our crew is harvesting several different peach varieties now.  We grow 17 different peach varieties, each ripe for 10 days to 2 weeks, that provide a succession of ripening over 2 1/2 months, until early Sept.  We have a lot of 'Surecrop' peaches now, plus a few 'Blazingstar' and 'Newhaven'.  Our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', will ripen from about July 10 to 28 this year.  I give taste samples of all peach varieties.
   'Surecrop' is semi-freestone, meaning the flesh clings to the pit a bit until it is fully soft; when fully soft it comes clean from the pit.  'Surecrop' is very juicy with a great flavor, and is great for fresh eating and freezing, but not for canning or baking pies or cobblers.  All our other peach varieties are freestone, so the flesh comes clean from the pit, and are good for canning or baking as well as fresh eating
   We sell all peaches harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.  Small amounts of peaches cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $23.15 + tax.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, mostly with small bird pecks or other surface damage, which sell for $0.69 per pound + tax. 

Two of our workers, Bailey Moore (left) and Emma Gregory (right) pack peaches they've harvested into 20-lb. boxes.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches.
   Come during our open hours for summer: Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 to 9 p.m., & Sundays 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church (as we are year-round), and from June 1 to Aug. 31 we're closed from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high heat.  (Please arrive at a time that allows you enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Thanks.)  Check the radar for 4.5 miles east of Chetopa, KS before coming, to avoid getting wet.
   For payment, we accept cash or checks; NO debit cards or credit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover what you'll buy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Many Blackberries & Early Peaches Ripe

   Many thornless blackberries are ripening and ready to pick now.  Each of our 4 different varieties of thornless blackberries has ripe berries now, and they will continue to ripen over the next 5 weeks, until early Aug.  We'll have plenty of blackberries to pick from now through July 31.
'Ouachita' our second-ripening thornless blackberry variety, has many ripe berries now.  'Natchez' thornless blackberries are still ripening, and 'Apache' and 'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries have started ripening also.
   Peach harvest started a couple days ago, and we have a good amount of peaches to sell now.  We're harvesting our two earliest varieties, 'Surecrop' and 'Early Redhaven'.  I give taste samples of both.
   'Surecrop' is semi-freestone, meaning the flesh clings to the pit a bit until it is fully soft; when fully soft it comes clean from the pit.  'Surecrop' is very juicy with a great flavor, and is great for fresh eating and freezing, but not for canning or baking pies or cobblers.  'Early Redhaven' is freestone, so the flesh comes clean from the pit.  'Early Redhaven' is less juicy with a subdued flavor, and is good for fresh eating, freezing, canning and baking pies or cobblers.

We have a good amount of 'Early Redhaven' peaches to sell now, as well as 'Surecrop' peaches.
    We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 1/2 months, from now until about Sept. 10.  Each variety is ripe for about 10 days to 2 weeks.  We have 6 workers now who harvest the peaches from 7 a.m. to 12 noon, Monday to Saturday.  We sell all peaches harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.
   Small amounts of peaches cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $23.15 + tax.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, mostly with small bird pecks, cracks or other surface damage, which sell for $0.69 per pound + tax.

   All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Pick-your-own raspberries cost $1.86 per pint + tax.  Thornless blackberries cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.
   We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  We also appreciate it if you can bring some cardboard flats, such as those used for 6-packs of energy drinks or beer, to place your quarts and/or pints of berries in to bring home.  Chetopa Foods saves cardboard flats for us, which we very much appreciate, but we go through thousands of boxes and are now running extremely low on the size that holds 6 quarts of blackberries.
   Come for peaches and/or berries during our open hours for summer: Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 to 9 p.m., & Sundays 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church (as we are year-round), and from June 1 to Aug. 31 we're closed from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high heat.  (Please arrive at a time that allows you enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Thanks.)  We're open as usual on July 4.
   For payment, we accept cash or checks; NO debit cards or credit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover what you'll buy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Many Purple Raspberries Ripe Now

   Many purple raspberries are ripe now.  Purple raspberries are hybrids between red and black raspberries and exhibit hybrid vigor, so produce large crops of large berries that are bigger than the berries of red or black raspberries.  Purple raspberries have their own unique taste; we let customers taste a sample of all the raspberries that they'll pick.
Purple raspberries are in their heaviest ripening time now, so there are many to pick.
   More purple raspberries will ripen for the next 3 weeks or so, but for fast picking, come this week if you can to pick purple raspberries.  We also still have some red and black raspberries to pick, but these are much less numerous than they were 2 weeks ago, so take longer to pick now.
   Thornless blackberries have been heavily picked over the last 5 days, since it stopped raining.  Over 900 quarts of blackberries were picked from June 17 to 22, from just 3 1/2 rows of our earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez'.  Our 4 different varieties of thornless blackberries will continue to ripen over the next 6 weeks, until early Aug., and we'll have plenty of blackberries to pick from July 4 to 31.  If you want to pick blackberries but not raspberries, you might wait a week or two to come pick blackberries.


'Natchez' blackberries have been heavily picked over the last 5 days, so few are ripe now.  Our 4 different varieties of thornless blackberries will continue to ripen over the next 6 weeks, and we'll have plenty of blackberries to pick from July 4 to 31.
   All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  Pick-your-own raspberries cost $1.86 per pint + tax.  Thornless blackberries cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.
   Come during our open hours for summer: Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 to 9 p.m., & Sundays 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church (as we are year-round), and from June 1 to Aug. 31 we're closed from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high heat.  (Please arrive at a time that allows you enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Thanks.)
   Peaches will start ripening until about July 1.  We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 1/2 months.  Peach harvest goes until about Sept. 10, and our heaviest time for peaches is from about July 20 to Aug. 31.  We're looking for a peach harvest of 35,000 to 36,000 pounds this summer.
   Once peaches start, small amounts of peaches cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $23.15 + tax.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, mostly with small bird pecks or other surface damage, which sell for $0.65 per pound + tax.
   You do not need an appointment from June 1 to Aug. 31; just come during our open hours.  However, many people typically come on July 1, 2, and 3 (the start of peach season and preparing for July 4), so if you want peaches one of those days, phone 620-597-2450 or e-mail a couple days ahead to order them.
   For payment, we accept cash or checks; NO debit cards or credit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover what you'll buy.