Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Many Raspberries & 'Natchez' Blackberries Ripe Now

   Many purple raspberries are ripe now and will continue to about July 8, and red raspberries are still ripening.  Some red raspberries will still ripen until about July 4, but for easier picking, come this week.  Black raspberries are also ripe now, and more should ripen until about July 2 this year.
Many 'Royalty' purple raspberries are ripe now, as well as red raspberries and black raspberries.
   Thornless blackberries have started ripening, will be heaviest from June 27 to July 30, and some will still ripen until about Aug. 4.  Since so many people like to pick the huge, early-ripening 'Natchez' blackberries, a couple months ago I killed the plants in a row and a half of the later-ripening 'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries.  This fall and next spring I will transplant 'Natchez' plants into those rows, so in a couple years we will have more 'Natchez' blackberries to pick.
   'Natchez' blackberries will continue to ripen for the next 3 to 4 weeks, until about July 14.  Our 3 other blackberry varieties will continue to ripen heavily through July 31, and some blackberries will still ripen until about Aug. 4.
Lindsay Kling picked this flat of 'Royalty' purple raspberries this morning, plus several flats of 'Natchez' blackberries. She and her husband Trent picked 24 pints of raspberries and 30 quarts of blackberries in just over 2 hours.
   All our berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + tax, pick-your-own.  Thornless blackberries are $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return them to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries & Orchards.  Please also bring back any peach boxes or other containers you got from us last year.
Red raspberries are still ripening. Tracy Alloway (far right) and her kids Jay (center) and Ryen (left) picked a flat of red raspberries and a flat of 'Natchez' blackberries this morning.
   We also appreciate donations of cardboard trays such as those from canned foods or 6-packs of energy drinks.  Chetopa Foods saves them for us, which we greatly appreciate, but we run through thousands of cardboard trays each summer, so we can always use more.  Some customers bring metal baking trays or plastic trays to place their raspberry pints and/or blackberry quarts in to bring them home, which also helps.
   We will have about 30% of a full peach crop for sale this year, mainly from about July 20 to Aug. 20.  We will have only a few peaches for sale before July 20 and after Aug. 20, as the early and late peach varieties were greatly hurt by 6 frosts during bloom.  We had some 'Surecrop' peaches, our earliest variety, over the last 4 days, but all have sold now.  The entire 'Early Redhaven' crop was lost to frosts, most of the 'Newhaven' crop was lost, and almost all of the 'Challenger' crop was lost.  We should have a few 'Nectar' white peaches in early-mid July, and from mid-July to mid-August we should have a good supply of 'Intrepid', then 'Contender', then 'Glowingstar' peaches. 
   From June 1 to Aug. 31, we're open our summer hours: open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m., and Sundays 7-9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church, and closed every afternoon from 12 noon to 7 p.m. during the summer due to high heat.  You may come any time during our open hours (no appointment needed in summer); just allow enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Get here at 7:30 a.m. if you can, to beat the heat!

   We still have many 'Enterprise' apples for sale, for the next 3 to 4 weeks.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.  Our #1 apples, with no damage, sell just as fast as I sort them.  A 20-lb. box of #1 apples still costs $23.15 + tax ($1.15 per pound + tax), which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  We also have some 2nds apples, with small cork spots, cracks or other surface damage.  A 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs just $14.82 + tax ($0.74 per pound + tax).
   We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for the next 2 to 3 weeks.  Pecans are still $15.05 per 5-pound bag + tax.

   For payment, we accept cash and checks (from any state), but NO credit cards or debit cards, as the sidebar at left details.  We do not have a card reader or a phone line to the sales building.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of fruit you want to buy.  Thanks.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Four Types of Raspberries Ripe Now

   Red raspberries are now ripening in huge quantity, and have excellent quality.  Black raspberries just started on June 8, and have now gotten numerous.  Purple raspberries just started on June 10, and will be most plentiful from June 15 to July 5 or so.  A few yellow raspberries have started ripening, and more will ripen over the next few weeks.
Many customers like to pick 'Royalty' purple raspberries as plants are more upright and have larger fruit than red raspberries.  They're just getting started and will continue to ripen until July 8 or so.
   Each kind of raspberry has its own unique flavor.  We let customers taste each kind to find out which ones they want to pick.  They all make wonderful jam.  I like using several different colors of raspberries with our apples in Berry Apple Salad.  The recipe is posted as a note on our Facebook page, Brendas Berries. 
Carolyn Cassidy and her granddaughter Kennedy picked these red raspberries (lower two rows), purple raspberries (top left) and black raspberries (top right).
   Our earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez', is just starting.  'Natchez' produces very large crops of huge blackberries, so there are many to pick already.  'Natchez' will continue ripening for the next 4 weeks, plus we grow 3 other thornless blackberry varieties that will produce many large berries over the whole month of July and the first few days of August.
   Raspberries and blackberries are high in anti-oxidants that can help prevent some types of cancers.  Black raspberries have the highest levels of anti-oxidants of any temperate-zone fruits, and blackberries have the second-highest levels.  Next highest are black currants, then purple raspberries, then black grapes, then blueberries, then red raspberries.  The blueberry industry has good public relations so everyone thinks of them when they hear anti-oxidants, but actually black raspberries, blackberries and purple raspberries have much higher levels. The darker the fruit, the higher the amounts of color-producing anthocyanins, which are anti-oxidants. 
Black raspberries have the highest levels of anti-oxidants of any temperate-zone fruits. They will be most plentiful from June 14 to about June 28.
    As always, raspberries and blackberries are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + tax pick-your-own, and blackberries are $2.55 per quart + tax pick-your-own.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return them for reuse if you make another trip to Brenda's Berries & Orchards.
   Please also bring back any peach boxes you may have from last year.  We also appreciate donations of cardboard trays such as those from canned foods or 6-packs of energy drinks.  Chetopa Foods saves them for us, which we greatly appreciate, but we run through thousands of cardboard trays each summer, so we can always use more.
   We will have about 30% of a full peach crop for sale this year, mainly from about July 20 to Aug. 20.  We will have only a few peaches for sale before July 20 and after Aug. 20, as the early and late peach varieties were greatly hurt by 6 frosts during bloom. 
   We still have many 'Enterprise' apples for sale.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.  We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale.  Scroll down 3 posts for prices.
   From June 1 to Aug. 31, as the sidebar at left shows, we're open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sun. mornings for church, and closed every afternoon from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high summer heat.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Many Raspberries Ripe Now

   Red raspberries are ripening in quantity now, will be heavy for the next 2 weeks or so, and will still have some ripe fruit through July 4.  Many people have come to pick them, but more ripen each day, so there will be plenty to pick for the next 4 weeks.
Sydney Shannon picked red raspberries this morning with her mom Shannon Shannon, as did several others.
   Black raspberries and purple raspberries are just starting to ripen. Black raspberries will be heavy from about June 10 to June 24, and purple raspberries will be heavy from about June 14 to July 8.
   From June 1 to Aug. 31 we are open our summer hours, as the sidebar at left details.  We're open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7 to 9 p.m., and Sun. 7 to 9 p.m.only.  We're closed Sun. mornings for church, and closed every afternoon from noon to 7 p.m. due to summer heat.
   Berries are usually plentiful early in the week, from Sun. evening to Wed. morning, plus any day after it's rained the day before.  Many people typically come to pick on Fridays and Saturdays, and sometimes during those days people didn't get as many raspberries as they wanted last year.

Red raspberries are plentiful now, especially early in the week, and more will ripen over the next 4 weeks.
   All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  All types of raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + tax, pick-your-own.  Thornless blackberries, once they start ripening, will again be $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.
   Our thornless blackberry season should start June 13 or 14.  Many people want the very first-ripening blackberries, so we often get picked out that first week.  From mid-June to late July, we will have literally 4 to 5 tons of thornless blackberries ripe, so there will be plenty for everyone.
   We provide containers, and just ask that you bring them back to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries and Orchards.  Please also bring back any peach boxes you may have from last year.  We also appreciate donations of cardboard trays such as those from canned foods or 6-packs of energy drinks.  Chetopa Foods saves them for us, which we greatly appreciate, but we run through thousands of cardboard trays each summer, so we can always use more.
   We still have many 'Enterprise' and some 'GoldRush' apples for sale.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.  We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale.  Scroll down two posts for prices.
   For payment, we accept cash and checks (from any state), but NO credit cards or debit cards, as the sidebar at left details.  We do not have a card reader or a phone line to the sales building.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of fruit you want to buy.  Thanks.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Red Raspberries Ripening

   Red raspberries have just started ripening, and should continue until about July 4.  Several customers have already picked red raspberries over the past couple days, and we have openings for people to pick them on Tues. May 31 and Thurs. June 2.
Some red raspberries have started ripening, and many more will ripen over the next month.
   Starting this Wed. June 1, we are open our summer hours, as the sidebar at left details.  From June 1 to Aug. 31, we're open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7 to 9 p.m., and Sun. 7 to 9 p.m.only.  We're closed Sun. mornings for church, and closed every afternoon from noon to 7 p.m. due to summer heat.
   Berries are usually plentiful early in the week, from Sun. evening to Tues. evening, plus any day after it's rained the day before.  Many people typically come to pick on Fridays and Saturdays, and sometimes during those days people didn't get as many raspberries as they wanted last year.
   All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + tax, pick-your-own.
   It now looks like our thornless blackberry season will start about June 12 or 14, as cooler weather lately has slowed fruit development.  From mid-June to late July, we will have literally about 4 tons of thornless blackberries ripe.
   We still have many 'Enterprise' and some 'GoldRush' apples for sale.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.  We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale.  See the previous post for prices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pruning and Thinning Peaches

   Our workers and I are very busy this week pruning and thinning the peach trees.  Now that college and high school classes have ended, and temperatures are nice and cool, our workers are here up to 9 hours a day, Monday to Saturday, whenever it's not raining.  Most fruits on the early peach varieties were lost to spring frosts, so we didn't have to thin many fruits from those trees, but we still had to remove a few fruit that would otherwise touch at harvest, and we had to prune off many dead twigs.
Our workers Ben Miller (left), Tim Epler (center) and Tre Maxton (right) helped thin excess peaches today, from 'China Pearl' trees here.
   We should have about 30% of a normal peach crop this year, which should ripen mainly from about July 20 to about Aug. 20.  We had to thin quite a number of young fruit on 'Intrepid' and 'Contender' varieties, and we're now thinning a lot from 'Glowingstar'.
All our blackberry varieties, such as these 'Ouachita' have many blooms now, so we should have great crops of blackberries as well as raspberries.
   Raspberry and blackberry plants are still blooming, and we should have great crops of both.  Raspberry season should start about June 1 as usual.  It looks like our thornless blackberry season will start early this year, about June 8 or 10.
   Strawberries are ripe now until late May, and are sold pick-your-own only, by appointment only.  We now have people scheduled to pick strawberries until the end of strawberry season, so we can make no more appointments for strawberry picking.  After this strawberry season, we will retire from growing strawberries for sale, after providing pick-your-own strawberries to this area for 13 years. We'll still grow and sell 10 other species of fruit crops, plus pecans and asparagus, which keeps us extremely busy!
   We still have many 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale.  Our #1 apples, with no damage, sell just as fast as I sort them.  A 20-lb. box of #1 apples still costs $23.15 + tax ($1.15 per pound + tax), which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.
   We have many 2nds apples, with small cracks, cork spots or other surface damage, so we've reduced the price on these.  A 20-lb. box of 2nds apples now costs just $14.82 + tax ($0.74 per pound + tax).  When you buy two boxes, each 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs just $13.89 + tax ($0.69 per pound + tax), so that's $27.78 + tax  for 40 lbs. of 2nds apples. 
   Pecans are still $15.05 per 5-pound bag + tax.  Asparagus harvest continues until about June 8.  Asparagus is sold harvested for $2.78 per pound + tax.