Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Still Many Blackberries & Peaches Ripening

   All 4 of our thornless blackberry varieties still have many ripe berries to pick now.  'Natchez' produces huge blackberries, very popular especially for making cobblers, and they will continue ripening for the next week or so.  'Apache' berries are almost as big and are also great for making cobblers, and are loaded with ripe fruit now and for the next 10 days to 2 weeks.

Three members of the Rather family, including Gail (left) and Jace (right), picked 18 quarts of 'Apache' thornless blackberries in 30 minutes a couple days ago.
   'Ouachita' blackberries are also ripe now and for the next 10 days to 2 weeks.  'Ouachita' berries are medium-sized with great flavor, especially good in pies and in fruit salads where a larger blackberry would be too big for the other fruits in the salad.  'Triple Crown' blackberries are large, have the smallest seeds and are the juiciest, so they're especially good for making jams and jellies.  'Triple Crown' is our latest-ripening blackberry variety.  There's a good amount ripe now, and they will continue ripening for the next 3 weeks, and they'll be heavy with fruit until about Aug. 5.
   Thornless blackberries are sold pick-your-own only.  They cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart of blackberries in 5 minutes.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.
   Weekday mornings are great times to come for those able to do so.  Come early to beat the heat.  We open at 7:30 a.m. Mon.-Sat. for berry pickers, but those who want only peaches should arrive after 9 a.m. to give our workers time to pick the peaches.  We're closed from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.  We're open 7-9 p.m. each evening, but call 620-597-2450 in the afternoon to be sure we'll have peaches that evening.
    Peaches are sold harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.  Our trained workers harvest peaches each morning Mon.-Sat. when it's not raining.  Some days fewer peaches are ripe, and we may sell out by late morning or early evening.  We often have no peaches to sell on Sun. evening, since our workers do not pick peaches on Sun. morning as we're closed for church.
We're now harvesting many 'Glowingstar' yellow peaches, and we'll continue harvesting them for another week.
   We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 months.  Each variety ripens over a 10-day to 2-week period.  We're now harvesting mostly 'Glowingstar' yellow peaches, and we'll continue harvesting them for another week.  We should start harvesting 'Carolina Gold' yellow peaches and 'China Pearl' white peaches early next week, and those will continue for about 2 weeks, until about Aug. 5.  Peach season will end almost 3 weeks earlier than the average date this year, since it started almost 3 weeks earlier than the average date.
   I give taste samples of the varieties ripe at each time.  All these peaches are freestone.  Small amounts of peaches cost $1.30 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to exactly 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $25.00 + tax (when we have them).  We also usually have some nice 2nds peaches with small hail-damaged spots or other surface damage, which sell for just $0.74 per pound + tax.
   Have your vehicle cleaned out so there's room to put trays of berries and peach boxes or bags.  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 blackberries and peaches keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Four Thornless Blackberry Varieties Ripe Now

   All 4 of our thornless blackberry varieties have lots of ripe fruit now.  'Natchez' produces huge blackberries, very popular especially for making cobblers, and they will continue ripening for the next 10 to 14 days.  'Apache' berries are almost as big and are also great for making cobblers, and are loaded with ripe fruit now and for the next 2 to 3 weeks.
'Natchez' produces huge blackberries, and will keep ripening for the next 10 to 14 days.
    'Ouachita' berries are medium-sized with great flavor, especially good in pies and in fruit salads where a larger blackberry would be too big for the other fruits in the salad.  'Triple Crown' blackberries are large, have the smallest seeds and are the juiciest, so they're especially good for making jams and jellies.  'Triple Crown' is our latest-ripening blackberry variety; there's a good amount ripe now, and they will continue ripening for the next 3 to 4 weeks, until about Aug. 5.
'Triple Crown' blackberries are large, have the smallest seeds and are the juiciest, and many are ripe now.
   Thornless blackberries are sold pick-your-own only.  They cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart of blackberries in 5 minutes.
   We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  Please also bring back any peach boxes or other containers you previously got from us.  We greatly appreciate it when customers bring us some cardboard trays to use for other customers, since we are now almost out of the size that holds 6 quarts.  Chetopa Foods saves cardboard trays 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 plastic or metal trays to place their blackberry quarts on to bring them home, which also helps.  Please do not bring bowls to dump the berries into, as that damages them, and we want the berries to stay in the plastic quarts that you picked them into until you get them home.
   Weekday mornings are great times to come for those able to do so.  If you come on Sat. morning (our busiest time) to pick blackberries, try to arrive by 8 or 8:30 a.m.  We open at 7:30 a.m. Mon.-Sat. for berry pickers, but those who want only peaches should arrive after 9 a.m. to give our workers time to pick the peaches.  We're closed from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.  We're open 7-9 p.m. each evening, but call 620-597-2450 in the afternoon to be sure we'll have peaches that evening.
    Peaches are sold harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.  Our trained workers harvest peaches each morning Mon.-Sat. when it's not raining.  Some days rain may curtail harvest or fewer peaches are ripe, and we may sell out by late morning or early evening.  We often have no peaches to sell on Sun. evening, since our workers do not pick peaches on Sun. morning as we're closed for church.
     We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 months.  Each variety ripens over a 10-day to 2-week period.  Our mid- to late-season peaches, that we're harvesting now, had less bud kill from spring frosts, so have bigger crops than most of our earlier varieties.  Most weekday mornings we have a good amount of peaches to sell.
   We're now harvesting 'Contender' peaches, and should start harvesting 'Glowingstar' peaches later this week and next week.  I give taste samples of the varieties ripe at each time.  All these peaches are freestone.  Scroll down 2 posts for peach prices. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Prime Season for Blackberries & Peaches

   Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Independence Day.  Many, many people came to pick thornless blackberries and buy peaches in the week leading up to July 4, as happens each year.  Now the prime productive season is starting for both blackberries and peaches, July 5 to about July 31.
   That's the heaviest time for blackberries every year.  This year it's also the time that we'll harvest the greatest amount of peaches, since they started almost 3 weeks early this year, and will end almost 3 weeks early, about Aug. 5.
   All 4 of our thornless blackberry varieties have ripe fruit now.  'Natchez' produces huge blackberries, very popular especially for making cobblers, and they will continue ripening for the next 2 to 3 weeks.  'Apache' berries are almost as big and are also great for making cobblers.
'Apache' blackberries, very large and great for making cobblers, have started and will continue ripening for the next 2 to 3 weeks.
   'Triple Crown' blackberries are large, have the smallest seeds and are the juiciest, so they're especially good for making jams and jellies.  'Ouachita' berries are smaller with great flavor, great for fruit salads where a larger blackberry would be too big for the other fruits in the salad.
I made this Berry Apple Salad for a church potluck for visiting missionaries this past Sunday, and all got eaten.  I used 3 'GoldRush' apples (which we still have for sale), 3 types of raspberries (purple, red and yellow) and 'Ouachita' blackberries, so the blackberries aren't too big for the other fruits in the salad.  I'm posting the recipe on our Facebook page, Brendas Berries, as a Note, along with my other fruit recipes.
   All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart of blackberries in 5 minutes.  Raspberry season has now ended, except for a few everbearing red and yellow raspberries which are still ripening.
   We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  Please also bring back any peach boxes or other containers you previously got from us.  Several customers have brought us some cardboard trays to use for other customers, which we greatly appreciate!  Chetopa Foods saves cardboard trays for us, which we also greatly appreciate.  We can still use more, since we run through thousands of cardboard trays each summer.
   Some customers bring plastic or metal trays to place their blackberry quarts on to bring them home, which also helps.  Please do not bring bowls to dump the berries into, as that damages them, and we want the berries to stay in the quarts you picked them into until you get them home.
   Weekday mornings are great times to come for those able to do so.  If you come on Sat. morning (our busiest time) to pick blackberries, try to arrive by 8 or 8:30 a.m.  We open at 7:30 a.m. Mon.-Sat. for berry pickers, but those who want only peaches should arrive after 9 a.m. to give our workers time to pick the peaches.  We're closed from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.  We're open 7-9 p.m. each evening, but call 620-597-2450 in the afternoon to be sure we'll have peaches that evening.
    Peaches are sold harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.  Our trained workers harvest peaches each morning Mon.-Sat. when it's not raining.  Some days rain may curtail harvest (such as this morning) or fewer peaches are ripe, and we may sell out by late morning or early evening.  We often have no peaches to sell on Sun. evening, since our workers do not pick peaches on Sun. morning as we're closed for church.
We're now harvesting 'Intrepid' (photo), my favorite peach variety, and just started harvesting 'Contender' peaches.
   We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 months.  Each variety ripens over a 10-day to 2-week period.  Our mid- to late-season peaches had less bud kill from spring frosts, so will have bigger crops than most of our earlier varieties.  We're now harvesting 'Intrepid' and just started harvesting 'Contender' peaches.  I give taste samples of the varieties ripe at each time.  All these peaches are freestone.  Peach prices are detailed in the previous post (scroll down).
   We also still have some 'GoldRush' apples for sale.  These stay crisp and juicy with great flavor for 10 to 11 months in our cooler or a fridge.  We're now down to about 180 pounds of 'GoldRush' apples (#1's and #2's combined) left to sell.  Pecans have sold out until the new crop starts in mid-Nov.

Monday, June 26, 2017

More Blackberries & Fewer Peaches Ripe Now

   Since my last blog post 1 week ago, many, many people came to buy peaches. 1400 lbs. sold in 26 hours, from Tues. evening June 20 to Wed. evening June 21. We harvest peaches each morning Mon.-Sat. and will have them for sale until early Aug., but some days fewer peaches are ripe, and we may sell out by late morning or early evening.
   Please do not arrive earlier than our opening time. We open at 7:30 a.m. Mon.-Sat. for berry pickers, but those who want only peaches should arrive after 9 a.m. to give our workers time to pick the peaches. We're closed from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m. We're open 7-9 p.m. each evening, but call 620-597-2450 in the afternoon to be sure we'll have peaches that evening.  We often have no peaches to sell on Sun. evening, since our workers do not pick peaches on Sun. morning.
   We'll harvest the greatest amount of peaches from July 5 to about July 31.  We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 months.  Each variety ripens over a 10-day to 2-week period.  Our mid- to late-season peaches had less bud kill from spring frosts, so will have bigger crops than our earlier varieties.  We've already finished harvesting 'Early Redhaven', 'Surecrop' and  'Blazingstar'.  We're now harvesting 'Newhaven', 'Challenger' and 'Allstar'.  I give taste samples of the varieties ripe at each time.  All these peaches are freestone.
   Small amounts of peaches cost $1.30 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to exactly 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $25.00 + tax (when we have them).  We also have many nice 2nds peaches with small hail-damaged spots or other surface damage, which sell for just $0.74 per pound + tax.
   Some purple raspberries are still ripe now and will continue to about July 8.  A few everbearing red and yellow raspberries are also ripening.  More raspberries ripen each day, so those who come to pick blackberries can often also pick a few pints of raspberries.
   Harvest of our earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez', has started getting heavier, but they're still being heavily picked.  'Natchez' produces very large crops of huge blackberries, so they are very easy to pick, and they will continue ripening for the next 3 weeks or so.  Sat. morning is of course our busiest day, and we got picked out on 'Natchez' and our other thornless blackberry varieties last Sat.  Weekday mornings are great times to come for those able to do so.  If you come on Sat. morning to pick blackberries, try to arrive by 8 or 8:30 a.m.
'Natchez'  thornless blackberry produces huge blackberries, and they will continue ripening for the next 3 weeks or so.
   Some customers are also picking 'Ouachita' and  'Triple Crown' blackberries, which have just started.  'Ouachita' berries are smaller with great flavor, great for fruit salads where a larger blackberry would be too big for the other fruits in the salad.  'Triple Crown' blackberries have the smallest seeds and are the juiciest, so they're especially good for making jams and jellies.
   All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Pick-your-own raspberries cost $2.08 per pint + tax.  Thornless blackberries cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart of blackberries in 5 minutes.
   We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  Please also bring back any peach boxes or other containers you previously got from us.  Some customers bring plastic or metal trays to place their blackberry quarts on to bring them home, which also helps.  Please do not bring bowls to dump the berries into, as that damages them, and we want the berries to stay in the quarts you picked them into until you get them home.
   Have your vehicle cleaned out so there's room to put trays of berries and peach boxes or bags.  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 blackberries and peaches keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Many Peaches & Purple Raspberries Ripe Now

   We have plenty of peaches to sell now.  On Sat. morning June 17, our workers harvested over 500 pounds of peaches, and this morning our workers harvested over 400 pounds of peaches.  This year, peach harvest started two weeks earlier than the average start of peach harvest.  We have peaches to sell this evening and every morning and evening during our open hours (see sidebar at left).
We're still harvesting 'Surecrop' peaches, which are very juicy, sweet and flavorful.
   We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 months.  Each variety ripens over a 10-day to 2-week period.  We're still harvesting 'Surecrop' peaches, described in the previous post, and have started harvesting 'Blazingstar'.  We've already finished harvesting 'Early Redhaven', our earliest peach variety, and have sold all of that variety.  I give taste samples of the varieties ripe at each time.
Many purple raspberries are ripe now.  Come this week for fast picking.
   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.
   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 a week or two ago, so take longer to pick now.  We also have some yellow raspberries to pick now.
Rhonda Addis picked 3 types of raspberries last week: purple (left), black (middle) and red (right).  We now have some yellow raspberries to pick also.
   Thornless blackberries are ripening slowly this year; their harvest will be at the average time rather than earlier as peaches and red raspberries have been.  Only a few blackberries started ripening early, and those have been heavily picked.  The heaviest time for thornless blackberries is about June 26 to July 31. 
   Prices for peaches and berries are detailed in the previous post.  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 and check out by our closing time.  Thanks.)
Our cooler is now almost half full of peaches, all picked Sat. morning and this morning.  During peach season, we keep our cooler at 50 F, ideal for peaches.
   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, peaches and blackberries both keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator. Raspberries keep well for 5 to 7 days in a refrigerator.