Monday, May 23, 2011

Sales Building Going Up

  We keep praying for all those affected by the tornado that hit Joplin, MO, 30 miles east of us, last night.  Since early this morning, it's been raining constantly, hampering rescue and cleanup efforts.  Many from southeast Kansas have gone to help and many are collecting needed supplies.
  Amidst all this destruction, we're undergoing construction on our farm.  Over the last month, Fouts Construction put up a new sales building for Brenda's Berries & Orchards, and we're going to finish the inside over the summer.  After 10 years in business, it finally made economic sense to build a separate sales building, so we don't have to have fruit displays and sales in our equipment barn.
Fouts Construction workers put up a new sales building for us.
  We plan to install a 10' by 8' cooler in this new building in August, in time to store apples and pears this fall.  We'll be putting in a septic field, so we can install a lavatory and two sinks in the building.  We'll also put up counters and tables to hold fruit.  We'll be putting in a room for a pecan cracker, though it will be 4 or 5 years before we buy the pecan cracker and the rest of the equipment needed to shake, harvest and clean pecans.  Our young pecan trees just started bearing a few pecans last year.
Insulation is going up.
  Our workers will start painting the new building red soon, whenever it stops raining and they can take a break from blackberry pruning.  The Feb. cold that eliminated this year's peach crop also killed back the thornless blackberry canes, so we're having to prune them all over again this year.
Fir siding is up and soffits are going up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberries ripe now

  Strawberry harvest is in full swing now, and will continue for the next 3 weeks, till about June 4.  We grow  'Earliglow' strawberry, which has fantastic flavor, and also has more resistance to 3 common strawberry fruit rots than any other strawberry variety.  (I did research on this for my Ph.D. in fruit breeding from the University of Arkansas.)  'Earliglow' strawberries are smaller than the huge California varieties in grocery stores, but they're flavorful and dense, not hollow and cottony like grocery store strawberries.
'Earliglow' strawberries have wonderful flavor, and are great for freezing & jam making as well as fresh eating.
  Our strawberry field is small, so strawberries are pick-your-own only, by appointment only.  If you'd like to set up a day and time to pick, call 620-597-2450 and leave a phone message as to when you want to come and how many quarts you want to pick.  Or e-mail reidfarm@ckt.net
Picking strawberries means getting down on the ground, but fresh 'Earliglow' strawberries are worth it!