Friday, May 25, 2012

Raspberry & Early Blackberry Harvest

   Red raspberries continue to bear well.  Harvest will probably last until about June 14 this year.  Black raspberry harvest has just started, and will also continue until about June 14 this year.
Kids have fun picking our 'Reveille' red raspberries.
   Purple raspberry harvest has also just started, and should continue until about June 30 this year.  Purple raspberries are hybrids between red raspberries and black raspberries, so the flavor is a mix of both.  Purple raspberries have hybrid vigor, so have larger fruit and higher yields than either red raspberries or black raspberries.  We grow 'Royalty' purple raspberry, which is actually a hybrid between a red raspberry and a purple raspberry, so it is 3/4 red raspberry and 1/4 black raspberry.
'Royalty' purple raspberries have just started ripening, and will continue until about June 30 this year.
   Our earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez', has just started ripening also, 3 weeks ahead of its ripening time most years.  This newest variety from the University of Arkansas breeding program has huge fruit, and customers love it.  It will keep ripening until about June 20, and by then we'll have lots of 'Ouachita' blackberries ripe, followed by 'Apache' and 'Triple Crown'.  We should have blackberries ripe for over 2 months this year, until about Aug. 1.
'Natchez' blackberries have huge fruit and ripen early, making for quick picking.
It takes only about 5 minutes to pick each quart of 'Natchez' blackberries.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawberry Harvest Ending, Raspberry Harvest Starting

   This very warm spring caused strawberries to start ripening 2 weeks earlier than most years, and made the harvest more concentrated, so the strawberry harvest season is now over, except for those who already have appointments over the next few days.  Usually we harvest strawberries for a month, from early May to early June.  This year the bulk of strawberry harvest took place in only 15 days, from April 24 to May 8, with just a few berries picked for a few days before and after that.
'Reveille' red raspberries are starting to ripen, 2 to 3 weeks earlier than most years.  I took this photo today, May 9, 2012.
   Red raspberries are just starting to ripen, so you can pick some of those if you call 620-597-2450 and request a date for that.  As the sidebar at left says, we are open by appointment until May 31, then from June 1 to Aug. 31 we are open Mon.-Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.
Customers picked 7 pints of red raspberries today.  Large amounts will be ripe next week.
   Red raspberries will be ripe in quantity about May 17 to June 8 this year, black raspberries about June 1-15, and purple raspberries about June 4-30.  I've changed the ripening dates in the sidebar again to reflect even earlier ripening than I'd thought before, after last weekend's 90 F temperatures.
   Pick-your-own raspberries cost $1.86 per pint + $0.14 sales tax = $2.00 per pint total.  You need to make an appointment with me for a certain day & time, and let me know about how many pints you'd like to pick.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberries Bearing Bountifully

  Our 'Earlilglow' strawberries are bearing bountifully now, despite the 5 inches of rain we got a few days ago.  Customers picked 74 quarts of strawberries yesterday and 86 quarts today.
This couple (in back of above photo and below) picked 32 quarts of strawberries this evening.
  The Neosho River has flooded over 95th St., the road to our farm.  Customers are still getting here by going around the half-section.  Turn south from Hwy. 166 onto 90th St. (which is 1/2 mile east of 95th St.), go 1.0 mile south, then turn right (west) onto Star Rd. and go 1/2 mile west, then turn right (north) onto 95th St. and go 2/3 mile north, then turn right onto our driveway.
     The Neosho River floodwaters have started receding, so 95th St. should be passable by Fri. May 4.  We have openings for strawberry pickers on Sat. May 5 and each day next week.  Strawberries are pick-your-own only, by appointment only, so call 620-597-2450 to arrange a day & time to pick some.
  We also got some hail on Mon. night, which damaged some peaches and apples.  Thankfully, we're still thinning fruit, so we can remove hail-damaged peaches and apples during follow-up hand thinning.