Monday, June 25, 2012

Blackberries, Yellow Peaches & White Peaches Ripe Now

   Blackberry harvest is very heavy now.  We have 4 different blackberry varieties ripe now.  There's still a few of our earliest variety, 'Natchez', ripening, and there are literally tons of 'Ouachita', 'Apache', and 'Triple Crown'.  The first 3 varieties came from the University of Arkansas breeding program.  'Triple Crown', from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture breeding program in Maryland, is our heaviest-yielding blackberry variety and also the sweetest.
Our 'Triple Crown' blackberries are yielding very heavily now, and the red berries will continue to ripen over the next 4 weeks or so.
   'Newhaven' freestone yellow peaches are ripening now, and we just started harvesting our first white peach variety, 'Nectar'.  White peaches have high sugar content and very low acid, so they taste sweeter and milder than yellow peaches.  I give taste samples of all peach varieties.
'Nectar', our first white peach variety to ripen, is just starting to ripen now.  
   White peaches are good for eating fresh, but not for cooking, canning or freezing, as they do turn brown after cutting them.  All our yellow peaches are non-browning varieties and are excellent for freezing as well as fresh eating, and 'Newhaven' peaches are also good for cooking and canning.  
We're now picking 'Newhaven' peaches, our 3rd variety to ripen of the 9 different yellow peach varieties we grow.

   We have a succession of 9 different yellow peach varieties and 2 white peach varieties, and should have yellow peaches for the next 8 weeks, until about Aug. 22.  We'll have white peaches for sale about June 26 to July 14, and again about July 28 to Aug. 16.  Blackberry harvest should continue for the next 4 weeks or so, until late July.
   Berries are sold pick-your-own.  We're open for picking, as the sidebar at left says, Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.  We pick all the peaches, and have them for sale during those hours.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peach and Blackberry Harvest Continues

  We're harvesting many great-quality peaches, and customers are harvesting lots of large thornless blackberries and some raspberries, despite the ongoing drought.  We are irrigating all the fruits, and praise God that we got 0.3 inches of rain last Friday morning, but we need another couple inches of rain and are praying we get more soon.
Heather Ledford and our other workers harvest 'Surecrop' peaches.
  We're harvesting 'Early Redhaven' and 'Surecrop' peaches now.  I give taste samples, and many people are amazed at how much better these peaches taste than grocery-store peaches.
Heather Ledford packs harvested peaches into boxes while Daniel Rennie (back right) and Brandon Ledford (far back center)  harvest peaches.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, so customers who buy 20 lbs. of peaches get a discount of $1.00 off the per-lb. price of peaches.
  We got our new highway sign up this past weekend.  This sign has much larger letters, so it's easier to see as you approach our road, 95th St., from KS Highway 166.  Bill made and installed the frame, and I painted the signs.  I'm working on painting a sign for "peaches" now.
Our new highway sign is easier to see as you approach our road, 95th St., from KS Highway 166.
  Blackberry harvest should continue for the next 6 weeks or so.  Purple raspberries are still ripe, along with smaller amounts of red, yellow and black raspberries, for the next 10 days or so.  We have a succession of 9 different yellow peach varieties and 2 white peach varieties, and should have peaches for the next 2 months, until late Aug.
   Berries are sold pick-your-own.  We're open for picking, as the sidebar at left says, Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.  We pick all the peaches, and have them for sale during those hours.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Peach Harvest Has Begun

  We harvested the first peaches this past Sat., and today we harvested over 300 lbs. of 'Early Redhaven', a fully freestone peach.  This is about 3 weeks earlier than most years.  I give taste samples of the peaches, and everyone so far has loved them.
We picked all these 'Early Redhaven' peaches and more today.  Each box was weighed to 20 lbs., and sells for $22.26 + $1.74 sales tax = $24.00, a 5% discount off the per-pound price.
  A Labette County 4-H group toured our farm today.  They watched our workers harvesting the peaches, saw developing fruits on our apple and pear trees, then picked some thornless blackberries and purple raspberries.  Tomorrow they'll make jam from the blackberries.
A Labette County 4-H group watched Daniel Rennie (right) and our other workers harvest peaches.
The 4-H kids enjoyed picking hornless blackberries.
  More blackberries are ripening now, and will continue for the next 7 weeks.  Purple raspberries will keep ripening for the next 2 weeks or so.  We have a succession of 9 different yellow peach varieties and 2 white peach varieties, and should have peaches for the next 2 months, until late Aug.
   Berries are sold pick-your-own.  We're open for picking, as the sidebar at left says, Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.  We pick all the peaches, and have them for sale during those hours.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Red, black, purple & yellow raspberries ripe now

  We have four different kinds of raspberries ripe now: red, black, purple and yellow.  Each has its own distinct flavor, which you can taste if you come out to pick them. 

'Reveille' red raspberries are still plentiful and flavorful.
  Purple raspberries are hybrids of red raspberries and black raspberries, and yellow raspberries are a single-gene variation of red raspberries. Red and black raspberries should continue to bear well until about June 15 this year.  Purple and yellow raspberry harvest has just started, and they will continue until about June 30 this year.
'Royalty' purple raspberries have hybrid vigor, giving them larger fruit and higher yields, so pick faster than red or black raspberries.
'Anne' yellow raspberrries have just started ripening, and will bear until about June 30 and again in late summer to fall.
  Black raspberries have the highest levels of cancer-preventing antioxidants of any temperate-zone fruits--far higher than blueberries which come in at #6 after black raspberries, blackberries, black currants, black grapes, and purple raspberries.  The darker the fruit, the higher the level of anthocyanins and antioxidants.  Black raspberries are the only raspberries native to southeast Kansas, and have the most intense flavor of the raspberries, though they also have larger spines which makes them a bit harder to pick.  Black raspberries make wonderful jam and juice, and I picked some today for my husband to make into jam.
'Jewel' black raspberries have the highest levels of cancer-preventing antioxidants of any temperate-zone fruits and make wonderful jam and juice.
  Our 'Natchez' thornless blackberries are also still bearing well, and customers have just started picking our second thornless blackberry variety, 'Ouachita'.  Both these varieties came from the University of Arkansas breeding program and are named after Native American tribes, since blackberries are a native American fruit.
Even young children enjoy picking 'Natchez' thornless blackberries.