Thursday, December 26, 2013

After-Christmas Apple Sale

  We hope everyone had a joyful Christmas.  We did, with all three of our grown kids and my mother visiting.  Due to ice accumulation, our electricity was out for 3 hours on Christmas Eve and for another 4 hours on Christmas Day, but we appreciate the Heartland Rural Electric Coop workers who got power restored each time.  We're also thankful the roads were clear so we could attend church to celebrate Christ's birth.
Trees in our apple orchard were coated with ice on Christmas Eve morning.
   The roads are fine now, so people can come buy some of the many harvested 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples we still have for sale.  These apples are wonderful for baking pies, apple crisp, applesauce, apple butter, dried apples, apple muffins, etc., as well as fresh eating.  We have many #2 apples for economical baking, and #1 apples for fresh eating and keeping 6 to 8 months in the fridge.
'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples are wonderful for for fresh eating, such as in this apple salad we had with our Christmas dinner, and also great for baking.
   We've just lowered apple prices by $1.00 for each 20 lbs.  Lesser amounts of harvested #1 apples are still $1.21 per pound + tax, but 20 lbs. #1's are now just $22.29 + tax ($1.11 per pound), and 40 lbs. #1's are just $42.73 + tax ($1.06 per pound).  Lesser amounts of harvested #2 apples are still $0.83 per pound + tax, but 20 lbs. #2's are now just $14.86 + tax ($0.74 per pound), and 40 lbs. #2's are just $27.87 + tax ($0.69 per pound).  You can also get the 40-lb. discount by buying 20 lbs. #1's and 20 lbs. #2's.
      We'll have apples for sale for the next 6 months, and from Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so call or e-mail a day or so in advance and leave a message saying when you're coming to get apples.  If you want apples, we'd appreciate it if you'd come to get some soon, since our cooler is full and we still have some stored in our garage, where they're protected from this cold weather.  For highway detour directions, scroll down 3 posts.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Apples Great in Holiday Gift Baskets

Our 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples nicely fill holiday gift baskets (you provide the baskets), and our homemade jams and preserves make good holiday gifts too.
   We still have many harvested 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale, of great quality.  These apples look great in holiday gift baskets.  Bill's homemade jams and preserves, all made from fruit we grow, also make tasty holiday gifts.
   These apples are wonderful for baking pies, apple crisp, applesauce, apple butter, dried apples, apple muffins, etc., as well as fresh eating.  We have many #2 apples for economical holiday baking, and #1 apples for gifts or keeping 6 to 8 months in the fridge.
   Harvested #1 apple prices are: $1.21 per pound + tax for #1's, $23.22 + tax for 20 lbs. #1's ($1.16 per pound), and $44.59 + tax for 40 lbs. #1's ($1.11 per pound).  Harvested #2 apple prices are: $0.83 per pound + tax for #2's, $15.79 + tax for 20 lbs. #2's ($0.79 per pound), and $29.73 + tax for 40 lbs. #2's ($0.74 per pound). You can also get the 40-lb. discount by buying 20 lbs. #1's and 20 lbs. #2's.

Our peach orchard is settling in for winter. Bill got the fall spray for peach leaf curl on just 10 days ago, after leaf fall and before snowfall.
  We'll have apples for sale for the next 6 months, and from Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so during those months call or e-mail a day or so in advance and leave a message saying when you're coming to get apples.  For highway detour directions, scroll down two posts.
We'll still have apples for the next 6 months, just call a day or so ahead and leave a message saying when you're coming.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apples Great for Holiday Baking & Fresh Eating

   We have many harvested 'Enterprise', 'GoldRush', 'Sundance' and Coop 27 apples for sale now, of great quality, and I give taste samples.  We also have small amounts of a few other selections, including some from my own apple breeding program.  Tree-ripened apples taste much better, and unlike grocery-store apples, we don't apply wax or post-harvest fungicides to our apples.
We have many harvested 'Enterprise' (front box, left bag) and 'GoldRush' (front box, right bag) apples for sale now, and still have some 'Sundance' (2nd box, left bag) and Coop 27 (2nd box, right bag) apples.
    All these apple varieties are great for fresh eating as well as baking pies, apple crisp, applesauce, apple butter, dried apples, apple muffins, etc. We have many #2 apples for economical holiday baking, and #1 apples for keeping 6 to 8 months in the fridge.
   We're open our regular fall hours until Nov. 30: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sun. 1-6 p.m.  We're open as usual on Wed. Nov. 27, Fri. Nov. 29 & Sat. Nov. 30.

I'm sorting apples in the sales building most of each day during these very cold days. When the weather warms up again I'll go back to transplanting strawberry plants and blackberry plants, so phone a day or so in advance and leave a message saying when you're coming to get apples.
  We'll have apples for sale for the next 6 months, and from Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so during those months call or e-mail a day or so in advance and leave a message saying when you're coming to get apples.  For highway detour directions, see post below.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hwy. 166 Detour Directions

   Hwy. 166 is still closed 4 miles east of Brenda's Berries, for the next 2 months or so, for constructing a new bridge between 50th St. & 60th St.
   Those coming from the west (Coffeyville, Edna, etc.) on Hwy. 166 or from the northwest (Oswego, Altamont, Parsons, etc.) on Hwy. 59: IGNORE the detour signs in Chetopa.  Follow "Local Traffic Only" signs and go east on Hwy. 166 for 4.5 miles to 95th St., our road.
   Those coming from the east (Joplin, Baxter Springs, etc.) on Hwy. 166: when you get to the 4-way stop 6 miles west of Baxter Springs, follow "Local Traffic Only" signs and stay straight on Hwy. 166.  IGNORE the detour signs that would take you up to Columbus and add 30 miles to your trip. Go 5 miles west on Hwy. 166 until you reach the barricade across the highway at 50th St.  Then go 1.0 mile south on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Star Rd., & 1.0 mile north on 60th St. (all gravel roads), then turn left onto Hwy. 166 & go 3.5 miles west to 95th St., our road.  (The northern route of 1.0 mile north on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Greenlawn Rd., & 1.0 mile south on 60th St. has been very heavily used so has developed severe ruts and washboards, so this southern route is now better.)
    Those coming from the northeast (Columbus, Pittsburg, etc.) should take Hwy. 160 west from Columbus to 90th St. (just before Angelo's Deli), turn left on 90th St. (a paved road) and go south on it for 10.0 miles, then turn right onto Hwy. 166 & go 0.5 miles west to 95th St., our road.
   Those coming from the south (Miami, etc.) should take Hwy. 59 north from Welch, OK to Chetopa, KS, then take Hwy. 166 east for 4.5 miles to 95th St., our road.
This large sign on Hwy. 166 tells you where to turn south on 95th St.
   There's a large sign for Brenda's Berries on Hwy. 166 where you turn south on 95th St.  Go 1/3 mile south on 95th St., then turn left into our driveway at another sign for Brenda's Berries.  Go a short distance down the driveway to our red sales building on your right, and you can park right in front of it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Apple Harvest Done; Many Apples for Sale

   We finished harvesting the rest of this year's apple crop on Mon. Nov. 11, and got all the apples protected from this morning's freeze, which reached 18 F here.  All four of our current workers--Rachael Triebel, Ben Miller, Daniel Rennie, and Abby Dominguez--helped harvest apples for 5 hours on Sat. Nov. 9, I picked some more on Sun. afternoon, and Rachael and I spent 9 hours harvesting the rest of the apples on Mon.
We and customers picked every last apple from these trees on Sat. Nov. 9 to Mon. Nov. 11, so the trees are now preparing for winter.
   Several families came to pick their own apples on Sat., Sun. and Mon., including a lot of kids on Mon.  The pick-your-own apple season is now over for 2013, but we'll have harvested apples for sale from now until May 2014.
   We now have over 7000 pounds of harvested apples for sale.  Our cooler holds about 4500 pounds, and the rest are protected from freezes in our unheated garage that's attached to our house, and in the sales building outside the cooler.  We brought a portable heater into the sales building last night and ran it all night to keep the temperature above 32 F.  At 8 a.m. this morning it was about the same temperature in the sales building as in the cooler, 34 F.
    It's still in the 40's now in the sales building, so I'm in the house writing this blog.  When it warms up above 50 F in the sales building, I'll be out there the rest of the day sorting apples.  If you come by to get apples when I'm not out there, as someone just did, there's a sign on the door with the house phone number, so call that and I'll come out.
   We'll have harvested 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale for the next 7 months.  Both of these apples are great for fresh eating, baking pies, apple crisp, applesauce, apple butter, etc. 'Enterprise' apples keep well for 7 to 8 months in a fridge, and 'GoldRush' apples keep well for 8 to 10 months in a fridge.  'Enterprise' apples are sweet-tart, fine-grained, very crisp and juicy. 'GoldRush' apples start off tart-sweet but get sweeter after a month in the fridge, as starches convert into sugars.  'GoldRush' apples are very dense and crisp, and are my favorite fresh eating apple once they've reached their peak sweetness.
We have many harvested 'Enterprise' (left) and 'GoldRush' (right) apples for sale.  These are both top-quality apples, and most people love the taste of one or both of them.
   Right now we also have some 'Sundance', Coop 27 and small amounts of a few other apple selections for sale, including some from my own apple breeding program.  All these apple varieties and selections are immune to apple scab disease, so we don't need to spray for that disease, and can use about 1/3 fewer fungicide sprays as needed by scab-susceptible varieties.  I give taste samples of all these apples, and all taste much better than grocery-store apples.
   We also still have about 30 pounds of Asian pears for sale.  We have sold out of European pears for the season.
   We're still open our fall hours (Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. 1-6 p.m.) until Nov. 30, though we do appreciate a call or e-mail a day or so ahead, saying when you'll come to get apples.  From Dec. 1 to May 31, we're open by appointment.  For highway detour directions, see the post above.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Last Couple Weeks for Pick-Your-Own Apples

Many 'GoldRush' and 'Enterprise' apples are ripe for picking now, but come soon if you want to pick your own.
   Our pick-your-own apple season will continue until late Nov., but we're picking many apples now for winter storage in our cooler, so if you want to pick apples, come in the next week or so if you can.  Many 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' are ripe for picking now.  Those who pick some some #1 apples (practically perfect) and #2 apples (with small cracks or hail damage) to buy may also pick some #3 apples (with small rotten spots) for free.
   We have many harvested 'Enterprise', 'Sundance', 'GoldRush' and Coop 27 apples for sale now, of great quality.  We also have small amounts of a few other selections, including some from my own apple breeding program.  All these apple varieties and selections are immune to apple scab disease, so we don't need to spray for that disease, and can use about 1/3 fewer fungicide sprays as needed by scab-susceptible varieties (such as 'Jonathan', 'Golden Delicious', etc.)  Tree-ripened apples taste much better, and unlike grocery-store apples, we don't apply wax or post-harvest fungicides to our apples.
Harvested apples for sale now include 'Enterprise' (front box, left bag), 'Sundance' (front box, right bag), 'Scarlet O'Hara' (2nd box), 'Jonafree' (3rd box, left bag), 'GoldRush' (3rd box, right bag & 4th box, left bag) and Coop 34 (4th box, right bag).
    We still have 10 boxes of harvested 'Harrowsweet' European pears for sale.  These are pear-shaped and get soft, and are wonderful for fresh eating, baking and canning.  We have 2 1/2 boxes of harvested 'Shinko' Asian pears, which are round and stay crunchy and are great for fresh eating and salads.  I give taste samples of these pear varieties and the apple varieties.  Many people say they don't like pears until they taste ours.  We'll have pears for sale until about Nov. 12 this year, so come in the next week or so if you want some.
   From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 we're open our fall hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sun. 1-6 p.m.  For highway detour directions, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Older Posts", then scroll down.
   If you come for pears and/or apples, please remember to bring back any peaches boxes and/or berry containers you may have gotten from us earlier, so we can reuse them.  We can also use clean, used, plastic grocery sacks of different colors: white, tan, yellow, blue or gray.  We have customers pick #1 apples, #2's and #3's into different color bags.  Thanks very much!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Frost Didn't Hurt Apples

   This morning's frost, to 29 F here, did not hurt the apples on the trees at all.  The sugar content of apples is high enough that they are not damaged until temperatures drop to 24 F or so.  Our pick-your-own apple harvest season should continue until the first hard freeze, which usually occurs about Nov. 20.  I'll keep harvesting apples until then also, and store the harvested apples in our cooler at 34 F.  We will have 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale until early spring.
Mallory Thompson had fun picking 'Enterprise' apples with her grandma last week.
   We have many harvested 'Enterprise', 'Sundance', 'GoldRush', 'Scarlet O'Hara' and Coop 27 apples for sale now, plus small amounts of a few other apple varieties and selections.  I give taste samples of all of these, including selections from my own apple breeding program to those who ask.

'Enterprise' apples are ripening beautifully, so we still have many to pick, along with some 'GoldRush' apples.
   We also still have many harvested 'Harrowsweet' pears and 'Shinko' Asian pears, and a few 'Blake's Pride' pears for sale.  I give taste samples of all these pear varieties too, and many people say they don't like pears until they try some of ours.  If you want to get pears, come in the next couple weeks.
   Scroll down for updated highway detour directions. See open hours at left.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Apple Harvest Continues & Many Pears Ripe

   Many have been coming to pick their own 'Enterprise' apples, and more are ripening each day, now until late Nov.  We also have a few 'GoldRush' apples that customers can pick now, and more of these will ripen until late Nov.  Many families like to bring their kids or grandkids to pick apples, and the kids have a lot of fun.
Connor McGinty, with mom Colleen, had fun picking 'Enterprise' apples.  The yellow apples in the background are 'GoldRush', which are just starting to ripen now.
   We have many harvested 'Enterprise', 'Sundance' and Coop 27 apples for sale now, plus small amounts of a few other apple varieties and selections.  I give taste samples of all of these, including selections from my own apple breeding program to those who ask.
   We also still have many harvested 'Harrowsweet' pears and 'Shinko' Asian pears, and a few 'Luscious' and 'Blake's Pride' pears for sale.  I give taste samples of all these pear varieties too, and many people say they don't like pears until they try some of ours.  If you want to get pears, come in the next couple weeks.
We still have many harvested 'Harrowsweet' pears (front box) and some 'Blake's Pride' pears (2nd box), a few 'Luscious' pears (3rd box, left bag), and some 'Shinko' Asian pears (3rd box, right bag) for sale.
   Some fall-bearing red raspberries are still ripening, now until the first frost.  Let us know if you want to pick some of these, if available.
   From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 we're open our fall hours, as the sidebar at left shows: open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1-6 p.m.  Scroll down for updated highway detour directions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Many Pick-Your-Own & Harvested Apples & Pears

   Many people came last weekend to pick their own 'Enterprise' apples.  This variety will keep ripening until about Nov. 20, so there will be lots more to pick.  Many people love the flavor of 'Enterprise', and it's excellent for all uses: fresh eating, pies, applesauce, apple butter, cider, etc.  We'll also have pick-your-own 'GoldRush' apples from about Oct. 20 until about Nov. 25.
'Enterprise' apples will keep ripening until about Nov. 20, and they keep 6 to 8 months in our cooler or your fridge.  You can pick your own 'Enterprise' or buy harvested apples.
Oswego preschoolers had fun picking 'Enterprise' apples last Thurs. Oct. 3.
   We have many harvested 'Enterprise' and 'Jonafree' apples for sale now, plus small amounts of a few other apple varieties and selections, including selections from my own apple breeding program.  We also still have harvested 'Luscious', 'Blake's Pride' and 'Harrowsweet' pears, and 'Shinko' Asian pears, for the next couple weeks.  I give taste samples of all these apple and pear varieties, so come try them!
'Scarlett O'Hara' apple (in rear bag, from the Purdue, Rutgers & Illinois breeding program), and a selection from my breeding program (in front bag) are just two of the many different varieties and selections you can sample here.
   From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 we're open our fall hours, as the sidebar at left shows: open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1-6 p.m.  Scroll down for updated highway detour directions. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Apples Ripening, & Many Pears Ripe

   'Enterprise' apples are starting to ripen, so our pick-your-own apple season is about to begin.  We'll have harvested and pick-your-own 'Enterprise' apples from Oct. 2 until about Nov. 20, and harvested and pick-your-own 'GoldRush' apples from about Oct. 20 until about Nov. 25.  We have harvested 'Jonafree' apples and a few other apple varieties for sale now, and will have harvested 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples from about Oct. 20 until about May 31.
We have harvested 'Jonafree' apples (front box) for sale now, plus 'Shinko' Asian pears (2nd box, left bag), 'Blake's Pride' European pears (2nd box, right bag), and 'Luscious' European pears (3rd box).
   We still have many harvested pears and Asian pears for sale.  We have 'Luscious', 'Blake's Pride' and 'Harrowsweet' European pears, and 'Shinko' Asian pears, now until about Oct. 22 or so.  I give taste samples of all of these, and of the different apple varieties.  We're almost done harvesting pears now, and our cooler is full of pears and a few apples.  Come and sample some new varieties!
   The fall-bearing red raspberries and yellow raspberries are starting to produce well now.  We only have a few bushes of these fall-bearing raspberries, so if you want to pick a few pints of raspberries also when you come to pick apples and/or buy harvested pears and apples, phone 620-597-2450 a day or two before you plan to come.  Leave a phone message saying your name, the day and approximate time you plan to come, and that you want to pick raspberries.  When I get your message, I'll save some raspberries for you to pick; otherwise, I pick them all for our own use.

I picked these fall-bearing 'Anne' yellow raspberries and 'Polka' red raspberries yesterday.  Phone 620-597-2450 and leave a message if you want to pick raspberries; otherwise, I pick them all for our own use.
   From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, we're open our fall hours, as the sidebar at left shows: open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. 1-6 p.m.  Scroll down for updated highway detour directions, two posts below.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Many Pears, Asian Pears & 'Jonafree' Apples Ripe Now

   We have many harvested European pears, Asian pears and 'Jonafree' apples for sale now, plus we still have 4 boxes of 'Flameprince' yellow peach.  Both types of pears and 'Jonafree' apples keep well in the fridge for 6 weeks.  European pears need to be placed on the counter 3 to 4 days before you want to use them, to soften and turn yellow.  Asian pears stay crunchy and are very juicy and sweet.  We'll have pears for sale until about Oct. 18 this year.
Asian pears look like apples, stay crunchy like apples, and are very juicy and sweet, with their own unique flavor.  
   We have small amounts of a few other apples for sale now also.  Coop 27 is a selection from the Purdue, Rutgers and Illinois scab-immune apple breeding program that hasn't been named yet.  It has a fine texture and a taste somewhat like 'Stayman Winesap'.  I have a few selections from my own scab-immune apple breeding program also.  I give taste samples of all the apples and other fruits.
Coop 27, a selection from the Purdue, Rutgers and Illinois scab-immune apple breeding program, has a fine texture and a taste somewhat like 'Stayman Winesap'.
One of the crosses I made in my apple breeding program this year is Coop 27 x 'GoldRush'.  The Coop 27 apple on the right is one of my crosses, easy to tell because I removed the sepals and anthers to make a controlled pollination.  The Coop 27 apple on the left, not a controlled cross, still has its sepals and was pollinated by bees.  I'll save seeds from all the crosses on this tree and others I pollinated, grow them out, and eventually evaluate the fruit they produce.
   Our pick-your-own apple season will start in a few days, but the most apples will be ripe all during Oct. and the first 3 weeks of Nov.  Bill harvested our 'Dolgo' crabapples and has been making lots of crabapple jelly, which many customers love.  Those who want to make their own crabapple jelly, and come in the next few days, may pick some 'Dolgo' crabapples.
'Dolgo' crabapples make wonderful crabapple jelly or spiced crabapples.
   The fall-bearing red raspberries and yellow raspberries are starting to produce well now.  Those who ask can pick a few pints of raspberries also.
   From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, we're open our fall hours, as the sidebar at left shows: open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. 1-6 p.m.  I updated the highway detour directions in the last post below.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Detour Directions for Hwy. 166 east of Chetopa

    Hwy. 166 is still closed 4 miles east of Brenda's Berries, for the next 3 months or so, for constructing a new bridge between 50th St. & 60th St.
   Those coming from the west (Coffeyville, Edna, etc.) on Hwy. 166 or from the northwest (Oswego, Altamont, Parsons, etc.) on Hwy. 59: IGNORE the detour signs in Chetopa.  Follow "Local Traffic Only" signs and go east on Hwy. 166 for 4.5 miles to 95th St., our road.
   Those coming from the east (Joplin, Baxter Springs, etc.) on Hwy. 166: when you get to the 4-way stop 6 miles west of Baxter Springs, follow "Local Traffic Only" signs and stay straight on Hwy. 166.  IGNORE the detour signs that would take you up to Columbus and add 30 miles to your trip. Go 5 miles west on Hwy. 166 until you reach the barricade across the highway at 50th St.  Then go 1.0 mile south on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Star Rd., & 1.0 mile north on 60th St. (all gravel roads), then turn left onto Hwy. 166 & go 3.5 miles west to 95th St., our road.  (The northern route of 1.0 mile north on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Greenlawn Rd., & 1.0 mile south on 60th St. has been very heavily used so has developed severe ruts and washboards, so this southern route is now better.)
    Those coming from the northeast (Columbus, Pittsburg, etc.) should take Hwy. 160 west from Columbus to 90th St. (just before Angelo's Deli), turn left on 90th St. (a paved road) and go south on it for 10.0 miles, then turn right onto Hwy. 166 & go 0.5 miles west to 95th St., our road.
   Those coming from the south (Miami, etc.) should take Hwy. 59 north from Welch, OK to Chetopa, KS, then take Hwy. 166 east for 4.5 miles to 95th St., our road.
This large sign on Hwy. 166 lets you know where to turn south on 95th St.
   There's a sign for Brenda's Berries on Hwy. 166 where you turn south on 95th St.  Go 1/3 mile south, then turn left into our driveway at another Brenda's Berries sign.  Go a short distance down the driveway to our red sales building on your right, and you can park right in front of it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

European Pears, Asian Pears & 'Jonafree' Apples Ripe

   We still have many harvested European pears for sale, and some Asian pears and early 'Jonafree' apples.  We also still have 11 boxes of 'Flameprince' yellow peach, our last peach variety that we finished harvesting a couple days ago, and two boxes of white peaches still for sale
We still have 'Flameprince' yellow peach (1st box) for sale, plus 'Luscious'  European pears (2nd box), 'Shinko' Asian pears (3rd box) and early 'Jonafree' apples (4th box).
   European pears, Asian pears and 'Jonafree' apples all keep well in the fridge for 6 weeks.  European pears need to be placed on the counter 3 to 4 days before you want to use them, to soften and turn yellow.  Asian pears stay crunchy and are very juicy and sweet.  Asian pears are sometimes called "apple pears" because they're shaped like apples and eaten out of hand like apples, but they do NOT result from cross-breeding an apple with a pear (which is impossible without genetic engineering, since apples and pears are two different genera, not just different species).  Asian pears are simply pear species from China and Japan rather than from Europe.  We'll have pears for sale until about Oct. 18 this year.
   Besides harvesting pears and 'Jonafree' apples, I've been evaluating the apples resulting from my apple breeding program, and have made several selections for further testing.  I've used only apple varieties immune to apple scab disease in my crosses, so all the progeny are immune to that disease, but we've already cut down some trees which are susceptible to fire blight or apple blotch diseases.   Several of the 'Sundance' seedlings are promising. 
This seedling of 'Sundance' apple is one of my selections from my apple breeding program.
   The main apple season, and pick-your-own apple season, won't start until Sept. 28 this year, and apples will be heavy all of Oct. and Nov.
    From Sept. 1 to Nov. 31 we're open our fall hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sun. 1-6 p.m.  For highway detour directions, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "older posts".

Friday, September 13, 2013

Many European Pears Ripe Now

   We're still harvesting the two trees of 'Flameprince', our latest-ripening yellow peach variety, and still have a few 'Carolina Gold' yellow peaches and 'China Pearl' white peaches for sale, now till about Sept. 16 or 18.  They're tops for fresh eating and for freezing or canning, since next year's crop will likely be less or there might not be a crop.  Many have come in the last few days to buy peaches, so we now have 20 boxes of yellow peaches and 10 boxes of white peaches still for sale.
We're still harvesting 'Blake's Pride' European pears, and have have many for sale now.
   We're still harvesting 'Blake's Pride' European pears, and have almost finished harvesting 'Luscious' European pears.  I give taste samples of both these varieties.  We've harvested over 1000 pounds of  European pears so far, and still have a couple more later-ripening varieties to pick over the next month.  We'll have European pears for sale now until about Oct. 18.
   European pears are picked when firm-ripe, when the fruit's groundcolor or undercolor, the color underneath the red or orange blush, turns from dark green to light green.  If left on the tree beyond that stage, they'll drop or develop internal breakdown.  We harvest all the pears because they're tricky to pick.  European pears will keep well in the fridge for 6 weeks, and need to be placed on the counter 3 to 4 days before you want to use them, to soften and turn yellow.
   Asian pears will be ripe about Sept. 16 until Oct. 18 this year.  We have a few early apples for sale now, but the main apple season (and pick-your-own apple season) won't start until late Sept., and apples will be heavy all of Oct. and Nov.
    From Sept. 1 to Nov. 31 we're open our fall hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sun. 1-6 p.m.  For highway detour directions, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "older posts".

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Many Late Peaches, Early European Pears & 'Gala' Apples Ripe Now

  We still have many 'Carolina Gold' yellow peaches and 'China Pearl' white peaches for sale, now till  as long as they last, probably until about Sept. 12 or 14.  We're done harvesting those varieties now, and have just 2 peach trees left to harvest of our our very last peach variety, 'Flameprince'.
I ate these 'Carolina Gold' yellow peaches and 'China Pearl' white peaches with my lunch today.
   I started harvesting 'Blake's Pride' European pears this morning, and will start harvesting 'Luscious' European pears tomorrow.  European pears are picked when firm-ripe, when the fruit's groundcolor or undercolor, the color underneath the red or orange blush, turns from dark green to light green.  If left on the tree beyond that stage, they'll drop or develop internal breakdown.  (We harvest all the pears because they're tricky to pick.)  We'll have European pears for sale now until about Oct. 18.
I started harvesting these 'Blake's Pride' European pears this morning.
   European pears harvested at this firm-ripe stage keep well for 6 weeks in the refrigerator.  Take some out a couple days before you plan to eat them or cook with them, let them sit on the counter for a couple days until they soften and the undercolor turns yellow, then they're ready to eat or use in cooking.
  Asian pears will be ripe about Sept. 10 until Oct. 18 this year.  Asian pears do not ever soften, but stay crunchy and very juicy.  They're sometimes called "salad pears" because they're great in salads. 
Right now we have 'Blake's Pride' European pears (front box), 'Gala' apples (second box), 'Carolina Gold' yellow peaches (third box) and 'China Pearl' white peaches for sale.
   I'm still harvesting some 'Gala' apples and have some of those for sale also.  The main apple season (and pick-your-own apple season) won't start until late Sept., and apples will be heavy all of Oct. and Nov.
   From now until Nov. 30, we're open our fall hours, as the sidebar at left shows.  We're open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1-6 p.m.
From Sept. 1 until Nov. 30, we're open our fall hours, as this sign on our sales building shows.
   For highway detour directions, go to the bottom of the page, click on "older posts", and scroll down.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Last 10-12 Days of Fresh Peaches

   We're finishing harvest of the late yellow peach variety 'Carolina Gold' and the late white peach variety 'China Pearl'.  Both of these freestone peach varieties were developed by Dr. Dennis Werner of the North Carolina State Univ. peach breeding program, and both have outstanding flavor and quality.  I give taste samples, so come try them while they last.  Then we have one more yellow peach variety, 'Flameprince', that we'll harvest about Sept. 3 to 10.
We're finishing harvest of  'Carolina Gold' and will have these great yellow peaches for sale until Sept. 12 or so.
   We've had a huge peach crop this year, probably over 22,000 pounds, so next year's peach crop will most likely be less, or there might not be any peach crop at all next year.  So take advantage of this unusually late peach season to freeze or can some peaches for winter, as well as enjoying them fresh now!
   From today, Sept. 1, until Nov. 31, we're open our fall hours, as the sidebar at left shows: Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. 1-6 p.m. We do labor on Labor Day; we're open as usual. 
Five of our workers will be picking peaches and doing other labor here on Labor Day.  Cody Stephens and Rachael Triebel are pictured here, harvesting 'Carolina Gold' peaches.  Come support our workers and buy some peaches so we'll have room in the cooler for more!
   Since most of our workers are back to school now but will be working here on Labor Day, we'll have 5 workers then who'll pick as many peaches as will fit in our cooler.  So come buy some peaches so we'll have room in the cooler for more!  We'll have peaches for sale as long as they last, probably until about Sept. 12 or 14.
   I'm still harvesting some 'Gala' apples and have some of those for sale also.  The main apple season (and pick-your-own apple season) won't start until late Sept., and apples will be heavy all of Oct. and Nov.  We'll start harvesting pears and Asian pears in mid-Sept. until late Oct. this year.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Late Yellow Peaches & White Peaches Ripe Now

   We're now harvesting our last two main yellow peach varieties, 'Carolina Gold' and 'Glowingstar', and the late white peach variety 'China Pearl'.  We have one more yellow peach variety still to ripen, 'Flameprince', and we'll harvest those last two trees about Sept. 1 to 10.
We currently have 4 different peach varieties for sale: 'China Pearl' white peach (front box), and 'Contender', 'Carolina Gold' and 'Glowingstar' yellow peaches (2nd, 3rd & 4th boxes).  I give taste samples of all these.
   All these peach varieties have excellent flavor and are freestone.  I give taste samples, and many are amazed at how much better they taste than grocery-store peaches.  All are excellent for fresh eating and freezing, and the yellow peaches are also great for cooking and canning.  Come get some (or some more) while they last!
   I've also started harvesting some 'Gala' apples.  We only have two trees of this early apple variety, and the 'Gala' apples have been selling as soon as I pick them.  Call 620-597-2450 at least a day in advance and leave a phone message if you want to get some 'Gala' apples also when you come to get peaches.
'Gala' apples have just started ripening, and are selling as soon as they're picked.
   Until Aug. 31, we're still 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.  From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 we're open our fall hours: open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1-6 p.m. only.
   I help pick peaches in the early morning, and I am in the sales building from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 p.m. till dark, so you can just come by to get peaches during those hours.  If you want to pick up peaches earlier in the morning, call 620-597-2450 at least a day in advance and leave a phone message to let us know when you plan to come get peaches, since I can't see the driveway from the peach orchard.  Thanks.
  Scroll down for highway construction detour directions.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Many Peaches for Sale Now Until Aug. 31

   We're finishing harvest of 'Contender' peaches this week, and tomorrow we'll start harvesting 'Glowingstar' peaches.  This is the height of peach season right now, so come buy some while they last.  We're picking so many peaches that we keep filling up our cooler with more to replace the ones that sell each day.  We'll have many peaches for sale until the end of Aug., then some for sale until about Sept. 10 or 12.
Our workers Rachael Triebel (left) and Abigail Dominguez (right) place 'Contender' peaches they've picked into 20-lb. boxes in the utility vehicle.  Since we pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, customers who buy a 20-lb. box of peaches save $1.00 off the per-pound price for smaller amounts.
   Tree-ripened peaches taste MUCH better than grocery-store peaches.  I give taste samples.  All our peaches now are freestone, and all the yellow peaches are non-browning, so it's not necessary to use lemon juice or ascorbic acid (Fruit Fresh) when freezing or canning them, or in cooking.  These peaches keep well in the refrigerator for 10 days or so; just take a few out each day to sit on the counter, that you'll eat or use in cooking the next day.
We'll start harvesting 'Glowingstar' peaches on Mon. Aug. 19.  I just planted these trees 3 years ago, so this is their first good cropping year.
   Last night my husband Bill made a peach tart with 'Contender' peaches, that I brought to a potluck meal after church today to welcome visiting missionary John Navis, who gave a report on his work in Brazil.  The whole peach tart got eaten!

Bill made this excellent peach tart last night with 'Contender' peaches, topped with caramelized pecans.  All our yellow peaches are great for cooking as well as fresh eating.
    Until Aug. 31, we're still 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. 
   I help pick peaches in the early morning, and I am in the sales building from 10 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 p.m. till dark, so you can just come by to get peaches during those hours.  If you want to pick up peaches earlier in the morning, call 620-597-2450 at least a day in advance and leave a phone message to let us know when you plan to come get peaches, since I can't see the driveway from the peach orchard.  Thanks.
  Scroll down for highway construction detour directions.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Many Yellow & White Peaches Ripe Now

    We're harvesting 'Newhaven', 'Challenger' and 'Intrepid' yellow peaches now, and we will have other yellow peach varieties until Sept. 10 or so this year.  Our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', is also ripe now until about Aug. 14 this year.  All our peaches from now on are freestone. 
'Nectar' white peaches (left) and 'Challenger' yellow peaches (right) are ripe now, plus 'Newhaven' and 'Intrepid' yellow peaches.  Call 620-597-2450 several days ahead to order peaches.
   All our yellow peaches are excellent for fresh eating, cooking, canning and freezing.  All our yellow peaches are non-browning, so don't need to be treated with ascorbic acid (Fruit Fresh).  White peaches do turn brown, so are best eaten fresh, or can be frozen if treated with ascorbic acid (Fruit Fresh), but aren't for canning or cooking.  White peaches are low-acid, so taste sweeter than yellow peaches.  I give taste samples of all our peaches.
   You need to order peaches, as we've had many orders due to the Joplin Globe article.  Call 620-597-2450 several days ahead to order peaches from Aug. 9 to 31.  (Call in the early afternoon if you want to talk to me directly, or leave a phone message.)
    We still have some 'Triple Crown' and 'Apache' blackberries ripe for the next few days, until about Aug. 10.  Blackberries, like all our berries, are sold pick-your-own only.  Blackberries are still $2.32 per quart + sales tax. We also have some sandhill plums ripe now until about Aug. 10, also sold pick-your-own only for $2.32 per quart + sales tax. 
   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.  Leave a phone message at least a day in advance to let us know when you plan to come pick blackberries (since I can't see the driveway from where I'm picking peaches), and to order peaches. Thanks.
  Scroll down for highway construction detour directions.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blackberries, Peaches and Sandhill Plums Ripe Now

    Many 'Triple Crown', 'Apache' and 'Ouachita' blackberries are ripe now, so we still have a good amount of thornless blackberries to pick now until about Aug. 10.  Blackberries, like all our berries, are sold pick-your-own only.  Blackberries are still $2.32 per quart + sales tax.
Kids and adults have a great time picking thornless blackberries. These 'Triple Crown' berries will keep ripening until about Aug. 10, and are very heavy now.
   We also have some sandhill plums ripe now until about Aug. 10, also sold pick-your-own only for $2.32 per quart + sales tax.  Sandhill plums are small and tart so not for fresh eating, but make wonderful jams and sauces.  They grow as bushes and are native to central Kansas and Oklahoma.  We took our family on "plum hunts" there back in 1997 and 1998 (before we opened our fruit farm in 2001), selected plants with superior fruit, grew the seeds from those fruit, and planted the seedlings on our farm.

'Newhaven' and 'Challenger' peaches are ripe now, and taste delicious.  We give taste samples of all our peach varieties.
    We just started harvesting 'Newhaven' and 'Challenger' peaches, and we will have other peach varieties until Sept. 4 or so.  Our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', will be ripe about Aug. 1 to 14 this year.  The Joplin Globe did an article on us last week, so we have been flooded with peach orders, and are fully booked until Aug. 7, unless you want to pick blackberries.  Call 620-597-2450 several days ahead to order peaches from Aug. 8 to 31.  (Call in the early afternoon if you want to talk to me directly, or leave a phone message with your phone number.)
Our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', will be ripe about Aug. 1 to 14 this year.
   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.
   Scroll down for highway construction detour directions.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Highway Construction Detours & Rain Update

Hwy. 166 east of Chetopa
    Hwy. 166 is still closed for the next 3 months or so, for constructing a new bridge between 50th St. & 60th St., 4 miles east of Brenda's Berries.
   Those coming from the east (Joplin, Baxter Springs, etc.) on Hwy. 166: when you get to the 4-way stop 6 miles west of Baxter Springs, follow "Local Traffic Only" signs and stay straight on Hwy. 166.  IGNORE the detour signs that would take you up to Columbus and add 30 miles to your trip. Go 5 miles west on Hwy. 166 until you reach the barricade across the highway at 50th St.  Then go 1.0 mile south on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Star Rd., & 1.0 mile north on 60th St., then turn left onto Hwy. 166 & go 3.5 miles west to 95th St., our road.  (The northern route of 1.0 mile north on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Greenlawn Rd., & 1.0 mile south on 60th St. has been very heavily used so has developed severe ruts and washboards, so this southern route is now better.)
    Those coming from the northeast (Columbus, Pittsburg, etc.) should take Hwy. 160 west from Columbus to 90th St. (just before Angelo's Deli), turn left on 90th St. (a paved road) and go south on it for 10.0 miles, then turn right onto Hwy. 166 & go 0.5 miles west to 95th St., our road. Those coming from the south (Miami, etc.) should take Hwy. 59 north from Welch, OK to Chetopa, KS, then take Hwy. 166 east for 4.5 miles to 95th St., our road.

Hwy. 59 between Oswego and Chetopa
    Repaving of Hwy. 59 from Oswego to Chetopa has finished for now, so this route is fine now.

Rain
   Praise God we got a good soaking rain last night and this morning!  This should help the peaches gain size and the blackberries stay plump and juicy.  Hopefully we'll get more rain in the next couple days.  Thanks to all those who prayed for rain on our farm and others that needed it!  "You also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many."  2 Corinthians 1:11  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blackberries and Peaches Ripe

   Many thornless blackberries are now ripe.  Customers are harvesting 'Ouachita', 'Apache' and 'Triple Crown' varieties.  Blackberries are sold pick-your-own only, and are still $2.32 per quart + sales tax.  Berries are large and plentiful, and there are no thorns or chiggers!
Shelby Scott of Columbus enjoyed harvesting 'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries today.
   We're still harvesting 'Early Redhaven' and 'Surecrop' peaches, our first two varieties to ripen.  We'll continue harvesting other peach varieties until Aug. 31.  We have 15 different yellow peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over this whole 8-week period, plus two white peach varieties that will be ripe about July 24 to Aug. 6 and Aug. 20 to Sept. 1 this year.  Some days we sell out of peaches, so if you want large amounts, call 620-597-2450 a few days ahead to order peaches.
We're harvesting 'Early Redhaven' and 'Surecrop' peaches now.  Call 620-597-2450 a few days ahead to order peaches.
   Today Joplin Globe reporter Roger McKinney, a Chetopa native, visited our farm with a photographer.  The Globe will be running a feature article on our peach harvest this Mon. July 22.
Our workers Michael Reid (left), Daniel Rennie (right), Ben Miller (back left, on ladder), Brandon Ledford (back right), and Rachael Triebel (not pictured) harvest all our peaches.
   Those coming from Joplin, Baxter Springs and other towns east of us still need to take the Hwy. 166 detour described in an earlier post (scroll down to see it).  Do NOT take the detour up to Columbus; go with "local traffic only".  Hwy. 166 will be closed between 50th St. and 60th St. for the next 3 months.  The highway department has now finished repaving the road between Chetopa and Oswego, so those coming from northwest of us no longer need to avoid Hwy. 59 between those two towns.
   We've been irrigating the berries and peaches, but still desperately need rain, since we've had only 0.1 inch of rain in the last month.  We appreciate prayers for rain specifically on our farm, and for all the other farms that need it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plumcots, Purple Raspberries & More Blackberries Ripening

   Our second-ripening thornless blackberry variety, 'Ouachita' is starting to ripen more now, so customers are picking both it and the earliest variety, 'Natchez'.  Many people have been coming to pick blackberries over the past 2 weeks, and we've gotten picked out by 10:30 a.m. every day until today.  Now that the July 4th weekend is over, and more blackberries are ripening, we have a bigger supply of blackberries to pick.  Two other blackberry varieties ripen later, so we'll still have blackberries to pick until about August 10 this year.
Nicole Dean and her son picked 'Ouachita' blackberries this morning, along with purple raspberries.  Monday morning is an excellent time to come pick, since we're closed Sunday mornings for church, so more berries have ripened by Monday morning.
   Purple raspberries are heavy now, plus we have a few yellow raspberries and red raspberries. Purple raspberries and yellow raspberries will continue to ripen until July 18 or so.
Many 'Royalty' purple raspberries are ripe now, and for the next 10 days.
   I've been harvesting plumcots, and we'll have these for sale for the next 10 days or so.  Plumcots are 3/4 Japanese plum and 1/4 apricot, and are very sweet with a wonderful flavor.  I give taste samples, and most people who taste them want to buy some.
Plumcots, interspecific hybrids that are 3/4 Japanese plum and 1/4 apricot, are very sweet with a wonderful flavor.
   We just started harvesting a very few 'Early Redhaven' peaches today.  We'll have a limited amount of peaches for sale for the next week, then should have a good supply of peaches from July 15 until Aug. 31.  We have 15 different yellow peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over this whole 8-week period, plus two white peach varieties that will be ripe about July 24 to Aug. 6 and Aug. 20 to Sept. 1 this year.
   We've been irrigating the berries and peaches, but desperately need rain, since we haven't had any rain at all in 3 weeks now.  We appreciate prayers for rain specifically on our farm, and for all the other farms that need it.