Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Highway construction detours

Hwy 166 east of Chetopa

Hwy. 166 is now closed for construction between 50th St. & 60th St., 4 miles east of Brenda's Berries. Those coming from the east (Joplin, Baxter Springs, etc.) should go 1.0 mile north on 50th St., 1.0 mile west on Greenlawn Rd., & 1.0 mile south on 60th St., then turn right onto Hwy. 166 & go 3.5 miles west to 95th St., our road. Those coming from the north (Columbus, Pittsburg, etc.) should take Hwy. 160 west from Columbus to 90th St. (just before Angelo's Deli), take 90th St. south 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

Hwy 59 from Oswego to Chetopa is being repaved this summer. The Hwy will remain open during construction but there will be major traffic delays. If you are driving to our farm from points north and west (Oswego, Altamont, Parsons, Chanute, etc.) you can totally avoid construction delays by driving east of Oswego on Hwy 160 to the small community of Hallowell. Just past Angelo's store turn right onto 90th St. (a paved road).  Drive south for 10.0 miles, then turn right onto Hwy. 166 & go 0.5 miles west to 95th St., our road.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Four Kinds of Raspberries Ripe

   Four different kinds of raspberries, each a different color and each with its own unique flavor, are ripe now.  We let customers taste each kind to find out which ones they want to pick.  Customers are picking many red raspberries and black raspberries now, and more of these will still ripen until July 4 or so.  Harvest of purple raspberries and yellow raspberries is just getting started, and these will continue to ripen until July 18 or so.
Many customers like to pick 'Royalty' purple raspberries as plants are more upright and have larger fruit than red raspberries.  They're just getting started and will continue to ripen until July 18 or so.
   The earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez', is also ripe now.  This newer variety, just released 5 years ago from University of Arkansas, has very large fruit so it picks very quickly, and very good taste.  Other thornless blackberry varieties will continue to ripen until about Aug. 8 this year.
The Johnsons picked these 'Natchez' blackberries, 'Reveille' red raspberries, and 'Anne' yellow raspberries today.
   Raspberries and blackberries, like all our berries, are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries cost $1.86 per pint + tax, and blackberries cost $2.32 per quart + tax.  From June 1 to Aug. 31, we're open our summer hours, as the sidebar at left shows: 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 open our regular summer hours on July 4.
Customers enjoy picking 'Natchez' blackberries, since the very large fruit fills quarts very quickly.
   Master gardeners from Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties in KS toured our farm on Mon. June 24.  After learning a bit about how we grow all the tree fruits, raspberries and blackberries, they picked some berries to buy.  They also tasted slices of 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples stored in our cooler, and bought many of those.  We'll still have apples for sale for about the next 10 days until we run out, just in time to prepare the cooler for peach harvest, which should start about July 8 or so and go until early Sept.
Master gardeners from Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties in KS toured our farm, and picked blackberries and raspberries.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Red Raspberries Ripe

   Red raspberries have just started ripening, and raspberries will be heavy from June 15 to about July 15.  Black raspberries should be ripe about June 18 to July 2 this year, and purple raspberries should be ripe about June 22 to July 18.
Red raspberries have just started ripening, and more will ripen over the next 3 to 4 weeks.
   Raspberries, like all our berries, are sold pick-your-own only.  From June 1 to Aug. 31, we're open our summer hours, as the sidebar at left shows: open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m., and Sundays 7-9 p.m. only.  Many people are already coming to pick red raspberries over the next few days, but from June 19 until about July 15 there should be plenty of ripe raspberries for more pickers.
Customers Michael and Lauren Harrison enjoyed picking some of the first-ripe red raspberries.
   On Wed. June 12, a Wilson County, KS soil conservation group toured our farm, learned about our operation, and picked a few raspberries.  They also tasted samples of our 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples, kept in top condition in our cooler and still available for the next few weeks, and many bought apples and our homemade jams. 
A Wilson County, KS soil conservation group picked raspberries after touring our farm.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Strawberry Harvest Winding Down, Red Raspberries Starting

   Pick-your-own strawberry harvest is winding down now, and we're already booked with people to pick the rest for the next 10 days.  Red raspberries are just starting to ripen, and raspberries will be heavy from June 15 to about July 15.
The Seawood family and many other customers enjoyed picking strawberries, but the strawberry season is winding down now, and we're already booked with pickers for the rest of the harvest.
   From June 1 to Aug. 31, we're open our summer hours, as the sidebar at left shows.  We're open Monday to Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7 to 9 p.m., and Sunday 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church, and every afternoon from 12 noon to 7 p.m.  It's best to call ahead to check on the first-ripening raspberries and blackberries, but once raspberries and blackberries are bearing heavily you don't need an appointment.
'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries are blooming bountifully now.  The earliest blackberries, 'Natchez', will start bearing in late June.
    Our workers have finished follow-up hand-thinning of the pears, and are now working on thinning the apples.  Apples and pears bear fruit from spurs, usually setting 5 fruit per cluster.  We applied a thinning spray about 3 weeks ago that knocked some of the excess fruit off, and our workers remove more so just one fruit per cluster is left.  That allows the fruit to grow bigger and sweeter, and keeps fruit from touching as they ripen, which would lead to fruit rots.
This apple cluster had 4 fruit before hand-thinning.
After thinning, the same fruit cluster has just one fruit.