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.