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.