Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Many Purple Raspberries Ripe

   Many purple raspberries are ripe now, and harvest of them will continue until about July 15 or 16.  Purple raspberries are hybrids between red and black raspberries, so exhibit hybrid vigor in larger plants, larger fruit, and very heavy yields.
Purple raspberries develop a deep purple color when ripe, and many are ripe now and for the next 2 weeks.
   Some red raspberries and black raspberries are still ripening and will keep doing so until about July 5 or 6, but red and black raspberries are much less plentiful than they were a week or two ago.
Trent (in background) & Lindsey Kling picked one flat of red raspberries (front flat) and 3 flats of purple raspberries (back  flat) this morning.
   Thornless blackberries will be very limited this year, due to extensive winter damage to the canes.  Thornless blackberries have much larger and sweeter fruit than wild thorny blackberries, and of course no thorns or chiggers, but thornless blackberries are not as cold-hardy as wild thorny blackberries.  I reported in April that the thornless blackberry crop would be reduced to about 1/3 of our usual crop overall, but more cane damage keeps showing up.  Growing shoots on the fruiting canes can't get enough water from damaged xylem tissues in the canes, so the leaves wilt, fruit shrivels, and canes die back.  I now estimate we'll have only 20 to 25% of our usual thornless blackberry crop this year.
   Call 620-597-2450 a few days ahead if you want to pick thornless blackberries.  Some are ripening now until about Aug. 8 or 10, but the heaviest harvest time will be about July 15 to 31.
   As I reported in April, we have NO peach crop this year, since winter cold killed all the peach fruit buds. 
Sandhill plums make wonderful jams, jellies and sauces.
   Sandhill plums have started ripening, and will keep doing so until about Aug. 4 or 5.  Sandhill plums are small and very tart, so not for fresh eating, but make wonderful jams, jellies and sauces.  Sandhill plums are native to sandy soils in central Kansas and Oklahoma.  We took our family on "plum hunts" there back in 1997 & 1998, before we started our fruit farm, and selected plants with larger and better fruit and resistance to bacterial spot disease.  We propagated seedlings from these plants and planted them on our farm, and let customers harvest some of the plums.
    As always, raspberries and blackberries are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries are $1.86 per pint + tax pick-your-own, and blackberries are $2.55 per quart + tax pick-your-own.  Sandhill plums are also sold pick-your-own only, for $2.55 per quart + tax.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return them for reuse if you make another trip to Brenda's Berries & Orchards.
   We are open our usual summer hours on July 4.  From June 1 to Aug. 31, we're open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sun. mornings for church, and closed every afternoon from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high summer heat.