Sunday, July 12, 2015

Many Blackberries, Yellow & White Peaches Ripe

   Many thornless blackberries are still ripening and ready to pick now.  Each of our 4 different varieties of thornless blackberries has ripe berries now, and they will continue to ripen over the next 3 weeks, until early Aug.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes.
Customers picked many very large 'Apache' blackberries on Sat. July 11, and more are ripening. 
   'Apache' blackberries have very large fruit, and 'Ouachita' and 'Triple Crown blackberries have large fruit.  'Natchez', with huge fruit, started ripening a month ago so will finish in the next week, so come soon if you want to pick 'Natchez'.
Aiden Wiles picked 'Apache' blackberries with his mom and grandma on Sat. July 11.
   Sandhill plums have started ripening, and will also continue to ripen until early Aug.  Sandhill plums are native to sandy, hilly soils of central KS and central OK.  Sandhill plums are too small and tart for fresh eating, but have a hint of apricot flavor and make wonderful jams and jellies.
Sandhill plums, sold pick-your-own only, make wonderful jams and jellies.
    All our berries and sandhill plums are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries and sandhill plums both cost $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.
    We provide containers, and just ask that you return the containers to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries.  We also appreciate it if you can bring some cardboard trays, such as those used for 6-packs of energy drinks or beer, to place your quarts of blackberries in to bring home.  Some customers have brought plastic or metal trays to bring home their blackberry quarts.  Others have brought us some cardboard trays to use for other customers, which we greatly appreciate!
   We're now harvesting 'Newhaven' and 'Challenger' yellow peaches, and still some 'Surecrop' peaches.  We'll start harvesting 'Intrepid' yellow peaches later this week.  I harvested some of our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', over the past couple days, and it will keep ripening until about July 28 or 30.
We're now harvesting 'Nectar' white peaches (left) and 'Newhaven'  yellow peaches (right), plus 'Challenger' and 'Surecrop' yellow peaches.
   I give taste samples of all peach varieties.  White peaches have a different taste; they are low in acid so taste sweeter to some people. White peaches are best for fresh eating, while yellow peaches are great for fresh eating, baking, jams, preserves, canning and freezing.
  Small amounts of peaches cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  We pick directly into 20-lb. boxes, which I then weigh to 20.0 lbs., so you save $1.00 if you buy a 20-lb. box of peaches for $23.15 + tax.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, mostly with small bird pecks or rain cracks or other surface damage, which sell for $0.69 per pound + tax. 
   Come during our open hours for summer: Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7 to 9 p.m., & Sundays 7 to 9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sunday mornings for church (as we are year-round), and from June 1 to Aug. 31 we're closed from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high heat.  (Please arrive at a time that allows you enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Thanks.)
   Have your vehicle cleaned out so there's room to put peach boxes and trays of berries.  These fruits travel best in open trays, where they receive air conditioning from the vehicle, not in a car trunk or in an ice chest, so don't take up room in the vehicle with an ice chest.  We keep our cooler at 50 F, ideal for peaches, as they can get chilling injury at temperatures below 50 F or if put directly on ice.  Once you get them home, both peaches and blackberries keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator.