Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Many, Many Blackberries Ripe Now

  Many, many thornless blackberries are 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 4 weeks, until early Aug.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes.  All our blackberries have large fruit, and 'Natchez' has huge fruit.  (Come soon for 'Natchez', as they started ripening 3 weeks ago and will end first.)
'Natchez' thornless blackberries are still ripening their huge fruit for the next 10 to 14 days.  Come soon for 'Natchez', since they started 3 weeks ago and will end first.
    All berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries 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.  Chetopa Foods saves cardboard flats for us, which we very much appreciate, but we go through thousands of trays and are now running extremely low on the size that holds 6 quarts of blackberries.
Ben Miller, Brandon Ledford (on back side of peach tree) and our other workers harvested 'Blazingstar' peaches this morning from our new peach orchard.  I planted this new orchard 4 years ago, and this is our first substantial crop from these trees.
   Our crew is harvesting several different peach varieties now.  We grow 17 different peach varieties, each ripe for 10 days to 2 weeks, that provide a succession of ripening over 2 1/2 months, until early Sept.  We have a lot of 'Surecrop' peaches now, plus a few 'Blazingstar' and 'Newhaven'.  Our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', will ripen from about July 10 to 28 this year.  I give taste samples of all peach varieties.
   'Surecrop' is semi-freestone, meaning the flesh clings to the pit a bit until it is fully soft; when fully soft it comes clean from the pit.  'Surecrop' is very juicy with a great flavor, and is great for fresh eating and freezing, but not for canning or baking pies or cobblers.  All our other peach varieties are freestone, so the flesh comes clean from the pit, and are good for canning or baking as well as fresh eating
   We sell all peaches harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.  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 other surface damage, which sell for $0.69 per pound + tax. 

Two of our workers, Bailey Moore (left) and Emma Gregory (right) pack peaches they've harvested into 20-lb. boxes.  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.
   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.)  Check the radar for 4.5 miles east of Chetopa, KS before coming, to avoid getting wet.
   For payment, we accept cash or checks; NO debit cards or credit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover what you'll buy.