Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Peach Season in Full Swing

  Many thornless blackberries are still ripening and ready to pick now.  We have 3 different varieties of thornless blackberries with ripe berries now, and they will continue to ripen over the next 2 weeks, until early Aug.  There are NO chiggers, and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes.  All our blackberries have large fruit and great taste.
   Sandhill plums are still ripening, and will also continue until early Aug.  Sandhill plums are too small and tart for fresh eating, but have a hint of apricot flavor and 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.
   Peach season is getting into full swing.  We grow 17 different peach varieties that provide a succession of ripening over 2 1/2 months.  We're now harvesting 'Newhaven', 'Intrepid' and 'Contender' yellow peaches.  We're also still harvesting our first white peach variety, 'Nectar', and it will keep ripening until about July 30.

We're now harvesting 'Newhaven' (front box), 'Intrepid' (2nd box) and 'Contender' (3rd & 4th boxes) yellow peaches.
   Peach harvest goes until about Sept. 10, and our heaviest time for peaches is now to about Aug. 31.  We sell all peaches harvested; we do not allow customers to pick peaches.
Our 6 workers and I harvest all peaches.  Here, Emma Gregory harvests white 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.
'Nectar' white peach will keep ripening until about July 30.
  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. 
  If you want more than 40 pounds of peaches, phone 620-597-2450 a day or two before you plan to come.  Leave a message on the answering machine with you name and phone number, the day and time you plan to come, and how many pounds of peaches you want to buy, and I'll return your call to confirm.
We're just started harvesting 'Contender' yellow peaches. They will keep ripening until early Aug.
    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.
   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.