Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Many Raspberries & 'Natchez' Blackberries Ripe Now

   Many purple raspberries are ripe now and will continue to about July 8, and red raspberries are still ripening.  Some red raspberries will still ripen until about July 4, but for easier picking, come this week.  Black raspberries are also ripe now, and more should ripen until about July 2 this year.
Many 'Royalty' purple raspberries are ripe now, as well as red raspberries and black raspberries.
   Thornless blackberries have started ripening, will be heaviest from June 27 to July 30, and some will still ripen until about Aug. 4.  Since so many people like to pick the huge, early-ripening 'Natchez' blackberries, a couple months ago I killed the plants in a row and a half of the later-ripening 'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries.  This fall and next spring I will transplant 'Natchez' plants into those rows, so in a couple years we will have more 'Natchez' blackberries to pick.
   'Natchez' blackberries will continue to ripen for the next 3 to 4 weeks, until about July 14.  Our 3 other blackberry varieties will continue to ripen heavily through July 31, and some blackberries will still ripen until about Aug. 4.
Lindsay Kling picked this flat of 'Royalty' purple raspberries this morning, plus several flats of 'Natchez' blackberries. She and her husband Trent picked 24 pints of raspberries and 30 quarts of blackberries in just over 2 hours.
   All our berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + tax, pick-your-own.  Thornless blackberries are $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return them to us for reuse on your next trip to Brenda's Berries & Orchards.  Please also bring back any peach boxes or other containers you got from us last year.
Red raspberries are still ripening. Tracy Alloway (far right) and her kids Jay (center) and Ryen (left) picked a flat of red raspberries and a flat of 'Natchez' blackberries this morning.
   We also appreciate donations of cardboard trays such as those from canned foods or 6-packs of energy drinks.  Chetopa Foods saves them for us, which we greatly appreciate, but we run through thousands of cardboard trays each summer, so we can always use more.  Some customers bring metal baking trays or plastic trays to place their raspberry pints and/or blackberry quarts in to bring them home, which also helps.
   We will have about 30% of a full peach crop for sale this year, mainly from about July 20 to Aug. 20.  We will have only a few peaches for sale before July 20 and after Aug. 20, as the early and late peach varieties were greatly hurt by 6 frosts during bloom.  We had some 'Surecrop' peaches, our earliest variety, over the last 4 days, but all have sold now.  The entire 'Early Redhaven' crop was lost to frosts, most of the 'Newhaven' crop was lost, and almost all of the 'Challenger' crop was lost.  We should have a few 'Nectar' white peaches in early-mid July, and from mid-July to mid-August we should have a good supply of 'Intrepid', then 'Contender', then 'Glowingstar' peaches. 
   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.  You may come any time during our open hours (no appointment needed in summer); just allow enough time to finish picking by our closing time.  Get here at 7:30 a.m. if you can, to beat the heat!

   We still have many 'Enterprise' apples for sale, for the next 3 to 4 weeks.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.  Our #1 apples, with no damage, sell just as fast as I sort them.  A 20-lb. box of #1 apples still costs $23.15 + tax ($1.15 per pound + tax), which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  We also have some 2nds apples, with small cork spots, cracks or other surface damage.  A 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs just $14.82 + tax ($0.74 per pound + tax).
   We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for the next 2 to 3 weeks.  Pecans are still $15.05 per 5-pound bag + tax.

   For payment, we accept cash and checks (from any state), but NO credit cards or debit cards, as the sidebar at left details.  We do not have a card reader or a phone line to the sales building.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of fruit you want to buy.  Thanks.