Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thornless Blackberries & Peaches Still Ripening

   'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries are ripening heavily, now until July 31.  'Triple Crown' blackberries have the smallest seeds and are the juiciest with the most flavor, so they're especially good for making jams and jellies.  Smaller amounts of 'Apache', 'Natchez' and 'Oucahita' thornless blackberries are also still ripening.
Laura Cunningham picked 'Triple Crown' blackberries with grandson Colton yesterday morning.  At 18 months, Colton didn't pick too many berries, but he always has fun coming here with grandma.
   A few everbearing red and yellow raspberries are also still ripening.  More everbearing raspberries ripen each day, so those who come to pick blackberries can often also pick a few pints of raspberries.
   All our berries are sold pick-your-own only.  Thornless blackberries are $2.55 per quart + tax, pick-your-own.  Raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + 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 previously got from us.  Some customers bring plastic or metal trays to place their blackberry quarts on to bring them home, which also helps.  Please do not bring bowls to dump the berries into, as that damages them, and we want the berries to stay in the quarts you picked them into until you get them home.
'Contender' yellow peaches are still ripening, and our workers are harvesting 200 to 250 pounds of this variety each morning now. 
   Our workers are still harvesting 'Contender' yellow peaches, plus smaller amounts of 'Intrepid' and a few other yellow peaches.  They also just started harvesting 'Glowingstar' yellow peaches.  'Glowingstar' has a good crop this year despite the 6 frosts during bloom.
Our workers will harvest 'Glowingstar' yellow peaches over the next 2 weeks.  'Glowingstar' has a good crop this year despite the 6 frosts during bloom.
   Our workers harvest peaches each morning, Monday to Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon or whenever they finish harvesting all the ripe peaches.  So we have peaches for sale Monday to Saturday morning during our open hours (7:30 a.m. to 12 noon), and usually have some peaches left to sell in the evenings (open 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every evening).  However, since we are closed Sunday morning for church and the workers don't pick peaches on Sunday morning, we are often low on peaches to sell on Sunday evening.  We're also closed every afternoon from 12 noon to 7 p.m. during the summer due to high heat.
Ben Miller, on ladder, is working his 4th season with us and is one of our crew leaders.  He and our other workers harvest peaches each morning, Monday to Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon.
   We should have a pretty good supply of yellow peaches now through mid-August.  From about Aug. 1 to Aug. 20, we should also have some 'China Pearl' white peaches.
   Peaches are sold harvested, for $1.20 per pound + tax.  A 20-pound box of peaches costs $23.15 + tax, which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  We also usually have some 2nds peaches, with limb rubs, cracks or bird pecks, for $0.69 per pound + tax.  Phone 620-597-2450 a day ahead and leave a message if you want more than 20 pounds of peaches, as we're still limited on peaches this year due to the 6 frosts during bloom.
Our workers Luke Laws (left), Ben Miller (center), and Tre Maxton (right) sort the peaches they've picked and place them directly in 20-pound boxes in our utility vehicle.  You save $1.00 off the per-pound price if you buy a 20-pound box of peaches, since I do not have to transfer them to another container, but just place the box on the scale and adjust it to exactly 20 pounds.
   Have your vehicle cleaned out so there's room to put trays of berries and peach boxes or bags.  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 blackberries and peaches keep well for 10 days in a refrigerator. 
   We also still have many 'Enterprise' apples for sale, for the next few weeks.  For apple prices, scroll down 3 posts.  Pecans are now sold out until mid-Nov. when we start harvesting them again.
   Highway 166 is currently being resurfaced, so expect delays.  Highway 166 is still open to traffic one lane at a time, so wait for the pilot car.