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Current Conditions

Date of Last Update: 11 August 2015
Watch your email for crop condition updates. If you are not on our email list and would like to be, please contact us. Typically the newsletter will be short and come out weekly during the harvest season [June to August] to let you know what is happening. It also comes out once or twice in the off season.


Current Weather Conditions at The Happy Berry.

To check the weather click here [Storm Movement] and select "Base Reflectivity Loop." Again we are due west of the "+" sign for Greenville on the map, on the line between Pickens and Oconee County.

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updated 8/11/2015

In this edition:

  • Peak of season in the Table Grapes
  • Figs are "Doin' It"
  • Blueberry picking time per gallon is up
  • Limited Availability - Pre-Picked Blackberries
  • Muscadines forecast still Aug 18
  • volunteers?
  • Mulberry/Persimon/Joji progress report

Grapes are Dripping from the Vines!
Peak of season in the table grapes. Now picking Mars and Saturn seedless grapes. There is still Jupiter but the Venus are gone. Mars is a dark blue slip skin grape that has a marvelous flavor. For me it is like a giant blue berry and I use it like I do blueberries, on cereal, frozen as a snack or on oatmeal in the winter or perhaps in pie or tart. The dark blue skin is loaded with neutriceuticals! Saturn is a crunchy grape. It is firmer to the touch. When ripe (especially early in it's season) it needs to be dark red. Later, like Jupiter, it will be sweet even if the color is not as intense. Grapes pick quickly, so use your time to select the darkest clusters. We have clippers if you forgot yours. Be sure to check out our tips on how to pick grapes.

Figs are “Doin’ It”!
Easy picking in the mornings. Still good but slower picking in the afternoons.
When figs stand straight out from the tree they are green and will not ripen. As soon as the fig begins to bend, it has reached the point that it is climacteric. Climacteric is what bananas are; meaning it will continue to ripen after it is picked. The bulb of the fig should feel a little soft compared to the green figs. Usually there is also a slight change in color with the bottom of the fig becoming a little darker . The trees are growing vigorously after the winter damage with lots of green figs on them. The more mature figs will be on older wood that was not injured. We have also added 80 more fig trees. The bottom line is that fig season will be extended.

We are expecting Muscadines to start around the 18 th of August.

Blueberry picking time per gallon of berries has increased significantly.
There will be berries for picking for a couple more weeks but you will need much more time to pick a gallon. The berries will be down, in, and under the canopy of the bush. The robins have arrived. Please do not turn distress call machine off. Once they, the robins, establish that there is food available the distress call stops working. The first priority for all animals, including birds and humans, is food. Limited Pre-picked Blueberries Available. What we have in the cooler is all there will be for the season.Get 'em While We Got 'em - Be sure to CALL FIRST if you are making a special trip!

Blackberries
Blackberries continue at a slow pace. We still have some pre-picked available. The blackberries under the shade cloth are producing 5 to 6 quarts a day. But now, in addition to the battle against SWD, the blackberries are also are having problems with thrip. Thrip results in scarred dried up berries and requires spraying. We continue to be impressed with improved quality of berries in the shade but the return on investment for fall/primo cane bearing blackberries to date is not good. We will pursue using pine trees in the floracane backberries in east-west rows for interrupting long wave length radiation. In the fight against SWD: The atractacidal spheres for spotted wing has not been objectionable to customers. We hope the data, not in yet, is promising.

Interested in Volunteerting?
School will be starting over the next week or two which means our summer help will be leaving. We will miss them! There is still lots of work to be done like mowing, weed eating and pruning blackberries and even picking and grading of grapes and Muscadines. So if you would like to come out and volunteer help, the best time is early in the morning before it gets real hot.

If your interested In becoming part of our Happy Berry Bunch Crew, we can set up a trial end of summer run if your schedule permits a few available mornings during the week. If any of this applies to you, swing by the farm or call us at 864-868-2946 or 864-350-9345.

More Farm News - blackberries, mulberries, persimmons and goji berries
Last fall we planted both blackberries and mulberries that were very small in late October. Unfortunately we had a hard freeze in early November that killed them all. We got more of both this spring. With irrigation, the blackberries have grown- but the deer have been eating the Von variety as soon as they come out of the blue tubes. They are still coming along but not briskly due to the deer eating them as they grow.

The mulberries did not have irrigation, so we put them in pots to be planted this fall. We discovered that rabbits really like mulberries as they ate them right in the pots, eating them all the way down to a nub. Fortunately after fencing them off, all but one has recovered. Once we plant them in the field we will have to figure out some way to protect them from the rabbits.

Our small persimmon orchard continues to grow but we have lost at least 5 trees to drought and will have to replant them. Our only source for these trees is Chestnut Hill Nursery, that is in Florida. They will not ship until spring which does not give them sufficient time to become established before summer droughts. So we have had some attrition in trees and have not figured out another source yet for boosting the persimmon fields.

We have not seen any fruit on the goji berries yet. According to the Internet we should see some next year.

Thank you for your support! We would not be here without YOU!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch Walker, Ann, Zoe and Betty-Ann

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The Happy Berry, Inc.
Mailing Address Only: 120 Kelley Creek Road
Farm Address-No Mail Receptacle: 510 Gap Hill Road
Six Mile, SC 29682
Phone: (864) 868-2946
Farm: (864) 350-9345
Email: ContactUs@TheHappyBerry.com