| Date of Last Update: 8 July 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
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.
In this edition:
- Peak of season in the Blueberries
- Blackberry fields close for you-pick
- Summer/fall pre-picked prices increase in the Blackberries
- SWD - New bait and kill technology
- Venus seedless grapes start in 7-10 days
- Figs to start in August, but supply limited
- Other Stuff
Peak of season in the blueberries-
Tifblue, Centurion, Onslow, Ira, and Montgomery are now ripening. The peak will last through the month of July. We will pick blueberries until the end of August. There are still Climax blueberries but volume is slowing. Bottom line…Blueberries are dripping from the bushes!! You won’t believe how good it is. Now is the time to lay in your winter supply!
Blackberry fields close for you-pick –
The flora cane crop of blackberries is done. We will start pruning the flora canes out. The Chester blackberries are old and riddled with viruses and the picking is difficult due to disease and insects and is dangerous because of their location. We are unable to spray them. We have planted more Chester but they will be a year or two before they come in with a significant volume. We have also planted Von blackberry which will come in between the early flora cane producers and Chester. They will also require a year or two before there is significant volume. Bottom line…the blackberries will slow to a trickle but will continue trickling until October as the fall bearing blackberries come in. Because of pest management problems and control practices for SWD, and to provide wholesome berries, we have decided we will only have pre-picked blackberries. The good news is that new technology is being developed that will help us better manage the issues from spotted wing Drosophila.
Summer/fall pre-picked prices increase for the Blackberries-
Because of the above problems and practices, the summer/fall blackberries will increase to $7 per quart and $28 per gallon on farm. IF you want to be sure you can get pre-picked blackberries when you come, we recommend you call before coming.
The war on SWD: New bait and kill technology –
As a new effort in our war on SWD, we will begin an experiment with bait & kill technology in the Centurion blueberries. The experiment will be in two small portions of the field. You may notice red spheres or balls hanging in the middle of the bushes. These are atracticidal devices that use visual, feeding and smell attractant stimuli for the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and that will kill them. Please do not disturb or touch them. If this technology works, it will allow us to avoid using a plant pharmaceutical to beat back the SWD. We are also planning on integrating this technology with attractant traps that will be placed around the perimeter of the field to catch SWD as it invades the field from the woods that surround the farm. We have high hopes it will work as we can see we are “spraying our self into a corner.”
Venus seedless grapes to start –
We will start picking the Venus grapes in 7 to 10 days and the Jupiter grapes shortly thereafter. Initially only our pickers will pick them until it becomes easy enough for inexperienced pickers to pick them. Check at the front… we will let you know. Please also check out our tips on how to pick grapes.
Figs to start in August, but supply limited –
Because of the hard freeze on January 8 both this year and last year, the fig trees were hurt badly. The bottom line is that although they will start August 1, the initial volume won’t be as high as two years ago. There is good news though. The picking season will last longer and volume will trickle along. We have also planted 80 plus more trees, so future seasons’ harvest volume will improve.
Other Stuff –
Muscadines are on schedule for August 15.
Dress for the Weather- It is going to get hot. Despite the cool weather we have enjoyed recently the dog days of summer are coming. Please check out our lovely model of appropriate picking attire on the home page of our website.
Go Slow- Please watch your speed coming in the driveway. I, Walker, got a ticket from a fellow employee myself.
Bring your buckets- Remember to please bring your bucket. We apologize if we have offended anybody as we try to encourage this practice. You are right… we have buckets for you if you did not bring one or need more. We try to save the plastic buckets for when the bushes are wet. We are trying to be sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.
Thank you for your support and we will see you in the field!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch
Walker, Ann, Zoe and Betty-Ann
The Happy Berry, Inc.
Mailing Address Only: 120 Kelley Creek Road
Farm Address-No Mail Receptacle: 510 Gap Hill Road
Six Mile, SC 29682
Farm: (864) 350-9345