| Date of Last Update: 30 May 2016
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At a Glance
Opening Day and Blackberries Begin – Wednesday, June 1
We open Wednesday, June 1. Blackberries are first up. Picking will start slow, increasing rapidly to good, then to excellent, and to “Holy Smoke- this is unbelievable!” in about a week! We will start with Black Magic and Prime Ark 45. There will also be scattered ripe berries in the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Kiowa. In these latter three it is mainly King berries and they are really big!
Blueberries – Forecast June 15
I (Walker) was scouting in the blueberries…and I found “shiners!” (May 29) in the Climax Variety. They were not sweet yet (I had to check) as blueberries turn blue before they turn ripe. They were still quite firm. Blueberries should be “plump” when you pick them but final swell has definitely started. We are sticking to June 15 forecast for blueberry picking
You are not going to believe the blueberry crop. The bushes are weighing down into the row middle so that we are having great difficulty getting through to mow the grass. Any “Crop Mobs” (volunteers) out there? The job is to use biodegradable string to pull up the branches where we can’t get through with the mower. Call Walker if you are interested – 864-350-9345.
Seedless grapes will be next up in the middle of July. They could possibly begin sooner as the berries seem to be swelling a little earlier. Stay tuned to the web site home page for updates.
Figs will follow the seedless grapes and are on schedule for August 1.
Muscadines are still forecasted at August 15.
Other Farm News:
Mulberries are being “eaten alive” by the deer. We are using Plot Saver tape, a bar of soap in each tree as well as an “organic” fertilizer made from bio-solids that has a reputation for repelling deer. We are seeing some foliage…Maybe we will get a taste this year.
Goji berries (wolfberries) are growing like weeds. If we ever see any berries they appear to be an easy plant to grow. “The Jury is still out.”
Persimmons look good. The fruit is starting to weigh the branches down and we will probably have to prop branches to keep them from breaking.
You will see we have been clearing land... We have planted a few more tea plants as a second story (shade) crop. Tea is also what we are trying to grow along the drive way. We have added fences too as, apparently, ground hogs (whistle pigs) have a caffeine tooth!
Maybe a few chestnuts??? We could plant chestnut trees in the same areas as the tea plants (in the woods and along the driveway). What do you think??? There are now much better varieties than Dunstan chestnut available that are sweet as well as resistant to root rot and blight. And if everything “goes south” chestnuts could provide the community with a carbohydrate source to eat both fresh and make flour with.
Hours this year will be the same as last (8 AM until Dusk Monday through Friday and 8 AM until 6 PM on Saturday). We use the evening hours on Saturday, and the Sunday hours to “fight the good fight” against the dreaded invasive species Spotted Wing Drosophila, to make sure you get quality berries.
Forms of payment…We prefer cash… with checks as a second choice. We can do credit/debit cards but would rather not. If you use a credit/debit card and suggested to whoever waits on you to add a “buck” to cover fees it would be appreciated.
Prices will be the same as last year for u-pick blueberries and blackberries ($2.50/pound) and we are going to try a little bit lower (50 cents per quart) for pre-picked. So pre-picked will be $6/ Quart or $24 per gallon (6 pounds) for blackberries and blueberries. We are hoping that picking time per gallon will be less this year, so those who pick for us will still make a fair wage. Please remember that prices can go up on pre-picked berries if harvest conditions change and require that we pay more to the pickers…
We are hoping for a wonderful season and to see you in the fields!