| Date of Last Update: 14 July 2014
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.
Peak of season for Blueberries
Beautiful days are forecasted for Wednesday 7/16 through Saturday 7/19. Please come visit us!
Blueberries are loaded.
The blackberries are struggling. In addition to a tough winter we continue to have problems with Raspberry Crown Borer especially in the Navaho and Chester. The result is prematurely dried out canes. Despite problems we are still harvesting some. You may also notice the experiment that is going on in the west field of the blackberries. We are putting shade cloth over the ever-bearing blackberries Black Magic and Prime Ark 45. The hypothesis is that temperatures over 85 degrees cause distortion and abortion of the fruit. The shade will reduce the temperature and thus fruit abortion and distortion. The concern is will the plants get enough sunshine to grow good strong bearing primo canes? We will keep you posted.
Seedless Grapes – We are projecting that we will start harvesting the Venus grapes this Saturday (July 19). Grape harvesting is harder than it looks. You must carefully inspect the cluster to make sure it is mature. DO NOT cut the cluster then look at it or taste it. It is important to use snipers- especially ones with a pointed nose. The pointed nose enables you to get between the vine and the cluster. Do not rip the grapes from the vine. Tearing the clusters from the vine leaves a wound that can be infected by fungi. These fungi can kill the vine. Leaving a short piece of the rachis (the main stem of the fruiting cluster) enables it to produce phytoalexins (antibiotic like compounds) that protect the vine from fungi. Other news in the seedless grapes: We have changed to using pheromone mating disruption for grape root borer control. It seems to be working …It will take 2 to 3 years to tell for sure. We are pleased with the positive results so far since this eliminates the use of an insecticide during the critical harvest period.
Figs are progressing nicely. We are a little bit “up in the air” with our forecast of August 1 but they have been so reliable in the past that we hesitate to change the forecast.
Muscadines – are on schedule and we are looking at August 15 for the first bronze ones.
Miscellaneous other: Remember that we have eggs and an electric car charger. We would love to see more use of our electric car charger- so please spread the word! Please also be sure to dress for the weather – remember sun protection (hats/sun shirts/sunscreen) and good shoes. We have cold water at the porch, but you may want to bring your own water bottles to take in the field when you go. If you come to pick in the mornings, remember the fields can still be damp from dew and therefore a little slippery – so good shoes are important. And please note that we have made a small adjustment to our hours – On Sundays through Fridays we are open until 8:30pm (instead of the previously nebulous “dusk”). (Still open until 6pm on Saturdays.)
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive community! Thanks to you all who come to the farm and markets for our harvest. We would not be here without you!
See you in the fields!