| Date of Last Update: 04 april 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.
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.
Willows Through April
About That Last Freeze
Willow Sales Continue Through April!
Come see us on the farm- learn to grow your own or buy cut stems- or BOTH!
Open Saturdays from 11 AM until 3 PM
* except 4/19 when we’re at the festival
(OR By Appointment- Just give us a call 864-350-9345)
- OPEN Saturday April 5
- OPEN Saturday April 12
- *Closed Saturday April 19 - Find Us At the Pickens Azalea Festival
- OPEN Saturday April 26
About That Latest Cold Snap:
Tuesday evening March 25 and Wednesday morning March 26, 2014 started out as an advective freeze (wind blowing) and we knew there was nothing we could do as long as the wind was blowing. At about 3 AM the wind settled in our little valley and an inversion set up almost immediately. I started the wind machine at 3:45 AM. During an inversion there is warm air above and cold air below. When there is no wind it is known as a radiational freeze. During a radiational freeze the flowers supper cool below ambient temperature. We ran our wind machine. The wind machine does two things. It brings warmer air from above and spreads it out over the farm and it prevents supper cooling by keeping the air moving maintaining the flowers at ambient temperature. Joaquin and I watched the machine, feeding it gas and looking for problems. [A year ago the engine stopped because we ran out of gas (there was no gas gauge then but there is now) and tore up the gear box. Old story - short, we got a gear box off an old machine and replaced it saving $2500)]. At 6:45 AM 3/26 the local thermometer read 24 degrees.
The Drama Unfolds:
At 8:25 AM The machine appeared to blow a head gasket and we leaped to disengage the propeller before it tore up the gear box. It was still below freezing and we would have run till 9:30 or 10. Wednesday a mechanic friend, Willie Holt From NC, suggested we pull the plugs and remove the valve cover. With Willie Holts’ help we determined that the spark plug in one cylinder was damaged and the same cylinder had no compression. I tried to line up a local mechanic. Thursday no luck with finding a mechanic. Pulled the oil pan. It was over full with antifreeze but only two pieces of ceramic from the spark plug. Rain Friday and Saturday. Sunday with Willie's help we pulled the two heads and found that indeed the a valve was broken, the piston head was chewed up and the cylinder wall was split... so it will be major, major expense to get it fixed, if it can be fixed.
The only good news is that, despite the failure of the wind machine, we did save the blueberry crop with just a few flowers exposed to the north sky damaged. The bad news is that it is still a long way until Easter and more freezes are likely. Please wish us luck with finding a solution for the wind machine and/or wish for no more freezes this year.
As spring progresses the risk of cold damage declines but the temperature at which flowers are injured increases. Tuesday the threshold for injury was probably 27 degrees for most flowers given the stage of development. Flowers injured had the pistil emerging.
Stay Tuned for another newsletter to follow this one: The South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR), through the Admissions Tax Act, we think has the potential to be a real stumbling block in the establishment of local food options in South Carolina. We will send out a stand alone newsletter on this issue for those of you who are interested.
Do you need a program for an upcoming meeting?
What about “The Future of Food, Water and Energy” ?
Walker is available (and eager!) to give presentations on this topic. He is continually updating his presentation. Included, or separately, he is also passionate about the importance of developing a strong and self-sufficient community system- buying local gone wild if you will. If you would like a program just let him know 864 350 9345
Thank you all for your support!!!! We would not be here without YOU!
Walker for The Happy Berry
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