Your Fruit Connection
If you would like to be added to our email list please contact us . Typically the newsletter will be short and come out weekly during the harvest season [June to August] to let you what is happening. It also comes out once or twice in off season.
Blackberries - We are now forecasting Wednesday June 12, 2013 for blackberries. They are starting to show a little color so I am pretty firm on this date. The first variety will be Natchez. It is thornless. I have also noticed a few shiners in the Kiowa blackberries.
Blueberries – I believe they should be ready about June 25, 2013. In previous years we have started on June 15.
The ample moisture this spring has meant there has not been any stress during cell division and first swell… and we are looking at some really big berries in both the black and the blue berries. The challenge this year has been to keep up with the grass and the weeds.
We are guessing that the seedless table grapes will start in mid July. Figs will be August 1 and we have not seen that date change in all the years we have been growing figs. The same can be said of the muscadines…mid August for them.
For those of you worried about global climate destabilization like us, we have added an electric car charger for plug-in electric cars. Initially there will be no charge until we see what our costs are. We have also added a bicycle rack for those that are going really low carbon. We see it as the responsibility of farmers to sequester more carbon than we use in growing the crop- including fuel use, and the fossil fuel used in making fertilizer, the nitrous oxides (a global warming gas) formed with fertilizer mineralization and other carbon supplements. To this end we are switching to using winter annual legumes to fix nitrogen and cycle other nutrients and adding pine trees in east-west rows to increase the depth of carbon fixation. The sun goes over east-west so there will be less impact of shade.
We have been lucky enough to get several more acres of land that adjoins us so we are over 21 acres now. Perhaps you have noticed us clearing land when you come down the drive way. We are happy to report that our test planting of seedless persimmons (Izu) is doing well. We have also planted olive trees. The varieties are Mission, Ascolana and Pendolina. We observed fruit rachises this year on May 10 and flowers on May 22, 2013. The jury is still out on whether we can do it but… nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Our summer employees this summer will be Nathan Melcher a rising sophomore at Clemson, Lukas Korbelik an intern from the Czech Republic, Tommy Delloroso and Jessica Pilgrim recent graduates from High School and Ruth Rollins. Ruth and Tommy were with us in 2012.
Thank you for your support! See you at the farm! Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch
Greetings from The Happy Berry!
Open Saturday April 13, 11 AM to 3 PM for willows
Saturday April 20
Blackberries Forecast June 1
Blueberries Forecast June 15
News From the Fields:
Blueberry pruning is done! Grape pruning is done! We are doing the muscadines now. We had tree fall on the muscadine trellis and termites ate a few of our treated posts…the trellises have been repaired. We hope to be to finish the muscadines and start the figs by the time you read this on Friday April 12. We are running late. Not to worry that we have not mentioned the blackberry pruning - the blackberries were done last summer (better because it removes disease inoculum and gives the primocanes time to heal before winter).
Infrastructure work is next on the agenda. – Don’t forget we have an electric charger for anyone who drives electric cars. Spread the word!
We are looking forward to a great season with you!
If we are not at a weekend show we will be open at the farm on Saturdays from 11 AM until 3 PM. Of course if you call ahead we will meet you any time its daylight except on Sunday morning before noon.
Our first show is the Annual Remodeling Expo, January 11 to 13, at the TD Convention Center in Greenville. (Note that this means we will not be open on the farm Sat Jan 12 since we will be at the show.)
We will also be at regional home and garden shows in Anderson February 8 to 10 and Greenville March 1 to 3. (Note that this means we will not be open on the farm on Saturday Feb 9 or Saturday March 2, since we will be at the shows.)
From now through the first week of April if you need a program for your Garden Club, regional meetings or other gatherings we would love to give a program on Decorative Willows and Florals… The speaker would be Walker “Mr Willow II.” Just give us a buzz at 864 350 9345 or email us (email@example.com) and we will set it up! Due to logistics we require an audience of 20.
The beautiful Silvers are doing it! As we say in the willow trade “they are popping!” The male catkin, which if carefully pushed, will get to be an inch or more. At The Happy Berry/Mountain Willow we cut them just as the shucks split or pops off. They are very difficult to handle if you let them go further. It then is up to the customer if they want to push them to a larger size. It is easily done- But…be careful …If you push to hard and are not watching, they will bloom (the male anthers will emerge, usually yellow in color) and drop off the stem. Many customers just pinch the shucks off and make a dried arrangement immediately. We know of arrangements that are 10 years old and still look great.
Pussy Willows grow well here in USDA Zone 8a and as a plus there are no female trees around, so seeds and progeny are not a problem. Of course if you want, we will teach you how to grow-your-own…but you are in control! And you can put them where you want them not where a seed happens to fall. Ask us for cutting wood and instructions. To our knowledge we are the only producer in South Carolina so we are not worried about competition. In fact we will prune your tree for the stems, if you are reasonably close.
That brings up the issue of price. We just checked on the web and we found that our prices under-cut theirs by $3 to $5 or more for the 3-4 footers. Plus you have to pay shipping. In addition if you want 5 feet or 6 feet, no problem for us. If you would like really big ones 9, 10 or more feet let us know and we will special cut them for you and have them waiting for pick up. Our price for 3-4 feet with 12 stems per bunch is $12 or two for $20. If you would like us to mix in 3 red curly stem it is just $15 or 3 green curly for $14.
So we also have Red and Green Curly’s and Purple Heirloom that are ready to pop but have not done it in the field but will if you force just a little. Japanese Fantails have just few shucks splitting so they are ready for selective cutting. We will have a very limited supply of Sir Harry Lauder Walking Stick at $3 per stem.
PRUNING- come learn with us!
ELECTRIC CAR CHARGER!
THANK YOU FOR A GREAT 2012!
Any questions … let us know. If it is generic we will include it in our next newsletter …otherwise a personal response to the best of our ability.
[2001 newsletters] [ 2002 newsletters] [ 2003 newsletters] [ 2004 newsletters] [ 2005 newsletters] [ 2006 newsletters] [ 2007 newsletters] [ 2008 newsletters] [ 2009 newsletters] [ 2010 newsletters] [ 2011 newsletters] [ 2012 newsletters]