Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Belated Update

Sorry about the belated update. I do not get much in the way of communication on this blog, so I forget that there are a few (I actually don't know how many people follow it) who check on the berry status here. Our Facebook site gets a lot more regular attention.

Anyways, we are still open for picking. It takes some searching but the meager number of pickers who are still coming out are going home with a gallon or so of berries in about 1-2 hrs of picking. Like last year, there are two rows of berries yet to turn ripe. No idea when they will, but when they do, whoever is here will be pretty happy they are.

If you are driving from a long ways (more than 30 miles) and are hoping to get more than 15 lbs of berries, you might be disappointed (unless you hit the days when those late varieties turn blue). If you are in the area and need some for a few pies, we still have plenty and probably will through August, maybe the first week of September.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

End of 2nd Week

Despite the abundance of berries, pickers have been sparse and sporadic. Don't blame them, it has been hot and humid. Some annoying bugs (blackfly like but non-biting) in the early morning and late evening, when the temps are more pleasant. To avoid the bugs you have to pick in the heat, apparently. Normally don't have bugs this time of year, nor the heat nor the humidity, a trifecta of unpleasantries...

In my opinion, the best picking is in the eastern half of the large, middle patch. Most people park at the western end and don't venture far enough to get to the loaded bushes, choosing instead to pick bushes that have been picked many times already. They are getting berries and it is still taking less than an hour to pick a gallon.

At least another week or so of picking, depending how the berries handle all this moisture and heat. These conditions are new to us, so we are even less certain about predicting the future. It is not like we are ever certain about our predictions...

Friday, August 06, 2010

End of First Week of Picking

I have not reviewed the berry patch in a few days, but based on the berry ledger, picking must still be very good (over 3000 lbs picked so far but there are tons, literally, still on the bushes). Lots of 10s and 20s of lbs are being picked and verbal reports are still glowing. I imagine, however, that easy picking must be exhausted on the bushes that ripened first. Nevertheless, there certainly are berries to be had on the lower branches of the large bushes and in the rows that are closest to the treeline on the southern boundary of the property, where the bushes are closer together and the picking is more "backwoods" like. There are couple of varieties that ripen later (those smaller bushes, more spread out, next to the big open field) that have not yet ripened. Last year they never did ripen before the first frost but this year they will. Not sure when.

It is never crowded during the weekdays, it seems, even in the evenings. Mornings are the best, both in terms of temperature and room. I suspect this coming weekend (Aug. 7/8) will be our last crowded one. My department will be picking on the evening of Thurs., Aug. 12th, and it might get a little crowded then.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Report on the 3rd Day

Opening day harvest was 1531 lbs, a new record! The second day was half that (almost half of which was picked by one family, albeit a healthy number of them). Today, the third day, probably half of that.

I went out in the evening and reviewed the conditions. Grabbed these four berries in the picture at left from one bush that had already been picked over the last 3 days. Still a lot of berries to pick, especially in the middle rows at the end closest to the apple orchard. Very few people have been venturing down there. The back field still has ample picking, just not as easy as opening day, when you could have picked a bucket in a half hour using only your toes. Still a LOT of berries need to ripen, but no problem filling a gallon bucket in less than hour.