Sunday, August 25, 2013

Post-2nd-Weekend of 2013 Picking Season

We have tallied about 4500 lbs of berries have left the fields in buckets.  Not sure of the amount that have left in gullets. There were a lot of pickers here yesterday and it shows. Ripe berries are everywhere but, unfortunately, sparse in among unripe--similar to last weekend after the opening day onslaught. Some (rosy outlook types) are satisfied with the available ripe crop, others (normal pickers and naysayers) are disappointed. It is about as hot and humid as it can be out there right now, so if you are reading this, I would grab a cold one and lay low. I would also hold off visiting again until after mid week.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Second Saturday of 2013 Picking Season

Depending who you talk to, picking is good to excellent. I have heard unreliable reports of bucket filling in a half hour, which is about as fast as one can pick; more reliable reports put it at an hour. We don't charge more if it takes you longer, so consider the extra time spent here a bonus. As usual, the best strategy is to spend time looking for the "right bush". 

Complaints from the past week about "the berries seem smaller than last year" are a mere memory as the recent pickers have been complimenting that the berries seem huge. There are enough bushes and berries and pickers of different varieties and view points that we have long since learned to not put a lot of credence in peoples' memories of conditions. This year's crop is not like last year's. Not sure there ever will be another 2012, but this year is going to end up fine (average).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Eve of the 2nd Weekend for 2013

Did not return to the farm last evening until too dark to inventory the patch. There was a significant boost in berries recorded in the ledger, despite a modest number of pickers. Saw many who registered 10-12 lbs (2 ice cream pails) and some couples we recognized with 40-77 lbs between them. I doubt it is jaw dropping out there, but it should certainly be better today and tomorrow than it has been since last Saturday. I will update in the afternoon tomorrow after we see what any crowd might harvest.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hump Day Report

Definitely progress.  Should have a decent proportion of ripe berries for Saturday.  Be patient.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20th: No noticeable improvement

Hard to tell that there has been any ripening progress so far.  Please be patient and be thinking "weekend".

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2nd Day of 2013 Picking Season

Yesterday's tally: 2185 lbs recorded, 2nd best ever for an opener.
Today?: 165 lbs, worst ever for a 2nd day; usually 2nd days are in the 500-800 lb range.  Please wait until Saturday, August 24th. This week's heat is bound to improve the ripening.  I will provide updates during the week, but the observations are very qualitative.  Blueberries are not like strawberries, where a day or two can be a drastic change.  Blueberries ripen more gradually and are difficult to notice changes when one surveys the field every day.  The best gauge is the rate of picking reported by pickers. 

Since we are a long drive for everyone outside of Chassell, Klingville, Arnheim, we won't turn those away who don't get the reports and choose to come, but I don't think there is any advantage in trying to "beat the crowd" by coming during the work week.  Ripening takes an unpredictable amount of time.  Many of today's pickers had not seen the reports. 

The abundance of the crop on the bushes still is evident and incredible.  The late ripening means that there will be some great late-season picking for those who choose to (and can) wait.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Opening Day 2013: Started Fast, Petered out Fast

Haven't tallied today's pickings yet, but it was significant.  The availability or ripe berries diminished rapidly as the day wore on.  Recommending to those who want a lot (more than a pail) and coming from afar to hold off for a week.  I think a week of hot weather, which is the forecast, will help the remaining abundance of unripe berries to get with the program and turn blue.  Labor day weekend should be good as well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

2013 Blueberry Season Opener: 17 August

The 2013 blueberry-picking season at the GBbF will start Saturday, August 17, at daylight. Since it is a self-serve/honor-system operation, we will remain open daily, during daylight hours, until we are done picked out, which will probably be in mid September. Picking is usually excellent (unbelievable) opening weekend. It should be pretty awesome the first 10 days this year, or so, then it will get more realistic (harder) thereafter. Bring your own containers. Pre-weigh them at the Berry Building. $2/lb. We have ice-cream pails for purchase or loan, if needed. Below are pictures of conditions today (Aug. 11), and you can see it is still early.  It will probably be a little early next week as well, but we feel that we are running out of summer and so we are balancing the relative ripeness with remaining days of summer available for picking.  No way of knowing whether we guess right--our saving grace...

Saturday, August 03, 2013

August 3rd Pre-Season Conditions

As a point of reference, today, the first Saturday of August, is about as early as we might ever open.  We have opened as early as the last Saturday of July (last year), but most of the time we open some time between now and mid August.  This past winter lasted longer than we have ever experienced, so everything has been late, and we really have not had the kind of weather that would allow crops to catch up.  For example, our corn is not knee high and I have given up on it.  I walked the patch last evening, and I would generously estimate the state of ripeness as 1%. I know, it ain't saying much, but it was the first day I have seen more than one completely ripe berry. I am still thinking that we are going to open Aug. 17th. Unlikely it will be earlier, but we will keep our fingers crossed and you posted.