Fresh News 2017
Monday 4/24/17 ---- The Strawberry plants continue to amaze us. The crop is not as heavy as it once was but everyone who parts the leaves finds plenty. The plants have grown well so now the berries are hiding down under the canopy. If you are still after Strawberries I would come sooner than later. We have six varieties planted. The Festival and Sweet Charlie are almost done. The Chandler are starting to runner which means they have decided to shift out of fruit production. Sweet Ann, Albion and Camino Real are still pushing berries and even a bloom or two. It will be interesting to see what this cool front does. Strawberry plants do not like hot temps - it is too early to tell how long they will continue to produce but for now it looks like we have 2 more weeks of decent production and probably a week or two more of low production. In a typical year we have berries through mid May but this year is far from typical so who knows how long they will go!
Blackberries - only those reading the fresh news or walking up to the welcome center know that we started picking them .... today. It is all grannies fault! She wants to get the first ones and we like to do whatever Granny says. I think she picked 80 pounds today before I let today's pickers in on her. Our Blackberry patch is not very big, it will be very important to come early to make sure you get blackberries. "Seekers" will always find berries, most of our customers walk standing straight up and pick a small window right in front of their face. The 'seekers' will bend over and look up into the plant (the opposite of everyone else) and find all the ones hiding under the leaves.
Potatoes and Onions - continue to ........ not do much. I think we will wait until mid May and harvest what we can along with Blackberries and Strawberries.
Peaches --- not much improvement. It was not a freeze or hail that got them this year, it was a lack of winter chilling that messed with their internal clock. I do not expect to have any Pick Your Own peaches (but I could be surprised). If we do end up making some Peaches - Granny gets first dibs and then if there are any after that we will bring them to the counter for sale.
Friday 4/21/17 ---- This weekends Strawberry report looks great! The Strawberries are still putting on a show. I was just in the field and was pleasantly surprised at the size and quantity available for picking. A cold front is predicted tonight bringing tomorrows high temp down to 70! Hope to see you soon!
Wednesday evening 4/19/17 ----- Hola! We cleaned up the farm a little today so everything will be ready for you if you are coming this weekend. Our grass is not growing very quickly, how is yours doing. I shouldn't complain but it sure isn't growing as fast as the weeds. Did you kn ow it is a scientific fact that many weeds grow faster than the grass you are trying to keep. It is because they have the genetic ability to utilize Nitrogen faster and better than many grasses. Not only do we pull weeds because they are unsightly but we also pull them because they rob the desired plants of nutrients and water. So, get out there and pull your weeds folks!!! Beware: we have a sign at the farm that says "unruly children will be used as weed pullers" ha ha.
The Strawberry picking the next few days will ....... require a little work on your part. The berries are in the field but they are not jumping in the box anymore. You will need to part the leaves and find the ones hiding. They are not as big as they once were either. Smaller berries means you can get more in the box = a higher bill at the counter - be cautious you don't get more than you want.
No Blackberries this weekend but .......... soon! look for an announcement next week!
The fields are nice and dry, well ..... there are three wet spots in the front block. If I see someone hosing a kid off - I will know where they were picking.
Tuesday 4/18/17 --- I don't know how it missed us but we didn't get a drop of rain yesterday. It looked imminent on the radar, even Marble Falls town got rain. Nice and dry here, the strawberries are bouncing back from the Easter weekend. The Strawberry picking should be pretty good this week.
In other news: Still waiting on those Blackberries, I don't think it will be long hopefully we will be picking them by the early part of May. Our Blackberry patch is not very big so it will be important to come on a Thursday morning or Saturday morning for the best picking.
The potatoes and onions are way behind. The field we planted those plants into was the group hayfield maze last fall, I just shredded and tilled in grass that was 7 feet tall. While adding a lot of organic matter to the field, it was also green and not decomposed. I suspect this robbed the soil of a lot of nutrients (it takes nutrients from the soil to decompose fresh organic matter) and thus we are not experiencing the growth on the Onions and Potatoes we would normally expect. We are still going to pull onions (although they will be small) and dig potatoes (the potatoes will be small but that is really the best ones) in about mid May.
I am pretty sure the Peach crop will be non existent this year. Just not enough cold weather for the trees to break dormancy. If we do have some Peaches, we will pick them and bring them to the store for sale.
Saturday evening 4/15/17 ----- It looks like we will have a good many ripe strawberries to pick Easter Sunday (open 1 to 5). Be prepared to do a little hunting for them but they are out there waiting for you.
shhhhh - maybe some Blackberries in a week or two??? you heard it hear first, I think we will be picking Blackberries by the first of May!
Friday evening 4/14/17 ---- Another fantastic day! In years past we have had crazy busy Good Fridays - today was busy but just steady and not overwhelming. Folks were able to find ripe Strawberries all day long and it looks like we have plenty for tomorrow and probably even Sunday afternoon. The fields are mostly dry, only wear boots to get into the few muddy spots because ........ that is where the unpicked and more plentiful berries are.
I looked up today to see two ladies and a young boy sitting on the grass contently and peacefully eating Ice Cream with full boxes of Strawberries by their side as a gentle wind was blowing with partly cloudy skies overhead and thought ........ "that is a picture of exactly what the farm is all about". I suppose the object is to have a little income but we really do enjoy seeing folks taking a deep breath and simply enjoying a little slice of farm life.
Wednesday evening 4/12/17 ----- Whew! the heavy rain missed us. We just got enough to make some mud for the next day or two.
Thursday - wet spots and dry spots, keep an eye on the kids. Should be able to stay out of any mud if you try. Lots of berries!
Friday - a little drier but the far end of the row will still be muddy. Lots of berries to start the day but ...... Good Friday can be a big day for us. Be prepared.
Saturday and Sunday ...... I am sure there will be Berries to start each day but not sure how long they will last.
All events will be running all three days. Hope to see you soon!
Wednesday evening 4/5/17 ----- Fantastic! The farm, weather and ripe Strawberry outlook for Thursday through Sunday look simply fantastic!
The Farm: Last Sunday morning 2 inches of rain fell, most of that has now dried up. There are still a few wet spots down on the end of the aisles but for the most part, little Johnny will only get muddy if he is trying pretty hard. The grass is starting to grow and green up, the Pecan trees are starting to leaf out and the Blackberries bloomed heavy (ready mid May). It does not look like we will have much of a Peach crop. Our trees require around 700 hours of winter temperatures between 32 and 45, which we did not receive. A few varieties are struggling out but I don't count on them for much of a crop. Potatoes and Onions are finally starting to grow, we might have some in a month or so.
The weather: so far the forecast is beautiful through Saturday and maybe even Sunday! It was a bit cold and windy this morning, even tonight is going to be low 40's/upper 30s here. If we had a stretch of that kind of temperatures it would do us good. I don't think the plants are going to be affected much by the lower temps.
The ripe Berry supply: looks great through Sunday. Overall I think the plants are slowing down some but not enough to get behind the harvesters. We are still picking pretty heavy for our freezers too. The plants are now large enough that you will need to move those leaves around to see the big ones hiding down under the canopy.
Friday evening 3/31/17 --- No fooling, Saturday April 1 will be great picking. The grounds look great and there is no mud currently. The forecast is calling for afternoon showers tomorrow so if you get here late and it is raining a bit - just pull them shoes off - nothing like getting a little mud between your toes! The farm will be open Sunday afternoon, there might be some mud to deal with if we get the predicted rain.
I believe we have hit the peak of Strawberry production. We will still have berries for the next few weeks but not at the current rate. The high temperatures have remained in the upper 80's, not very good for Strawberry bloom production. It appears that the entire season was advanced by two weeks, I hope we can make it to mid May but am skeptical of the quantity of fruit late April, first of May. If you are looking to load up on berries in a small amount of time - now is the time to come get them.
Weather permitting - we are going to have a great Blackberry crop come mid May! Yea! The Onions and Potatoes are not doing so well, I am not sure what their problem is. Hopefully they will turn the corner and get to growing this month. Don't hold your breath for Peaches, looks like a very slim Peach crop - again. I fear that some of those trees are on the chopping block!
Wednesday evening 3/29/17 ---- Thursday and Friday will be fantastic picking, Saturday too if the predicted rain holds off. Last nights rain has mostly dried up. Tomorrow we will have some wet aisles between the Strawberries and lots of dry aisles. It won't be muddy but you still might encounter a few slick spots. Old shoes might be the best attire. The weather looks great, the berries are freshly washed and there will be loads of ripe berries for everyone over the next few days. Hope to see you soon!
Sunday 3/26/17 ---- Hola! We had a good day today on the Happy farm (everyone is Happy here - well, most of the time). The Strawberries look great, I think the picking will be very good this week. Hope to see you soon!
Saturday 3/25/17 ---- We should name this the happy farm, so many happy folks come out - it makes the hard work so worth it!
Sunday - open at 1pm to 5pm. Lots of ripe Strawberries to start the day, come close to one to make sure you get your share. The later in the afternoon we go, the harder the picking will be. "Harder" means - there will still be berries available you just will have to look under leaves and a little longer. If you put all the rows end to end it would be close to 9 miles long - at one, walk 20 yards get a box ---- at 4pm - it might take a half mile.
Friday 3/24/17 - noon ----- The front has moved through and dropped just a little much needed to settle the dust rain. Not even enough to make a mud pie. The fields look great, production is great, ice cream is great - all we are missing is your greatness. Hope to see you soon. There will be plenty of berries for everyone through this weekend and it looks like next week too (weather permitting).
Thursday 3/23/17 ---- As promised, Thursday is delivering some amazing berries. The fields have rebounded from Spring Break and the plants are putting on a show. It is a fantastic time to pick Strawberries. I am sure we will have plenty of berries for everyone to pick through the entire weekend.
Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow early morning. Right now less than a quarter of an inch is expected - that will be just perfect to settle the dust and freshen up the plants. I am amazed at how fast the farm dried up so a little rain will be welcome. I will post here if field conditions change after the front rolls through.
Farmhand duties right now are all about Strawberries: picking, cleaning, putting them in the freezer, building boxes and weeding the fields. Normal duties include mowing, cleaning up, feeding animals and the such. Hope to see you soon!
Sunday evening 3/19/17 -- The berries are back! This sunshine and heat are ripening berries as we speak. Anything can happen but I don't see running out of ripe berries anytime this coming week or weekend. I had a dilemma today - there were 4 Strawberry Smoothies left at closing time ..... what to do???? Even though it was hard, I only had one and gave the others to the farmhands. We won't make smoothies again until next weekend ... I will fast until then!
The Blackberries are in full bloom - about May 15 for them. Potatoes are popping out - about late April on them. Onions seem a little slow - not sure how they are going to do. Only 3 Peach varieties are blooming, not very hopeful about the Peach crop this year.
The Farm looks great, we are very excited and happy with the way things are going at the moment. It is a good time to be a Strawberry farmer!
Saturday evening 3/18/17 --- I am jazzed about the possibility of having some ripe berries for tomorrows picking, 1 to 5pm on Sundays. The sun came out and the temperatures warmed this afternoon, the crowds dwindled a bit, the plants are growing well and we open late tomorrow = it will be good picking to start the day. The fields are dry and the forecast looks great - without a huge Spring Break crowd - I think ripe berry supply is going to be wonderful the entirety of next week. By next Thursday, harvesters are going to have a different problem ----- trying to stop! The worst thing that can happen to you is getting your berry quota and you are still in the middle of the field - no way you will be able to get out of the field without adding a pound or two to your box.
Friday evening 3/17/17 --- The sun has popped out, we are expecting a warm evening and today was not as busy ---- we might have some ripe berries tomorrow morning! Better come early though to make sure you get them - we open at 8:30 am. It all depends on the crowd as to how long they will last. Look at it this way, just think of the money I am saving you! You can bring the kiddos out, get a few berries and have a great time without breaking the bank (be careful though, Ice Cream and activities can add up). Later, when the plants are loaded (by next Thursday) you can come back and do your 'jam' picking.
Thursday evening 3/16/17 ---- Well, what a fun day!!!!! A big Spring Break Thursday crowd came out had a lot of fun and ........ cleaned the fields pretty good. Some berries will ripen overnight but not enough for all day tomorrow, we open at 8:30am - that would be the time to have a shot at ripe berries. The fields are dry and the farm is in great shape.
So, if you want to load up on berries - come next Thursday through April 20 (weather permitting). IF you want to have some country Spring Break fun, come on out just don't expect to get many ripe Strawberries. All the activities will be running and there is plenty of Homemade Ice Cream, Strawberry Popsicle's, Strawberry Smoothies (my absolute favorite) and Strawberry Lemonade.
Blackberries are blooming now - should be ready around mid May as well as Onions and Potatoes.
Tuesday evening March 14 --- We are closed Wednesdays. The sun came out (we are closed Wednesdays) and so did the pickers (we are closed Wednesdays)! Since we are closed Wednesdays, Thursday morning will be the next best time to pick Strawberries! It would be best to come in the morning Thursday (we are closed Wednesdays) because If we have a crowd like today I don't think ripe Strawberries will last all day. It will be berry important to check back here if you are planning on coming out Friday through the weekend. The crop looks good overall and I wouldn't expect many shortages after we get through this week. The Blackberries are beginning to bloom (available in May) and the Potatoes are starting to grow (also available in May).
Monday afternoon, March 13 ---- This morning was miserable (and so was my mood) but by lunch the skies began to clear (and my mood) and we had a fantastic afternoon (and my mood). So now I am all smiles as I say, Yep - it is a great time to come out. We will have very good picking tomorrow, then CLOSED WEDNESDAY which will make Thursday fantastic picking too. The plants are producing very well and I expect to have lots of Strawberries Friday through the weekend - it is just a little too early to tell what time of the day would be best. The fields are drying out nicely, they are mostly dry although you can still find a wet spot if you try. The largest, ripest berries are in those wet spots. Even though you don't necessarily need them, put boots on at least one of your clan. The new paint a pot activity is a big hit. 'Thanks' Raelynn for the idea (yes, my daughter - yes she gets her farmer smarts from non other than .... me, of course)! (
Sunday morning March 12 --- Finally! the rain seems to be moving on. A week of off and on rain is not good for us when the berries are producing heavy. Strawberries do not like to be wet. Berry supply is abundant right now but I expect some caution is needed when picking your berries. If the berry has been laying in a bit of water, it might be a little soft on the wet side, if it is just toss it on the ground and step on it. We grow the plants on plastic covered beds just for this reason, if those berries were in the dirt - they would surely be decayed. Good ripe berries are plentiful and waiting to be harvested, don't worry about berry supply over the next few days. The aisles between the rows are sure to be slippery and a little muddy today, the grassy areas will be just fine.
Friday evening March 10 ---- No rain today on the farm, just plenty of sunshine. The aisles are dry and the berries are abundant to start out Saturday. Afternoon showers are in the forecast for tomorrow, so keep an eye on the sky. The farm will be open rain or shine. With the way the plants are producing, I feel that we will have plenty of berries to pick the next few days and probably all of Spring Break. If you are planning a trip late next week it might still be a good idea to check back here before heading out. Hope to see you soon!
Thursday afternoon March 9 --- The Strawberry plants are producing heavily, we just need the weather forecast to agree with us. The fields are dry and in great shape. The plants are loaded down with berries, I do not think ripe berry supply will be a problem anytime in the near future. There is a chance of light rain in Friday and Saturdays forecast. The farm will be open rain or shine and we will post here and on the Facebook page should the fields get muddy. Sunday and most of next week look dry - it should be a great time to come out during Spring Break.
Tuesday March 7 --- Today will be a great day to pick berries. The front just blew through - lowered the temps by about 10 degrees but so far no rain has come with it - a light jacket might be good for today. The Strawberry plants are turning on the gas. We will have plenty of berries to pick for the reminder of this week for sure. There are plenty of 'dry' aisles to walk on, and there are some 'muddy' aisles - which one do you think little Johnny is going to head for if he is left unattended?
Strawberry production is picking up, we are excited that it looks like we will have a great supply of berries for this coming weekend and Spring Break. The farmhands are picking heavy to put berries in the freezer and keep up with production - we need some decent weather so customers can come in here and pick some of the berries to prevent an overload.
Saturday March 4 ---- This morning was good ...... this afternoon is rainy and cold but we still have pickers! We will be open Sunday afternoon, 1 to 5. There will be plenty of berries to pick but expect some slick and muddy aisles between the Strawberry rows. At the moment we are looking at a 30% chance tomorrow, we will be here rain or shine.
Friday March 3rd ---- Wow! what a fantastic opening day, I was happy, customers were happy, even the farmhands were happy - it was a 'happy fest" around here! The ripe berries are holding up great, I think we will have plenty for the weekend crowd. You "Sweet Charlie" lovers need to get on out here because those plants are loaded up. The fields are dry at the moment but there is a chance of afternoon rain tomorrow so old shoes might be the thing to wear. The farm is open rain or shine so don't worry about driving up to a closed gate. 8:30 - 5:30 on Saturdays, 1pm - 5pm on Sundays. Production beyond this weekend looks wonderful, weather permitting we are going to have an abundance of berries the next few weeks.
Wednesday March 1st --- Yep, I panicked. Those Strawberries are coming on pretty fast so we are going to go ahead and put the word out about Friday opening. There will be some very nice berries to pick - we are excited to offer them to you. I do not foresee a problem but if you are planning on coming out Saturday or Sunday - check here just for grins to see if we had any business the day before. Hope to see you soon.
Monday February 27th --- Ye Haw, here comes da berries! Last week we pulled off about 150 pounds for the freezer, today about 350. I think by Friday we will have enough ripe berries to open for the Spring Picking Season . You heard it here first! The farm will open Friday March 3rd for Strawberry picking, Paint a potting, Sandarting, Berry Bouncing, Barrel Train riding, Goat feeding and Ice cream eating! In order to have a soft opening - we are only going to announce it here for now (not even on the home page) so if you are a Fresh News Reader - you are ahead of the game. I think the picking will be pretty good Friday. Beyond Friday we will be open normal business hours (see the Home page). Ron - if you are out there - your favorite variety is going to town. It looks like, barring weather disasters, production will quickly ramp up and be going strong for Spring Break and beyond. Everyone hold on to your socks - lest these Strawberries blow them off!!!
Thursday February 23rd - oh this new website is such a nuisance!!! Farmer Dan here, give me a little bit and I will get you a link to the old one, for those of us that think it was just fine the way it was. This is what happens when you finally succumb to your daughters incessant demands for a new website. "So", I ask Lacy, "does the new website contain more information than the old one?" With a blank and puzzled look she says "Well......... the same information is now more excitedly informative - Ha!"
What a winter? summer? not sure which but regardless the Strawberry plants are in better shape for this time of year than they have ever been before .......... and they are loaded with green berries! Spring opening is coming soon. We are busy right now cleaning up and getting ready. The first couple hundred pounds will go in the freezer for Ice Cream, popsicles, smoothies and Lemonade. Then I think the plants will really turn on the juice and start producing enough for everyone. An announcement will be made in the Fresh News first, then a couple of days later on the main page, then a day or two later on the Farm Facebook page. We will not update every site at the same time in order to prevent too many folks coming out on the first day - it takes a little time for the Strawberry production to ramp up. You heard it here first - I am shooting for a March 9th opening . I will attempt to make updates more often now that we are closing in on the season. Once we do open, production should be good Spring Break week and then fantastic the last two weeks of March through the first half of April. Beyond that we should have berries, we just need to wait a little longer to see how many. Hope to see you soon.
Wednesday February 1, 2017 - Hey y'all, Lacy here again! (Don't worry Farmer Dan will get back to updating on here once he figures out the new website password. hehe.)Whew! How exhausting! We just pulled off the large white covers from our strawberries so they can catch some rays these next couple of days. Well... I... didn't, but that's what we have Farm Hands for! T-minus a month and a half or so of good weather until the strawberries get here! I am so excited!! My mouth is already watering. While those Farm Hands were hard at work with those covers I have been working on getting a new activity set up for the Spring time. I can't release any information about it yet ... Oh, what they hay ... yes I can. Introducing Paint-a-Pot! You get to choose a pot to paint and you get to plant a seed in it! We are excited about it and we hope you will be too!
Say, how are y'all liking the new website? If you like it please send an e-mail to my dad at firstname.lastname@example.org and say "THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FINALLY LETTING LACY UPDATE THE WEBSITE!" If you don't like the website... too bad. Just kidding! Send an e-mail over to me at email@example.com with suggestions on how to make it better!
Thursday December 29, 2016 - Hold on to your hats folks! Farmer Dan is letting me, his youngest daughter, Lacy, update the Fresh News! (The same Lacy that won the 2006 Farmlympics for running into a picnic table with the golf cart.) This will be the first Fresh News that he has not updated since 1999 as he has reminded me multiple, I repeat, MULTIPLE times. I better not mess this up! The strawberries are gearing up for the Spring 2017 season. It is a warm winter so they are already putting on blooms! Now don't get your hopes up, we still have a good many freezes to get through till Spring time when the plants will really start producing. We have large white covers that we pull out to cover the plants when it freezes so they will stay nice and warm and produce tasty strawberries. Rumor has it that my dad will occasionally sing the plants to sleep when they are covered up, but it hasn't been confirmed. YET. We can't wait to have strawberries again so we can make all of our delicious homemade recipes. Happy New Year from all of us at Sweet Berry Farm!
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday- 8:30-5:30
CLOSED ALL WEDNESDAYS!
We accept CASH and CHECK only.
There is an ATM on site.
1801 FM 1980
Marble Falls, Texas 78654