Sunday, April 27, 2014
Weekend picking went without a hitch, albeit not all were able to come and pick that were wanting to, but those that came went way with plenty of berries in their boxes. We are just getting started! Monday and Tuesday are full, and we will give the berry patch a rest on Wed. and Thurs. to recoup for Friday and Saturday. It will be apparent by Thurs. how many pickers will be able to come, so requests for reservations can be made on Thurs. for the weekend. UPDATE FOR CSA members: Our first share will be ready on Thursday May 15. Pickup will be at the farm between 3:00 in the afternoon until 6:00 in the evening. We anticipate the share basket will include, carrots, beets, spinach, mixed salad greens, kale, onions, garlic, new potatoes, strawberries, rhubarb, herbs, asparagus. More information will be posted as we near the CSA starting date. On a more tragic note, we lost a dear member of our farm family this past week. If you recall Bitty Kit, the calf snuggler, and her litter of kittens, her son Samson was the only offspring that we did not give away. Samson was at the top of his game at nighttime prowling and hunting, keeping the farm free from rats, mice, squirrels, gophers, and whatever else he could flush out in the wee hours after dark. He must have been sidetracked the other evening and had his mind on hunting something other than food. He was getting about that age when puberty was approaching, and hanging out with his mother at night was probably a drag. Most likely got the itch to do a little exploring and check out the felines in the barns across the highway. Well, needless to say Samson was found in the middle of the road, a good part of him, anyway. A wise word from a Mother who knows best. Take heed from the short life and wild times of Samson the barn cat, " When a son feels like Tom Cattin' around in the middle of the night, thinking about wild oats and not corn and potatoes, chances are he will get hit by a truck, and end up as buzzard poop, and his cattin' around days will be over!!!" From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Lots of berries picked this week, and a little rhubarb for strawberry rhubarb pie. The weather has been ideal for picking, and visitors have been very appreciative of our efforts to give them a pleasurable strawberry picking experience. We realize this is a first for many, and want all who come to the farm to have fond memories of picking strawberries. For those that were not able to come, or asked to come, and we were booked for the day, we will be picking for another three or four weeks. The production will be a little slower, as the weather warms, but there will still be berries. We will continue with appointment picking, to assure that all will go home with plenty. Today, Saturday is fully booked, as is Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, we will determine how many pickers will be able to come next weekend. As the weather is not real hot, we will continue to pick in the afternoon. Adult pickers that want to come in the morning, can contact us and we may be able to make arrangements for you to come. We are usually not available, but can give you specific instructions and information. Requests for evening picking, would be futile, as the berries are usually picked out each day. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM.. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
There must be a strawberry picking network, or maybe it is the aroma of fresh strawberries that wafts in the air, blanketing the surrounding area alerting strawberry buffs that it is time. We have had a good turn out of pickers this first week, and all seem to be able to find more than plenty of ripe berries to fill their boxes. We will be picking every afternoon at 1:00 and will pick until we get tired of picking. Contact us and we will put you on the list for the day that you would like to come. There have been requests to come in the mornings or in the evenings for visitors that work or have school. Just give us a shout, and if we are here we will accommodate your schedule. We anticipate the picking season to continue for at least 3 more weeks, maybe more, then the blackberries will be just about ready. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Sunday, April 20, 2014
The freezes, hail, straight line winds, cloudy days, were just slight bumps in the road for the determined strawberry plants. As the first of the season berries were picked, visitors were filling their boxes with an assortment of strawberries, big, little, fat, skinny, odd shapes and sizes, but none the less, still strawberries. In seasons past, the strawberries made their debut with a big hoorah for a couple of weeks, then gradually tapered off for the next couple of weeks, the season usually lasting about a month. This year, there are nearly as many blooms on the berries right now, as there are ripening berries in the field, indicating that with each setback from the assorted weather hits, some of the strawberries have stumbled and then have picked themselves up and started over again, so there may be strawberries for several additional weeks, if the early summer heat holds off. Because of the gradual onset of the berries we will be picking most every afternoon for the next couple of weeks. To make sure there are sufficient berries for the number of visitors that want to pick, we will pick by appointment. Just let us know that you are coming, and the number. Call or e-mail your information. The guidelines are posted in a previous post. To clarify the pricing, a heaping box is $25, price includes the box. This weighs approx. 7 plus pounds. If a full box is not picked, the price is $3.50 per lb. with a one time charge of $1.00 for the box that can be used again and again . Several calls have been received asking about large groups picking. Because of the amount of berries that are ripening each day at this time, and the loss of a bulk of the berries to the elements, we are not able to accommodate but several groups, families, and individuals each day. We want to make sure that if you come, you will leave with plenty of fruit. Updates will be posted and this may all change tomorrow, but for now, from our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
We have learned lots and lots these past few years of growing berries for u- pickers. To make your visit enjoyable and safe, we have several guidelines that we ask for you and yours to follow. The hours are going to be more flexible, as the berries are very late in the season and are ripening slowly, we will pick as they are ready. Picking will be done by reservation, so call ahead and we will schedule a time for you to come. We do our milking and chores in the morning, so most of the picking will be done in the afternoons. This blog and Facebook will have updated information as the picking season starts. Guidelines are as follows:* For each child under 8 years of age, an adult is required for supervision. We know that your children are very well behaved and would never disobey you, but we are a working farm with electric fences, roaming animals, equipment, beehives, among other things so we want to avoid any incidents that would make your visit unpleasant.* Wear appropriate clothing. Closed toe shoes, jackets, caps or hats.* No pets or outside animals allowed on the farm. No exceptions.* We do have restroom facilities, but do not have a picnic area. Lake Ray Roberts has several picnic areas, just a few miles to the South.* Each family group is asked to pick at least of one box of berries. If there are not sufficient berries to pick, what you pick will be priced accordingly. We provide the picking boxes, included in the price if you pick a full box, or $1 if you pick a partial. * The price per box is $25, the box will hold approx. 7 lbs. of berries. If a full box is not picked, the price is $3.50 per lb.* We accept cash or checks in the form of payment.* We ask that you respect our farm and our efforts to provide you with a good experience of picking berries.* Do not walk on the plastic mulch beds that the berries are grown in. Underneath are the irrigation lines that are very delicate, as is the plastic. We would not come to your house and jump up and down on your bed! * Do not eat the berries that have not been washed, as you will get a mouth full of sand and grit and possibly a bug or two. Nasty! The grocery stores do not allow grazing in their produce department, and we sort of frown on it also. Our time is better much better spent socializing and schmoozing with our visitors, than picking up spit out berry bits, and half eaten strawberry stems from the ground, in an effort to deter the ants and field mice from overtaking the fields.* Pick the berries that are deep red all around. If there is green or white on them, they are not quite ripe, and the sugar has not set in them. * Be courteous to other pickers.* We do not pick in bad weather. We may pick before or after, but not during.* We do not pick on Sunday. * We are not able to give farm tours at this time, but will look forward to all coming to our Fall open house, where tours and demonstrations will be given.* There may or may not be picked strawberries in the Market for sale. This is a U-pick berry farm, not a Me-pick berry farm! Call the farm for picking reservations, 903-429-2319 or e-mail us at info@ randcdairy.com leave your name and phone number, and the number in your group, we will contact you for confirmation. Friday, picking hours 1:00 PM until pick out. More information will follow, as needed. We look forward to a great picking season! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
HEAR YE, HEAR YE! As the winter freezes have come and gone, the pounding hail and the blustery winds have whipped across the fields, the strawberries have given it their all, trying again and again to make come back after come back. Our strawberry friends to the South, Fall Creek Farms lost all of their berry plants to the freeze and hungry deer, our other strawberry friends in Arlington, moved further south to warmer weather. We seem to be the Cheese that stands alone in the strawberry picking department in North Texas . This Friday afternoon will be the first day of strawberry picking at the farm. Reservations can be made on Thursday for any that would like to come and pick on Good Friday. There should be sufficient berries for 12 or 14 small groups. In the next post all of the guidelines will be posted, with additional information for pickers. This year will be reservation picking, as we want to make sure that their are sufficient berries for all those that come. Call the farm 903-429-2319 if you would like to make reservations for picking on Friday. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Lots of calls inquiring about strawberry picking, Are you picking? When will you start picking? Will there be plenty of berries for picking? Will you have room for lots of pickers? Will the berries be big again this year? The answer to all of these questions is quite simply..... we haven't got the foggiest idea! This is a new one for us. We are usually well under way with the picking season, at this time of the year. Our last examination of the berry patch yielded lots of bitty berries on the developing plants, as the transition is being made from bloom to berry. As it usually takes 30 days from start to finish, our guestimation puts the berry harvest to begin the last week end of April. We will monitor the progress of the strawberries closely, and as we near the projected opening weekend, more information will be posted. Why, might you ask, is everything delayed this year? Taking into account the continuous sub freezing weather, the drought, the night stalkers, (rabbits, deer, coons,) not to mention the battering wind and hail, it is next to a miracle that there will be any berries at all this year. But alas, never say none. There may be only one weekend of berry picking, and if that is the case it will be a blow out!!!!. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!