Our blackberries floricanes, the vines that produce this years crop suffered from the cold weather and only 10-15% survived. Fortunately the roots are healthy and should produce a good number of primocanes, these are the vines that will produce next years crop. The duke blueberries seemed to handle the weather fine except they are late. the chandler blueberries suffered mild winter damage and will not produce as much this year. The bright spot this year is our raspberries, they seem to have come through the winter fairly well and we expect a normal crop from them.
the other good news is that the new plantings of raspberries, peaches, pluots and apricots and apriums seem to be off to a good start The mustard we planted to biofumigate the field that we will plant in blackberries this summer is growing well and should bloom in the next 3 weeks or so. The orchard mason bees we got this year to pollinate our fruit are doing well and that is exciting.
Finally, we are always thinking about new ways to offer our fruit to our customers. Last year we started pick-your-own (PYO) fall raspberries and it was well received. I enjoyed offering this because it gives our customers an opportunity to connect in a closer way with the food they eat and we intend to expand this portion of our farm as the demand grows.
The success of the pick-your-own venture has encouraged me to consider a new way to offer our fruit to our customers. I am very excited about this, it is called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). How this operates is that people buy "shares" in the fruit harvest for that year. They receive a box of fruit on a regular basis throughout the harvest year, for us this would be mid-june through early october and would include raspberries,blueberries, blackberries, apricots, peaches, pluots, nectarines and plums. We will keep you updated on the progress of this and will be putting out a survey to see if this is something that might interest you.
Well that is about it for now. If April showers bring May flowers this month should be beautiful, enjoy it..