Calendar Year 2002 Newsletters
Berry Report August 27, 2002
Blueberries - Slim, slim “pickins” but there are some out there. Recent rains have helped quality. My best bet is in the Centurions down near the woods and in the Tifblues. Saw some Climax still. Good luck and enjoy the cool weather this week. Rabbiteye blueberries have been selected by eons of time to be well adapted to southern extremes of drought. Unless beaten off the bush by weather they remain attached till they are fully ripe. Under drought conditions maturity is suspended and when rain returns they swell up and continue to ripen. Mean while sugar continues to build. In a rainy season splitting is a problem due to the very high sugar content but splitting definitely has not been a problem this year. There are a few blues in the cooler for sale.
Figs are coming to an end but there is still some out there and they will continue to ripen for couple of weeks. We continue the policy of not picking figs till noon [they must be picked everyday to keep quality up] so there is a few in the cooler. I would check in the young trees and tops of the older trees.
Raspberries - Picking is good to excellent. The recent wet weather will aggravate the Botrytis fungus but rapid ripening this time of year [we are talking just a few hours] will mean a steady supply of good quality berries. Raspberries will continue to be available into October. There are prepicked raspberries in the refrigerator on the porch.
Blackberries are gone. We have completed pruning out the Floracanes in the Chester and are now tying canes to the “flip trellis” for next years crop. We have also treated the blackberries for Raspberry crown borer so if you do see a stray berry do not eat it.
Wine/jelly grapes - A good friend of mine has about 20 varieties of wine/jelly grapes with all the traditional European varieties like Cabernet Franc and Saugvion, Merlot etc as well as some varieties especially adapted to the south. He is selling them for a dollar a pound and if you buy 50 pounds he will run them through the crusher and destemer. His name is Dave Burley. His phone is 287 9713 and he is located at 2720 Centerville road. Harvest has started! His email is Dave_Burley@charter.net.
This will be the last weekly update till next spring. We will probably drop you a note once a month or less just to keep you up with developments. We have had a very good season. We deeply appreciate everyone’s help with the harvest. We could not do this without you. Thank you very much!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch.
Berry Report August 20, 2002
Blueberries - The recent rains [we have gotten 0.95 inches in the past 5 days] have help improve quality. The picking is fair. You will have to scout up the good bushes then pick. There are good bushes out there.
Raspberries - The recent rains have created a situation where the Botrytis fungus is on a few of the berries. The picking is good to excellent. Several have gotten a gallon or more.
Figs - The figs are slowing some but there are still lots. Picking has been steady.
Blackberries are gone - We have started pruning the old canes out of the Chester. I am forecasting Saturday May 31 as opening day for next year 2003. We plan to take out the Arapaho and plant more Chickasaw and Choctaw this fall.
Berry Report August 12, 2002
Blueberries It’s shaker season. Bring your sheets and spread them on the ground and shake the bush. The berries starting to dry up and irrigation won't help. The sugar is very high and they make excellent jam and wine at this point. Shaker season won't last long. For those that want quality berries there is still fair to good picking but you have to get back and down in the bush to get the plump ones.
Blackberries are about done. Some diehards are still getting a few quarts to a gallon The picking poor to very poor.
Raspberries are continuing to improve. As number of blue and black berry pickers decline the picking pressure on the raspberries also declines and hence the number raspberries available is increasing. Limits will be removed.
Figs demand is steady to increasing and there is still good fig picking, especially in the morning.
Berry report Monday July 29, 2002
Figs - Excellent picking in the figs! This crop does not have a long picking window for the main variety which is Brown Turkey. Have you tried frozen figs? They are delicious!
Blueberries - Still good to excellent picking but the end is in sight. The picking time per gallon should start to increase the end of this week or next. The berries are really sweet. We are continuing to irrigate. Should be some berries at the end of this month.
Blackberries are coming to an end. Still some berries but it takes a while to pick them.
Red Raspberries continue to improve. The demand is high! We should have them into October
Have a berry good week!
Berry report Monday July 29, 2002
Blueberries Still at peak and should remain at peak for another 7 to 10 days. After that the picking time per gallon will start to increase. The quality now is super and all berries are sweet. We are anticipating the blueberry harvest will continue till September. Picking is excellent
Blackberries - Will be gone in couple weeks . We are now picking the variety Chester. We started cutting the old flora canes out of the Apache this week. Chester ripens one at a time and not in clusters. Do not let all the red berries keep you from harvesting. The ripe ones are out there. Picking is fair to poor depending on how early/many have picked in front of you. We have reduced our picking for pre picked sales to allow more for the pick-your-own crowd.
Red Raspberries are in Customers started picking raspberries again this week. We anticipate they will continue till October. We are working hard at controlling the Botrytis fungus. The flora canes are gone and we are tying them up so the berries dry off quickly. Picking is fair to good
Figs are in We started picking figs about 3 days ago. Our policy will be to not pick figs for pre picked sales till just prior to noon. That will leave them for those who like to pick. Figs must be picked everyday or they will spoil on the tree and bees and birds become a problem. So we will pick about noon. Picking is poor to fair and will improve
Y'all come see us!
Berry report Monday July 22, 2002
Blueberries are at peak of Season They will remain at peak for several weeks. After a blueberry turns blue it continues to increase in sugar till it reaches 22% or more. Some of the sweetest berries of the season are now. Picking time per gallon is low. Ripe berries on the bush slow the rate of ripening of the green ones. Pick a bush till you think you got it clean go away for a day and you think you had not picked it.
Raspberries have started to ripen but picking is poor. We expect the volume to increase about August 1 st. Pruning is complete and fertilizer is on and we are watering. We will be tying canes up to the wires for the next few days.
Still Blackberries. Apache are winding up and the Chester are coming in. We continue to rate picking as poor but there are some out there. We are still taking orders for pre picked blackberries.
Figs seem to be taking their own good time. We have been saying August 1 but we are beginning to hedge a little and add a few days. Should be soon. Figs must be picked everyday and we will plan to pick around 10 AM once we start.
Web Site We have added recipes to the web site and will ad more. The order function for pre picked berries had problems for a while but is now working.
Release July 15, 2002
The 2002 Happy Berry Berry Ripening UpdateBlueberries - Peak-of-season. the picking does not get any better. All varieties are still available. The Climax and Premier are supper sweet. The Tifblue have nice balance of sugar and acid and the centurions are so juicy!
We need your help! Please tell your friends and neighbors , the radio, the newspaper, the TV and just anyone that Blueberry picking time is now!
Blackberries - Some blackberries. We are coming to the end of Apache season and the Chester are beginning to be harvested. the Chester ripen one berry at a time and will not get into big clusters of ripe berries. You have to focus on the ripe berries and not let all the red ones distract you. There are ripe berries there. Blackberries will go for about another 3 weeks with fair to good picking depending on the time of day you arrive.
Figs will start about August 1 and go for a couple weeks or so
Red Raspberries will start August 1 and will last into October
See you at the happy Berry!
Release June 29, 2002
The 2002 Happy Berry Berry Ripening UpdateBlueberries are coming in like a crescendo. Not only is the Premier and the Climax varieties ripening but But Tifblue, Powderblue and Delight are ripening. A few blueberries are being spotted in the Centurions. It the next few days there will be blueberries everywhere. We have gotten a few 0.1 inch showers on 3 different occasions and 0.7 inches and have been watering like mad to combat the drought. The quality is superior! Pray for another significant rain.
Raspberries will be laid-by (Pruned, Fertilized, and "Rested") About July 1. We will resume picking Raspberries about August 1, 2002.
Blackberry picking continues to be good but the Choctaw variety is done and we pruned out the flora-canes on Thursday and Friday. Kiowa, Shawnee, Chickasaw, and Apache varieties are being picked at this time. Chester has not started yet.
Figs are anticipated about August 1.
See you at the Happy Berry!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch
Release June 3, 2002
The 2002 Happy Berry Berry Ripening Update
Blackberries have “jumped into overdrive”!!! Choctaw are Loaded and there is excellent picking in the Arapaho (thornless). The Kiowa and the Shawnee have started. Blackberry picking is rated as superb! Raspberries will start in a few days and we have moved the blueberry picking forecast up to Monday June 10.
See you at The Happy Berry!
Walker, for the Happy Berry Bunch
Release May 31, 2002
The 2002 Happy Berry Blackberry Update
Black berries are ripening rapidly now and picking conditions have been up graded to Good to Excellent. We are picking the variety Choctaw right now but a few have found some berries in the Kiowa. The blueberries are also now moving faster than anticipated and I am moving the forecasted first picking date up to the 12 to 15 of June and possibly even sooner.
Walker, for the Happy Berry Bunch
Release May 27, 2002
The 2002 Happy Berry Blackberry Update
The cool weather with night time temperatures in the 40’s last week, May 21 through 24, significantly slowed down the ripening of the blackberries. We opened on the 27th but were picked out by early afternoon. The warm temperatures and the 1 inch of rain in the form of a thunder shower about 5:30 in the evening of the 27 th will help the ripening. It had been dry for about 9 days. There will be some blackberries Wednesday morning and they should be coming in strong on Friday. So we will continue our proposed schedule of open on Wednesday the 29th and closed Thursday and then open on Friday for the rest of the season. Certainly it is not a question of berries, it is strictly a question of when they will ripen. We look forward to seeing you and apologize that things are not happening quite on schedule
The Happy Berry Bunch
Release May 18, 2002
The 2002 Happy Berry CROP IS BIGGEST EVER
With only one spring freeze this spring way back in March we are looking at the biggest crop ever. Already the blueberry bushes are bending way over with very heavy load. The Climax variety is the only one that had any flower damage. It was good thinning! and the Climax bushes have responded with the biggest berries we have ever seen. We have had very timely rains so far. The blackberries experienced no injury from frost and we just can't believe what we are seeing. Green blackberries are already 3/4 of an inch long and they have not begun final swell.
I saw one ripe blackberry today and it was superb thank you! We will officially open May 27, 2002 and open every other day till May 31, 2002. From then till the end of the season we will be open everyday. Our hours are from 8 AM till dusk Monday through Saturday and from noon till dusk Sunday.
The berries will ripen as follows:
Red Raspberries June 5
Blueberries June 18
As with any crop prediction temperature and moisture may change the forecast. Watch your email for updates on earlier picking. To say the very least we are very excited! So please help us by spreading the word. If we don't have your email please send it to us. We will distribute it and you will only get a few messages a year.
If you want prepicked berries please call ahead so we can pick them fresh for you. Please call the day before so we can get them early in the morning while the dew is still on the plants. Phones are 864 868 2946 or 350 9345. email Hberry@innova.net or order via the web site WWW.thehappyberry.com
See you at The Happy Berry.
Walker, for the The Happy Berry Bunch