The Happy Berry 2003 Newsletter
Your Fruit Connection

If you would like to be added to our email list please contact us . Typically the newsletter will be short and come out weekly during the harvest season [June to August] to let you what is happening. It also comes out once or twice in off season.

emailed Aug 6, 2003

Peak Season for One More Week!

Blueberries are still at peak and will be for another week. The picking is excellent and they are oh so sweet. Picking time per gallon is very low. The Climax and Premier varieties are slowing up significantly.

Figs are in and they are very sweet. If you have not eaten a southern brown turkey fig now is the time to try them. We are making a batch of fig jam and should have it available in few days.

Raspberries are in but supply is limited. There are lots that will ripen and they ripen in just a few hours. The best strategy is to pick them first thing in the morning. If you wait till midday the picking gets slim but by evening the picking has improved again.

Blackberries have slowed up but there are some out there. Good pickers can find them in the Chester.

Elderberries have slowed up but we will have a few more.

Thank you for all your support! It is a wonderful season.

Walker, Ann, Zoe, Betty-Ann, Chub, Anthony and Casey....

emailed July 25, 2003

It Won't Get Any Better Than This!

It is peak of blueberry season right now- it will not get any better than this! Picking time per gallon is the lowest this season. Blueberries are in ropes of ripe berries on the bush- so it is easy picking! And there are still lots yet to ripen. There continue to be Climax and Premier berries and they are so sweet. The Tifblue and Centurions are fantastic. The Delight, the big berries, and Powder blue, the blue blueberry, are ripe too.

Blackberry picking is still good but do not delay if you want blackberries, they will be gone soon! We are picking Chester and Apache now. We are pruning Shawnee and Kiowa. In the Kiowa and Chickasaw there are a few shiners [late big plump berries from basal fruiting buds] but they are scattered.

Raspberries have started and they are beautiful berries. The volume is low so we are listing picking as poor but the berries are out there if you are willing to spend a little time and effort.

We think we will start figs next week. We picked our first gallon of Elderberries yesterday. Supplies of Elderberries will be limited. (Coming soon- we will be adding pictures of elderberries to our web site).

If you have gotten on our list inadvertently please advise by reply mail and we will remove you immediately. Sometimes a spouse will ask to be on the list without checking with the other spouse.

The Happy Berry Bunch sincerely appreciates and thanks you for your help in the harvesting the crop. Please tell your friends and neighbors about us.

Come pick with us!
The Happy Berry Bunch

emailed July 17, 2003

Blueberry Bushes Are Loaded!

Blueberry bushes are loaded down and need your help! These bushes need to be picked to get the weight off allowing them to reach for the sun again. It is amazing! You clean a bush off and then come back in a few hours (or a day) and you would swear it has not been picked. We are picking all varieties. Some people refer to this time of year as muffin berry season in the Climax bushes. (In a muffin a big berry is just too juicy for some and they prefer the small berries for muffins and pancakes.) There are still big berries out there, but the small berries that are there are just as sweet and seem to be meatier.

Be sure to store your blueberries in the refrigerator. Fruit flies are attracted to blueberries if left out, and they generally keep better when kept cool.

Blackberry season will be finished soon but there is still good picking. We are picking mainly Chester and Apache. There are still just a few Kiowa and Chickasaw. The bushes are thick and there are lots of red berries – you have to “tune in” to the black ones. Be sure to look down in and under, lifting the branches to look. The Shawnee are gone.

I picked a single head of elderberry today. They will be ready within a week I am sure. Our elderberry supply will be very limited and only wild types will be available.

The fig trees are loaded and we are still figuring about the first of August. We only lack about 2 and half rows of completing pruning in the primocane bearing raspberries [Josephine and Heritage]. There is an occasional ripe raspberry in the Josephine. Won’t be long till we start raspberries again.

If you haven't been out to see us recently - we have a new addition - a pet pig named Casey. She is great with the kids!

See you at the Farm!

emailed July 8, 2003

PEAK of Season - Blueberry Picking is Fantastic!!

Blueberries will be hitting peak of season this week and will remain at peak for at least 4 weeks. There will continue to be some blueberries into early September. Big clusters of blueberries are occurring on in the Tifblue and Centurion varieties. There are still lots of Climax and Premier berries and they are so sweet. The Delights, a big blueberry, are just starting . Delights have a different taste. "Try one, you'll like it!"

Blackberries are starting to slow but the picking is still very good. Apache are hitting their peak. The Chester variety has started and there are still Kiowa and Shawnee in the field. The Shawnee will end in a week or so but the Kiowa will persist for several weeks. The Choctaw are done.

Raspberries are done but will be back August first. We are anticipating figs and elderberries to be ripe at that same time.

See you at The Happy Berry!

emailed July 2, 2003

A Super Season Continues!
(And Yes!, We are open 4th of July)

The Happy Berry is open rain or shine and will be open July 4 and through the weekend during regular hours [8am till dusk Monday thru Saturday and Noon till dusk Sunday].

Blueberry picking is excellent and approaching the "I can't believe it" stage. The Climax and Premier varieties are the best picking. For those who like Centurions we started our first picking wave around the hollow [rows 99 through 140] on Monday June 30. Powderblue and Tifblue varieties have some ripe berries (and some pickers are jumping to them) but we are not officially picking them yet. In general, the number of ripe berries on the bush is increasing, and while the size of the berries is dropping a little, the picking time per gallon is decreasing. There are still lots of big fat berries in the center of the bush.

Blackberries - Picking is still excellent! Choctaw will come to an end the first week of July some time and we will start to prune it shortly after, so this is your last chance to get the blackberries with the smallest seeds. Shawnee, Kiowa and Chickasaw are doing it! If you like Chester, now is the time to get the biggest Chester of the year as the king berries are ripening now. Some prefer Chester for jam. What you will see is a mass of red and green berries with just the king berries getting ripe. The Apache blackberries are in and the picking is super. They are genetically sweet like the Navaho we use to have. They are also a firm berry so if kept cool will travel better than most blackberries. If you have been in the field and noticed white drupelets in the Apache, they are the result of stinkbug feeding. They don't hurt the berry and the berries are just as edible. We are seeking better ways to control the stinkbugs that would not include spraying with an insecticide every week.

Raspberry picking is approaching layby - picking is poor but there are still some out there... mainly in the Heritage and Royalty varieties. Figs --- we are still forecasting August 1 and ditto for elderberries.

Just wanted to let you know you did a great job this past week harvesting and we sincerely appreciate your help!

Come celebrate the American way picking fresh fruit from the farm!
The Happy Berry Bunch

emailed June 26, 2003

It's A Wonderful Season!
The Sunshine is great for the harvest! It is pumping sugar into the berries, bringing them to ripen quickly, and, needless to say, is much more conducive for folks who want to come and pick!

It is blackberry heaven in the field. Blackberries are still dripping from the bushes. We are picking 5 varieties right now: We just started picking Apache which is a thornless variety. We are also picking Choctaw, Shawnee, Chickasaw and Kiowa varieties.

Blueberries are coming in strong but it is the beginning of the season and there are green and ripe berries on the bush at the same time. Pickers have to pay attention to get the plump juicy ones. (The great news is that if you pick a bush clean, you can come back a few hours later and wonder how you missed all the ripe berries that have appeared.) We are currently picking Climax and Premier varieties. I saw enough Centurions that we sent one avid centurion blueberry picker to them and she came out with a gallon.

Raspberry picking is poor but there are berries out there. The patch is just not big enough for all the pickers!

Figs should be ready in August. Elderberries continue to get larger and we are guessing should be ready to pick at the end of July.

We just wanted to say Thank you!! We really appreciate your help with the harvest effort.

Walker, for The Happy Berry Bunch

emailed June 20, 2003

Happy Berry Harvest Update

The continued good rains are resulting in very large blueberries. We have started the blueberry harvest and are listing picking conditions as limited. This means there are ripe berries but your skill at picking will be tested. You will want to pick only the nice plump berries and you will need to scout along to find them. They are out there! We are picking Climax and Premier. The picking conditions should improve rapidly over the next few days and a few days of sunshine will really make things "pop" {mature rapidly}.

Blackberry picking is excellent to fantastic. We are picking Choctaw, Shawnee, Chickasaw and Kiowa. Apache will start soon.

Raspberry harvest continues and is a little better than it was. It will finish up for layby the first week in July. They will resume in August.

Figs are doing nicely. Elderberries are at the green fruit stage.

See you at the Farm! Walker

June 8, 2003

Blackberry bushes are loaded and picking is excellent!

It's the moment we have been waiting for and the blackberry picking is fantastic. We are still forecasting June 20th for blueberry picking to begin.

emailed June 5, 2003

Finally! Blackberries are started and picking is fair to good

Although the cool weather has really slowed things down, We are open! We are picking blackberries --- variety Choctaw --- and we are picking Raspberries. We are starting to see a few "shiners" (almost ripe) in the next variety. It is not clear yet whether other blackberries or the blueberries will be delayed. We will keep you posted.

From our vantage point we are 8 days behind what we consider an average year.

Wasn't it a marvelous rain this week ---1.5 inches here! Great weather! Walker

emailed May 29, 2003

Walker's Blackberry forecast Wrong!

All though Raspberries have started on time the Blackberries are behind. There is tons out there but I am revising the forecast to "good/excellent picking" June 4, 2003. On May 31 Blackberry picking will be poor at best. Sorry for the confusion. We are blaming the cool weather, lack of heat units and heavy crop load. This notice supercedes the surface mail card we sent out recently.

Walker, for The Happy Berry Bunch

emailed May 22, 2003

Spring 2003 --- Perfect!

No Frost, and averaging 1 inch of rain per week or more has been just ideal for the largest crop ever at The Happy Berry!

May 31 is the opening day for blackberries. We start with Choctaw, the ones with the smallest seeds. The Shawnee, Chickasaw, Kiowa, Apache and Chester will follow in mid June, early July, mid July and early August respectively. Each variety will pick for about 4 to 5 weeks so there will be overlap. We have updated our web page with additional recipes and we have planted additional Choctaw, Chickasaw. and added Georgia Gem. It is going to be a fantastic blackberry season!

We have added Elderberries because of all the information their nutriceutical value. We will have wild Elderberries and have added Adam and John Variety. The wild variety will fruit this year.

Blueberries will ripen around the 20th of June and a huge crop is forecasted. Premier and Climax will start the season. If we need to revise this forecast we will advise by email.

For those that like strawberries you should be advised that Strawberry season will run late this year. The recent cool wet weather is favorable for the strawberry variety Chandler to continue to bloom. So it takes 28 days from bloom to pickable fruit so our forecast is for good strawberry picking up through June 22 to 25.

As always the grass will be mowed, we will have toilets, picnic tables, fresh cool water and pre picked berries. Prepicked blackberries and blueberries will be $15 per gallon or $3.75/quart. You-pick blackberries and blueberries will be $1.50 per pound. Raspberries will be $4.00 per pound if you pick or $4.00 /pint if we pick. Please call ahead for prepicked berries or order them on our web site []. Our phone is 864 868 2946 or 864 350 9345.

We'll see you on the farm!


Emailed on April 6, 2003

We are forecasting opening day as May 31 for blackberries and June 19 or 20 for blueberries. Be watching your email for any revisions of these forecasts.

Several have called and asked about strawberries. We don't have strawberries but some friends do. They are forecasting April 19 plus or minus a day for strawberries. In Anderson contact Kevin Hardy at Hardy Berry Farm [864 224 5441] It is off of 28 by pass --- turn west on Dobbins Bridge Rd near advanced Auto parts and go 3.5 miles then left at the Hardy Berry Farm sign then right on Strawberry Rd. In Easley, contact Eric Hunter at 864 859 2978 at 607 Jameson rd. Going east on 183 after you past the blinking light at Dacusville look for Jameson Rd. on the right.

The berries are all pruned and they are blooming at The Happy Berry. The Climax variety is at corolla drop [petal fall] and the Centurion variety is at stage 2-3 [flower visible to extended but not open]. The leaf buds are moving along well with1/2 to 1 inch of growth evident. In years with low chilling the leaf buds are delayed in opening so photosynthate is not available for developing flowers and fruits,--- bad news. This year chilling is not a problem! We have had 1436 chill hours (hours below 45 but above 32 degrees) as of February 17, which is above average especially for recent years. As of the same date we had 2500 Growing Degree Hours (hours above 45 degrees) after we passed the 850 chill unit mark [Chill units are calculated with a formula that adjusts for warm temperatures and very cold temperatures]. We had 1162 chill units in the same period. The continued cool temperatures have slowed bloom up some.

The recent rainy weather has favored mummy berry, which causes the berries to drop off the bush. We have put on timely disease control sprays before the fruit is set on the bush. All-in-all things are looking good. The blackberries are off and growing too with some having as much as 4 to 5 inches of growth. They usually bloom late compared to blueberries but will be earlier this year due to the more than adequate chilling. We think of this time of year as sweating time. The risk of frost gradually decreases from 100% the first day of spring to 1% the 21 st of April. Our crop is at risk during this period. The raspberries are doing well but the Heritage is having trouble with a disease known as Phytophthora root rot. We are planting black caps [black raspberries] in the weak spots. Black caps have greater resistance to Phytophthora so we don't have to use chemicals to control the disease. We also took out the Mandarin raspberry and replaced it with purple raspberries Royalty. Folks were not picking the Mandarin and lots seem to like the Royalty. Raspberries should start about the 5 th of June. We have also planted a few elderberries and will allow wild ones to fruit this year. The recent excitement about elderberry as a neutriceutical has caused us reevaluate them as a crop. The figs are doing nicely and we are forecasting August 1 for first harvest.

We thank you for your patronage in the past and hope you will visit us again this year.


"The Happy Berry Bunch,"

Ann, Walker, Zoe, Betty Ann and Dave, Chub and Jim

"We'll see you in berry season!!"

If you would like to be added to our email list please contact us . Typically the newsletter will be short and come out weekly during the harvest season [June to August] to let you what is happening. It also comes out once or twice in off season.

The Happy Berry, Inc.
120 Kelley Creek Rd.
Six Mile, SC 29682
Phone: (864) 868-2946
Farm: (864) 350-9345