The Happy Berry

Newsletter Archives

2012 Newsletters


Published October 19, 2012

Muscadines are done
Now Harvesting:
A little bit of this- Persimmons,
A little bit of that - Pussy Willows, Now & more to Come
And always - Eggs

Muscadine season is over
There will be a few berries to ripen between now and frost but the picking is very difficult. The gates will be open.

Persimmons We have a few Izu persimmons that we will be selling at the Clemson Friday Market and in Greenville on Saturday. We have planted a few more trees but it will be a few years for them to grow. We have been able to obtain a few acres of land that adjoins us. Our plan is to put more persimmons on that land.

Pussy Willows
We are planning on having a few pussy willow trees in Greenville and we will have fresh cut pussy willows in January. If you need a program for your garden club let us know.

Remember, hunting season has started but the hunters leave the field by the time the gates open in the morning.

Carolina Farm Stewardship Conference starts October 26. It is a great place to learn about growing things. Here is the link - The Happy Berry will be on the diversified Farm tour on Friday.

Eggs You may have heard that drought in the US Corn Belt has been severe; on top of that; there has been drought in Russia, Australia, and Africa. The bottom line is that grain prices are up including corn used for feed. The result is chicken feed is going and has gone up. As a result we will take the price of eggs up starting January 1, 2013. The fact that our chickens are grazing in pastures has helped defray some of this cost but not enough to keep prices from going up.

Thank you for a great season! Perhaps the best ever! We will be catching up on the books and will let you know.

Thank you for your support- We would not be here without YOU!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA


Published September 8, 2012

One Pound Free! - You Pick Muscadines
9am to 6pm, Monday - Saturday
Noon to 6 on Sundays

We are open 9AM to 6 PM Monday through Saturday and Noon to 6 PM on Sunday. Gates usually open at 8 and close at dusk except Sunday.

Get Your Coupon for One Pound FREE! for Muscadines-You Pick-

MUSCADINES are approaching peak-of-season.
These delicious berries are loaded with nutriceutical (plant based chemicals that Promote health verses things like excessive consumption red meat, animal fats and sugar are examples of foods that favor possible induction of cancers, arterial sclerosis and obesity.) They have a great delivery package with a sweet interior and a chewy skin and yes! You eat the skin. If you are a southerner and grew up eating them in the woods you know the skins are tough but the new improved varieties grown at The Happy Berry are tender when compared to those in the woods. They do have seeds!

This is a native fruit that grows only in the southeastern United States. We use detailed pruning to remove all disease inoculums. We use clovers as our nitrogen source and to recycle other nutrients like potassium and phosphorous. So... they are “organically” grown at our farm.

We grow several varieties of both the bullises (black ones) and the scuppernongs (bronze) which enable us to have ripe muscadines from mid august until October.

Figs have slowed up with only a few gallons per day. This past winter we added 32 more fig trees so we should have more in the future.

Our hens are being very bountiful so we have plenty of eggs. They are in the refrigerator on the porch. Please remember to SLAM the door as it is an old refrigerator which requires forced closing. We estimate the “fridge” to be about 75 years old.

Blackberries, blueberries and seedless table grapes are gone until next season.

Pussy willows coming in January!

Thank you for your support and See you in the field!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

August 21

Published August 21, 2012

Muscadines - Good and Getting Better
Table Grapes - Sale on You-Pick
Early "Bird" Gets The Fig
Open Rain OR Shine!

MUSCADINES good and improving!
Muscadine picking is picking up and will soon be fantastic. We are picking both the bronze and the black. With all the rain …we just got another 0.7 inches Sunday…we have lots of foliage which means lots of photosynthesis, which mean really sweet berries. Remember pick just the soft ones, one at a time. Hey, they are big so they fill the bucket quickly …not near as much time as blueberries.

We are still picking FIGS and there are still green ones on the tree. “Early birds get the worms” … translated that means the best picking is in the morning.

The seedless table grapes are near gone and the bees love all the sugar. We are having a sale now until they are gone - at a dollar off per pound so the price is $1.25 per pound! Get them before the bees do. We still have pre-picked in the cooler but they will be gone soon too.

We have lots of EGGS. Our chickens are happy chickens that get to range in 3 different paddocks…soon to be 4 paddocks, as soon as we finish the grapes. It is time for grape root borer so maybe they can help! When the grape root borer pupa case comes to the surface and wiggles the hens will be on it like a “hen on a June bug.”

BLUEBERRIES are gone. If you are a diehard picker you can still get a few but you really have to scout to find them.

The weather is going to be beautiful so come and enjoy. The winter red clover is starting to grow. Hey you can even pull a big weed or two.

Sign-up sheets for the deer stand are now at the farm.

We have found a unique pocket watch. Looks like a nice one. If you can describe it… it is yours.

Thank you for your support and See you in the field!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

August 14

Published August 14, 2012

Table Grapes - NOW is the time!
Muscadines have BEGUN
Early "Bird" Gets The Fig
Open Rain OR Shine!

Muscadines are in! Don’t stop reading!
Really, if you have not tried these, you should! Muscadines are the nutriceutical secret of the south. A best kept secret of tasty goodness!

Especially the Early Fry (bronze) but also the black ones (Supreme) are beginning to ripen. We would list the picking conditions as poor and improving. A few have picked them and were quite pleased. Muscadine season should last into early October. In 10 days or less we should have good to excellent picking of both the scuppernong (bronze ones) and the bullises (black ones).

The SEEDLESS TABLE GRAPES are still doing it!
The 5.5 inches of rain in the past week have been a little problem for the Saturn which has a more delicate skin. The Mars are doing well. The seedless table grapes will be gone soon… so now is the time to get them in your refrigerator or freezer.

The fig trees still have lots of figs on them but the ripening rate has slowed. The first few in the field get the best picking. The good news is that we have planted more fig trees.

We have stopped picking blueberries to have for sale but there are still a few in the field for the die hard pickers.

The blackberries are gone for the year. We will start pruning the Navaho and Chester blackberries this week. The rest are already pruned.

We are having a good year and appreciate your support! We have had near perfect rain all season long except for those 3 really hot weeks in July. The bushes all over the farm are in excellent shape. We have just used a plant food spray on the blueberries (it turns out it controls leaf disease) and they are a vigorous dark green so we should have a great flower bud set for next year. Flower buds will start setting when day length gets down to 12 hours. The blackberries have strong vigorous canes. So –as of right now- next year is looking good too!

Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

August 2

Published August 2, 2012

Figs - Excellent!
Table Grapes - Excellent!
Muscadines are coming
Open Rain OR Shine!

Figs are in and the picking in seedless grapes are great!

FIGS Figs started early and we are in mid season! Check out our tips on picking figs!

We are now picking Saturn and Mars seedless grapes. Saturn is a red grape that is sweet and crunchy. Mars is a slip skin grape in a tight cluster that has a distinctive delicious flavor. We have finished harvesting the Venus and have a few in cooler as long as they last.

We checked out the muscadines and saw a few shiners in the Early Fry so it won’t be long now until they are ready. We will keep you advised.

Blueberries and blackberries have slowed up and picking is poor. There are still some out there for diehard pickers. If you want pre-picked blue or blackberries it is best to call first to reserve your berries before you make the trip. We are still at the markets, but no longer providing berries to Perdue Mountain fruit farm on Highway 11, English market on Hwy 25 or locally to the Orange Spot on Rt. 183. As long as we can we will keep a pre-picked supply at the farm but remember to call first.

FAMILY FUN SUNDAY at the Farm was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who came out. One of the reasons for the event was the donation of the “Sin Bucket” proceeds to a local charity. This year the “Sin Bucket” proceeds went to Fox Nest Veterinary Hospital No Kill Program located at 10445 Clemson Boulevard (Highway 123), Seneca SC 29678.

If you did not know, here is the story of the Sin Bucket. When people are picking their own berries at The Happy Berry in Six Mile they are expected to graze a little. Owners Walker, Ann, Zoe and family say that “there is no better way to learn what a ripe berry is. Of course if you get to grazing a little heavy, we offer a way to atone for your sins with our Sin Bucket.” This year the proceeds were $527.40.

In addition to berry picking the event was sponsored by local musical artists who provided continuous entertainment from noon to 8 PM for free. Featured artist were Tony Tidwell, Ryan Wilson and the Sweet Potato Pie Kids, Matt Purington and Friends, Pork Chop and Mama Spider Hatchery, Michael Hunter with Mary Silvergirl, and Billy and Patti Lynn Dalton.

To top off the event Bill Edmondson’s Spanky’s catering served up traditional southern Barbeque plate. Also a special thanks to Durham’s Convenience store at the corner of Highway 133 and 183 for their support.

Finally we wanted to say we are having a great season and are on track to have our best season ever! Thank you for your support! We hope you will please continue to enjoy our current seasonal fruits. (If you have never had a fresh fig, you don’t know what you are missing!)

Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

July 25

Published July 25, 2012

Figs - Excellent!
Berries, Bluegrass and Barbecue on Sunday July 29
Open Rain OR Shine!

We are downgrading blueberry picking conditions to fair. There are STILL berries out there, but they are in pockets, and you will have to do some scouting to find them. Picking time per gallon has increased. The robins have found us and it is a race against the robins to get the remaining blueberries out of the field before the robins enjoy their bounty!

FIGS – Excellent!
Fig picking is upgraded to excellent to superb! Mostly we are picking Brown Turkey but we have a few other types.

Berries, Bluegrass and Barbecue! This Sunday at the farm you can pick berries, enjoy some live bluegrass music, and even have barbecue! Spanky’s BBQ will be selling their mouth-watering BBQ, on-farm, on Sunday July 29th. The live music will be local Bluegrass artists Billy Dalton, Matt Purington and the Yams, Michael Hunter, and Tony Tidwell picking sweet tunes as our customers, friends and family pick berries. The Bluegrass and BBQ will start at noon and run to 7 PM (or until supplies last for the barbecue). We will also have a special guest- Dr. Ross from Fox Nest Veterinarian office coming at 6 PM to receive the donations from our "Sin Bucket" that we have gathered over the summer. The Sin Bucket money is donated each year to a local charity and this year we are donating to Dr. Ross's Fox Nest No Kill Shelter that has done so much for the animals in the community.

The Jupiter grapes are about done. We will have few in the cooler until we sell out. The Saturn seedless grapes are in and picking is excellent. Saturn is a sweet, crunchy grape that is delicious. The Mars are starting. Did you know that grapes are berries? Yep! It is true.

(PS Don't forget to check out our tips for picking grapes!)

Blackberry picking is poor. We have a few gallons in the cooler and we will continue to have a few as long as we can.

Peaches will be winding down about the first week in August. We should have plenty this week and early next week. But then it will be every other day in August until they finish up.

Muscadines forecast is still August 15.

THANK YOU!! We would not be here without YOU!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

July 20

Published July 20, 2012

Table Grapes TOO
Blueberry bushes DROOPING with berries-but now it is a race against the robins
Open Rain OR Shine!

One Day Only-Jupiter Grape
YOU-PICK Special Yard Sale!
Sunday June 22 - Noon to 7pm ONLY

Our daughter Zoë’s front yard is planted in Jupiter grapes. We have not been allowing picking in her front yard but on Sunday July 22 from noon until 7 PM she will!

She will set up a scale in the shade of the pecan tree. The special price for this one day only Sale will be $1.75/pound YOU PICK ONLY. These grapes are delicious, sweet and fragrant, and freeze well. You can just remove them from the stem and put them in a good quality plastic bag or you put them on skewers to serve as a frozen aperitif. Just in a bowel in the refrigerator with plastic wrap over it they will keep a week or more. I love them on my cereal or just eating a handful while I watch TV.

So bring your snippers and your containers and have a snippen good time.

(PS Don't forget to check out our tips for picking grapes!)

We would not be here without YOU!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

July 13

Published July 13, 2012

Blueberry bushes DROOPING with berries
Open Rain OR Shine!

July 12, 2012 we picked a tray of 8 quarts of figs. The picking was tough because you really had to hunt. If they don’t sell today we will have some at the Clemson market on Friday. It looks like by next week July 16 or so it should fair to good fig picking and by the end of the week it will be excellent. Please see our tips for picking figs.

The figs will be $1.50 per pound you-pick or $18 per gallon ($4.50 per quart) we-pick. Some have said we are undercutting others but we will hold this price for this year…which is the same as the last few years. In the markets they will be $5.00 per quart also same as last year.

We got some very timely rain and the blueberry bushes are literally drooping under the weight of the big plump berries. Please don’t be afraid to pick a branch up to clean it off. They are loaded…It is peak of season and the weather has been fantastic…The overcast skies and occasional rain has made it GREAT for picking. Cool temps! And don’t forget that we are open RAIN OR SHINE. Feel free to call first if you want to see if we are getting rain. It could be pouring at your house, but just a lovely overcast day on the farm!

I forgot to mention that if you want the 1/2 bu basket with the peaches it will be a dollar more ($26 instead of $25) but if we can put them into two peck bags (two pecks make a half bushel) there is no additional charge.

Since the figs were early I am expecting the muscadines might be too. We will keep a close watch and keep you posted.

We learned recently that someone won first prize in Easley for their blueberry pie using our web site recipe and Happy Berry Blueberries. Our congratulations!!

July 10

Published July 10, 2012

Now is the time to lay in your winter supply of blueberries!
Grapes Have Started!
Peaches - Special Sale July 12-19

Coupon is up on The Happy Berry web site (

Climax berries are small but oh so sweet. They make great muffin and pancake berries. Tifblue and Powderblue are doing it and the Centurions are too. Delight bushes are drooping with berries and there are lots and lots berries yet to ripen. If you have not done it yet now is the time to lay in your winter supply.

We have lots of Jupiter grapes in the cooler and a few rows for you to pick. They are just beyond the Venus near the plastic house. The Venus is a dark blue berry with lots of flavor. The trick to picking Venus is carefully observe the cluster and make sure it is very dark blue with no light blue or greenish berries. Those with light colored berries in the clusters need a few more days. It is hard to make a mistake in the Jupiter… they are very sweet and fragrant now. We will let you know when the Saturn and Mars are ready.

There are still some blackberries, especially in the Chester. Best picking is in the morning. Please be careful… the hill is steep and grass can be wet in the morning.

PEACHES – Special Sale!
We are having a special peach sale from July 12 to July 19. You can order ½ bushel baskets for $25 per basket. To do so you need to call Walker (350-9345) or the other farm number (637 8041) and leave your name, number, and number of baskets so we can let Dr. Zehr know what to pick. He will have Jeffersons (yellow), Georgia belle (white) and a few days later Red Havens (yellow) and some Summer Pearl also white fleshed. All are free stones.

Figs and muscadines continue to be on schedule. Figs will be August 1 and muscadines August 15.

We will try to continue to have corn, Peaches and Cream, and Sweet Ice.

Thank you for your continued support!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

July 1

Published July 1, 2012

and all of 4th of July week

BLUEBERRY PICKING will not get better than this!!!
Grapes Real Soon

We will be OPEN JULY 4 on a normal schedule of 8AM until dusk. We are also open regular hours all the rest of the 4th of July week. Have a happy and safe July fourth!

Blueberries are everywhere and the picking is EASY! Essentially all varieties are picking now with the Centurions having just started.

Here is a BLUEBERRY PICKING TIP. Rabbiteye blueberries occur in clusters and the berries do NOT ripen all at one time. If you have to tug the berry is not ready. A great way to pick the berries is put a cup or other container under the cluster and then “tickle” the berries into the cup. It also gives you a chance to toss out a red one before you pour the cup into the basket. If you try to use your hand as a cup the berries fall out of the hand. You do not pick the berries one at a time. If you try to pick one out of a cluster the whole cluster quivers and the ripe ones fall to the ground.

GRAPES… We have some Jupiter grapes in the cooler in quart plastic bags and will have lots more later. Only pre-picked grapes are available right now – grapes are not open to the public yet. We are being careful to pick only the ripe ones so they are fragrant and sweet. The volume is increasing with each pick. We have planted some Jupiter just above the parking lot where the Neptune was so you will be able to pick these next year. The Venus will ripen real soon - they are blue now and will be sweet soon. The Saturn, a new variety for us, is starting veraison. We expect them to have a good crop this year.

As many of you know we have been vaccinating our grapes with an attenuated strain of a bacterium to protect biologically them from Pierces Disease which usually kills the vines within 3 to 5 years. Well as a retired Plant Pathologist that has been working with fruit growers for 40 years I can tell you it is working. The bad news is that Pierces disease has been masking other problems. Our first planting of Jupiter died of symptoms of “Blackfoot” and “Petri” diseases. This diagnosis is based on a recent review of these two diseases world wide. The problem is repeating it self in the Mars and to some extent in the Venus. I believe this is the first symptomatic report of these diseases in the southeastern United States. The diseases will reduce the Mars harvest this year. We are looking to Clemson University for leadership in confirming the problem and what to do. Meanwhile we are experimenting with a muscadine –vinifera hybrid rootstock as a possible control.

It looks like a great fig crop coming. They seem to be on schedule which is typically August 1 but we are keeping an eye on them and will let you know if they come in earlier like the rest of our harvest has so far. A few folks have found a few breba figs, figs born on last year’s wood. Our price for figs will be the same as last year- $1.50 per pound if you pick or Pre-Picked (On Farm) are $18 per gallon, $4.50 per quart.

The Muscadines also continue to look like they are following a more traditional schedule so we are forecasting August 15. Like the figs we will keep an eye on them and let you know.

Peach grower Eldon Zehr will be bringing peaches 5 days a week provided the varieties ripen on schedule. Also we will try to keep fresh pulled sweet corn available. Occasionally we have a few veggies over flow from our garden or friends’ gardens.

See you at the Farm!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

June 22

Published June 22, 2012

Blackberries downgraded to Poor

Blueberries FANTASTIC
The blueberry picking is just fabulous! The Climax and Premier bushes are oh so sweet. The Tifblue are coming in for those who love this variety. Several aficionados were very happy! Another couple was picking in the centurion and they were extremely happy. Others were picking on some young bushes (Onslow) and they said they were big and luscious! The rains this spring have been great and the foliage is capturing all that sunshine and pumping it into the berries.

A word about picking the big clusters of berries.
There is ripe and green berries in the clusters. The way to do it is to use a cup or one of our gallon boxes and hold it below the cluster and tickle the berries off the cluster. Don’t be afraid to taste. That is how you are to develop the experience so you are picking high quality berries. We will not do tongue checks … of course if you feel guilty we have the sin bucket… the donations will go to a local charity.

There are still some down, in and under the branches in the Kiowa and Chickasaw. The Navaho and Chester are just coming in… at least 2 weeks ahead of schedule. These varieties pick over a long period of time and do not ripen all at once. The frequent comment we hear is that there are lots of red berries…”maybe I should wait?” BUT- The trick is to see the black. There never will be lots of black in the Navaho and Chester because they do not ripen all at once. So you will miss them if you wait. It is steep in the Navaho and Chester. Good shoes are required. We have converted these berries to trickle irrigation from over head and the plants are looking much better.

GRAPES – will be early but NOT YET
Well it looks like the grapes are going to be early too. Please DO NOT PICK THE GRAPES Until WE SAY SO. Remember that grapes look ripe before they are ready to pick!! They are in veraison now -at least the Jupiter are. Veraison is subdivided into different sub-stages based upon berry metabolism and the continued transport of substances to the vine. During veraison, water, sugars, and nitrogen compounds are transported to the berry via the phloem. Sucrose is hydrolyzed to glucose and fructose in the berry. Berry flavor and aroma compounds are synthesized within the berry. The synthesis of these compounds is controlled by hormonal signals from the rest of the vine or occurs in the berry independently of other vine influences. During veraison the berries will start to turn color and it looks like they may be ready. BUT they are not ready until the cluster is uniform in color and transport from the phloem stops.

Figs are typically a summer fruit born on this year’s wood. We are expecting them about August 1 and do not believe they will be ahead of schedule. We will watch them and let you know! We have added a good many more fig trees. The muscadines also appear to be on a normal schedule of mid August but we will watch and let you know.

We have started taking deliveries of local corn. $5/dozen, $2.50/6, or 45cents per ear. CALL FIRST if you are making a special trip- Just like with peaches, we often sell out.

Local grower Eldon Zehr (Sandy Springs Area) will be delivering peaches to our farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays . If you are making a special trip for peaches- be sure to call first! We often sell out.

We have bought a little more land. You can see where we are working on clearing the land. We are planning on planting persimmons, mainly the Izu variety. The Izu variety is large and seedless. It is not at all like our American persimmon which are very seedy. They will be on the American persimmon rootstock. Our olive trees made it through the winter with no problem but it was a very mild winter so the jury is still out.

See you at the Farm!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA

June 6

Published June 6, 2012

Blueberries have a Record Early Opening!

Blackberry Picking is Excellent! Now is the time to get your blackberries- oodles and oodles of them in the field. Big and Sweet

Blueberries Have Started - Two Weeks Early! Blueberry picking is good and improving.

This year marks the earliest (May 30) that blueberries have ever started in the 31 years we have been growing blueberries. The previous date for starting blueberries was June 15. We are a full 2 weeks plus early. We are now picking Climax and Premier varieties. The bushes are loaded. With a little picking skill you can get some very nice berries. We now have blueberries for sale out of the cooler too along with blackberries. We have been getting some very timely rain and the bushes look great! The Day lilies are putting on a show as you come in the driveway. Great bee forage!

Blackberries are doing it!! Blackberries are ahead of schedule, especially the varieties Kiowa usually third to ripen after Chickasaw, second to ripen after Choctaw. They are all ripening together. We have added some Natchez perhaps a replacement for Choctaw. They got nipped by the frost plus we have let them carry to many berries. We will prune them more severely this year. We have also added some Ouachita which are just beginning to show a few “shiners.” The Navaho and especially the Chester seem to be on a somewhat of a normal time frame.

PEACHES Local Peach Grower, Eldon Zehr, (Sandy Springs area) delivers peaches to the farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. - call first if you are making a special trip because we often sell out. Current deliveries are - Southern Pearl and Sure Crop- both are semi cling varieties. As we march through the season there will be lots of different peach varieties.

We are trying a new market - The “Farmers Market at The Filling Station” on East Whitner Street in downtown Anderson SC. It is on Tuesdays from 4-7 pm.

We have been doing the Pickens Flea Market (booth 314 in produce row) but response has been slow and we may drop it. It is Wednesday mornings from Daybreak until late morning.

The Pendleton Market on the Green at center square in Pendleton from 4 to 6 PM on Thursdays.

The Clemson Market at Patrick Square Fridays from 3:30 to 6:30 PM.

The Saturday Market on Main Street in Greenville Saturdays from 8AM until Noon.

Is global warming real? Yes -from a farmer perspective! The USDA has officially moved The Happy Berry from zone 7 to zone 8A based on changing long term averages. When I graduated from high school in 1959 the carbon dioxide (Co 2) level was 316 ppm. Eleven years later it was 325 PPM growing at the rate of 0.81 ppm per year. Twenty years later it was 354 ppm growing at 1.45 ppm per year. Now (2012) it is 392.8 ppm growing 1.72 ppm per year. The Goal for us to have a stable environment is 350 ppm. To be “frank” I am very worried about the future for our children and grandchild. We need to develop a new consciousness and have our legislators develop polices with real teeth or incentives to arrest increases in Co2 concentration or even reverse it by sequestering more carbon than we put into the atmosphere. It is technically possible but we must have the will to do it! Want to know how to reverse it… stop and talk to me (Walker) at the farm. I will explain how.

See you in the berry fields!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch, Ann, Walker, Zoe, BA


Published May 23, 2012

We will be OPEN the following dates:

  • 8am until dusk
  • Saturday May 26
  • Monday May 28
  • Wednesday May 30
  • Friday June 1
  • CLOSED the days in between to allow the harvest to recover and ripen

CFSA Farm Tours on Sat 6/2 and Sun 6/3
Open to the public in addition to the farm tours on Sat 6/2- 8am until 6
Open to the public in addition to the farm tours on Sun 6/3 - NOON until dusk

We will be open the 26, 28, 30 (note that we are closed the days in between this first week) and then open for the season beginning June1. Blackberries only until the blueberries come in- approximately June 15.

Well it has been a really unusual winter and spring. With global warming the USDA has- based on long term averages- reclassified The Happy Berry’s region from Zone 7 to Zone 8A. So long term, we can expect this unusual weather to continue. The earliest we have opened before was May 25. So this year is another early one.

We will start with Choctaw and Kiowa blackberries. We anticipate Natchez blackberry will be next. It turns out that Natchez is more sensitive to frost (We had one on April 23) than our other varieties side by side in the same micro climate situation at the bottom of a hill. We have already picked 2 gallons for a local farmers market so we have beaten the previous record by 7 days. Still there is not enough there for good picking till May 26. Last year the deer ate all our Natchez blackberries. To prevent the deer from stealing our crop, we discovered that Milorganite fertilizer put in quarter cup piles around the perimeter stops them. Apparently they do not like the smell but we can not smell it.

The bad news is that on April 23 our wind machine ran out of gas. My fault! I should have checked… I filled up enough gas to run for 7 to 8 hours but it only ran for 2 hours I don’t know where the gas went… at any rate the propeller was going full tilt when the engine stopped at 7AM and it tore up the gear box. We had another hour to go before the temperature was above freezing. The machine is 75 years old and they no longer make that particular one so it is either a new gear box at a terrible price or I am going to salvage an old one and get a machine shop to change the direction of rotation using the old gear which I think is okay. It was the gear shaft which tore up.

The good news is that we have purchased three or so acres which adjoin us.

Blueberries we think will start about June 15. Premier and Climax will be first. We are forecasting Figs about August 1.

We are helping to sponsor Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) Farm Tours June 2 and 3. There will be 24 sustainable farms on the tour so it is your chance to discover where you can get delicious meats, dairy, fruits and veggies locally in the upstate! Slow Food Upstate will be hosting mini workshops at a couple of locations. Red Fern Farm will have dessert by pastry chef Lisa Marvel and a meal will be available at Split Creek Farm by Chef Joe Fredette of Summa Joes in Anderson. We will also have a little treat for you at The Happy Berry. The cost is $25 for both days for all farms and every one in your car. It is a self-guided tour. A few volunteers are needed. Email to volunteer. It will be a fun two days and the proceeds go to support a good - no a great!- cause (being CFSA). For more information, go to CFSA's website.

Prices for blackberries and blueberries will be the same as last year -except if you are comparing to the end of the season last year. They will be $24 a gallon or $6 per quart when we-pick them and if you-pick them they will be $2.25 per pound (or approximately $13.50 a gallon- depends on how full you fill it). If we pick, we guarantee six pounds in a gallon and a pound and half in a quart.

Tommy Delarosa and Jonathan Haile’s brother Sam will be back this summer along with Joaquin Paz our full time employee. Jonathan is spending the summer volunteering at youth camps all over, 1 one or 2 weeks here and 1 or 2 weeks there. Ruth Rollins will be joining The Happy Berry team this season. Ruth is a Master Gardener as well as she brings a varied background including several years in the tourism industry. We are still looking for one more young person for a full time summer job doing everything from weeding to picking, grading and customer service.

We harvested our pig a few weeks ago. I have created a little story about the day. “The Harvest of Izzy” is available as a PDF file on our web site. It has several pictures of the process. It was quite an experience.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the farm!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch


Published April 5, 2012

Ye Gads Strawberries Already!

We don’t do strawberries BUT-- Strawberry season is here. Local growers advise that they for the most part have not had to frost protect and the warm spring has brought them on.Based on last year which was also early historical standards this year appears to be 2 to 3 weeks ahead of last year. BUT…always best to call first if you are making a special trip!

Mr. T’s Strawberries. Mr. “T’s Strawberries opened on April 4. The address is 131 Scenic Height Rd. They are located in West Union, the corner of highway 11 and Scenic Heights Road Across from Scenic Heights Church and the new BBQ place. From Clemson, take route 28 to 11. Turn on onto Highway 11, continue north for 1 1/2 miles, field will be on the right. They have Sweet Charlie’s this year and they also used row covers, which accounts for the early start. They will do both U-pick and pre-picked. The phone is the best way to reach them: 864 638 5457.

Hunter Farm is located between Easley and Dacusville. Opening day April 10. If you take route 135 out of Easley just a little ways out of town you will see their sign that will turn you right and then almost immediately left. Then it is several miles and they are on the left. Eric Hunter is forecasting good picking and that “it is a great looking crop”. His number is 864 859 2978. He is open 8a until 8pm Monday through Saturday. And 1 to 5 pm on Sunday

Hardy Berry Farm says Opening day was April 2. Located on 232 Strawberry Road off of Dobbins Bridge Road 4 miles west of Anderson. Kevin says If you plan on coming after 3 PM best to call. He expects to reach full volume by Saturday April7. They are open 8a to 8p each day. They are also into fresh flour and several other berries including blue and blackberries like us. Their number is 864 224 5441.

Beechwood Farms Opened for strawberries April 4 and will start pick-your-own Friday April 6. Beechwood is located 204 Bates Bridge Road near Slater/Marietta SC. There phone is 864 836 6075 at the stand and there is a recorder for messages after hours. Email They say there will be tons in just a few warm days. Like us at The Happy Berry they only take cash (so no credit cards), thanks. Find them on Facebook as Beechwood Farms.

The Happy Cow Creamery. Tom Tratham (which has non-homogenized milk that is pasteurized at 145 degrees instead of 165 degrees used in flash pasteurization) has strawberries too. Opening day for You-Pick is April 4. Located at 330 Mckelvey Road, Pelzer, SC. They are growing organically but Tom points out that they are not certified organic because of the cost of the certification. He tells us that they have not had chemicals on his farm in 23 years, not even organic plant pharmaceuticals. They use lots of cow manure and it is a plastic culture system. If you headed south on route 25 from Ware Place go 1.9 miles to the second left. That is Mckelvey Road and they will be one mile on the right. Strawberries will be available only in the store until April 18. After April 18 they will open the You-Pick. Regular hours are Mon-Fri 9a to 7p, and Sat 9a-5p. Call 864 243 9699 for more information.

Callaham's Orchards. Opening Day is April 7. They will pick Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through out Strawberry season. They are located off highway 20 in the Cheddar community just outside of Belton SC. Address is 559 Crawford road, Belton, SC. If you get to Winston you have gone too far. They will pick until berries give out each day. Their regular hours will be open from 9 AM to 6 PM. Phone is 864 338 0810 at the store with a recorder during closed periods---email Callaham's also books farm tours. They are currently running strawberry tours, but you can also call now to book tours for blackberries and peaches. (The blackberries and peaches will begin in June.) To book tours, call 864 338 5302.


Published March 28, 2012

Last Hurrah for Willows!
$10/plant One-Time Sale Noon to 4pm on the following days
Saturday and Sunday March 31 and April 1
Saturday April 7

Opps! We have too many!!!! Willows that is!

The Happy Berry is offering a special sale of ready-to-plant one and two gallon pots of pussy willows, curly willow and red or yellow twig dogwood branches.

The plants have a heavy root system developed over the past 15 months. Specimens available include: Silver, Black, Pink, Wooly, Purple (Prairie Willow) and Japanese Fantail pussy willow. Also available are specimen plants of Red and Green Curly Willow and Red or Yellow Twig Dogwood Bush.

All plants are $10.00. They should be producing catkins (pussy willows) and attractive color branches by this coming winter.

This is a one-time plant sale which will be held from 12-4 p.m. on three dates: Saturday and Sunday March 31 and April 1, and Saturday April 7.

The Farm is looking great! The Crimson clover is in bloom and it is a sea of red. The blueberries are blooming and in some varieties already in petal fall. We are putting organic treatments on for cranberry and cherry fruit worm. Did you know they can eat 15% plus of your crop? The figs are being pruned right now and they are loaded with breba figs. If the weather stays warm maybe they will be of good quality this year. The blackberries are just about to burst into bloom. Keep your fingers crossed that we do not see a cold snap. We have added a new blackberry variety called Black Magic. It will be next year before we see any fruit. MillOrganite fertilizer (organic fertilizer) seems to be working well as a deer repellent (they do not like the smell according to DNR, although I can detect no odor) in the thornless blackberries.

We are very worried about the spotted wing drosophila. This fruit fly can deposit eggs in many small fruits before they are mature enough to eat. Globalization may be good for many but for us it is a disaster- three new invasive species thanks to globalization. We are on the search for a safe organic way to manage these invasive species.

For those of you who have been following the saga, we put in a second well and it was a bust too! Only 1 gallon a minute. If it had not been for trying to find water we would have made a profit last year…Oh Well…Maybe this year. We hope to try again for water if we can get some money together.

See you at the farm!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch