The kids are no longer fighting over the few ripe strawberries. There is now plenty for all the little hands in the berries. In fact, there is enough for me to make a strawberry pie for Everett's 4th birthday today. Happy Birthday Everett!
We may be open for strawberry picking on the 11th. You may be wondering why these strawberries are taking so long while other strawberries farms are open. Our strawberries are the ever-bearing variety. This means they get going a little later. It also means they produce all summer long and into the fall. We picked until Thanksgiving the past two years. So although we are heading into mid-July, you will not miss out on strawberries. In fact, their peak production is August and September and July a little slower. They're coming! They are big and red and yummy. I will post a photo soon.
As for the blueberries and raspberries, they are not ripe. At all. Very difficult to predict when they might be ready so I won't. I haven't spot a ripe one yet. It's definitely going to be a little later than previous years. The sun and heat is here though...
On a positive note, we are getting much more weeding done with not being open. The berries will be weed-less by the time we open. Ha!
Meanwhile, there's plenty of local produce at the farmer's market and it's Wednesday today. The mid-week market is open.
We are often asked if we used pesticides on our berries. We don't. At all.
The berries are still not ripe. Soon. Next week perhaps?
But while we're waiting, let's dream about all the ways we can eat the fresh berries when we do get them. Berries on their very own of course are just delicious. That's how our four kids devour most of them. They are a great addition to smoothies, muffins, pancakes, fruit salad, berry crisps, pies, salads, on top of our morning oatmeal or with plain yogurt and a drizzle of unpasteurized local honey. Summer breakfasts are so much better simply because of the addition of berries. The best thing is that we can continue to eat berries all winter long when we freeze or dehydrate them.
Keep checking back for opening updates.
Here's where the berries are at as of June 25, 2011. The last two years we have started harvesting on July 9th. I'm ever hopefull we'll keep this date. The anticipation...
As you can see, the birds are getting an early taste of the few ripe strawberries. Our dog True is ever protective of the blueberries. You should see her make those robins fly.
Be sure to start eating bucket loads of icecream so you have plenty of picking containers available for the picking season!
It's difficult to write about berries when it's so cold out. And we're all still talking about ice hockey anyhow. I might as well just enjoy the last game tomorrow and then I'll talk berries...
Tomorrow may be game 7 but more importantly, it is the first Wednesday Farmer's Market of the season. With this cooler weather, there are lots of lovely greens (and much more) available at the market. Add a salad to eat with your pizza while you watch the game!
The Grower's Guide, found in "The Comox Valley Echo" is now out. It is a wonderful resource for finding all the valley farms; what products are available, when and where to buy them. There is food bounty in the Comox Valley for sure. No need to shop further than your nearest farm.
May tomorow bring the silver of the cup and the gold of the sun to start ripening the berries.
The fields are alive with bees. A delightful sight and sound to a berry growers senses. I guess it took a little sun and heat to lure them out. We are sure glad to they are back.
Besides bees buzzing there is the buzz of the saw as the farmer and sons build a brooder for turkey poults. The farm was supposed to welcome turkey poults tomorrow but because of the postal strike they will not be coming. Who would have thought growing poultry would be affected by Canada Post? Wait we will for their safe and speedy delivery soon. Their brooder is ready and waiting. Growing turkeys is a first for Windhover and there is much anticipation.
Most of the vegetables are now planted. Just a few cucumber transplants to put in and a couple squash plants that were a little behind. The field is greening up quickly--mostly with weeds but we're on top of those with hoes and strong hands! Everything is so very green right now. It will be such a delight to see the first colour of red and blue on the berry plants next month.
The Comox Valley Farmer's Market opens on Wednesdays beginning June 15. Now we can eat fresh, local products mid-week. Be sure to visit.
Until next week,
There has been action in the Windhover fields. It is the end of May and the planting of raspberries and strawberries is complete. Hurray! It was a little damp out there but that means we don't have to put the irrigation system into high gear yet. The berries are currently setting down roots in their new beds, preparing to grow for a fruitful season. The blueberries, years ahead in growth, look on with heighty maturity at the newbies beside them! I would say we are about 6 weeks away from tasting the first berries. That means there is six weeks to eat the remaining berries from last season in the freezer. And six more weeks to avoid the strawberries from the south tempting us in the grocery store. We can do that! The reward of delayed gratification for something better is worth it!
Next up is to finish planting a vegetable garden, squeezing this and that between the row upon row of berries. And then we sit back and watch everything grow. Or not sitting and not watching but back to weeding and mowing and mulching. And the waiting...
Check back in a week for more farm news.