We have answered two more questions in our recent video. We kind of like sitting at the table and talking through your questions, so keep them coming!
First, let’s tackle the question everyone is wanting to know, “when will strawberries be ready?” Thanks for your question, Jamie! The short answer is we expect our first berries around the second week of May. However, the weather plays a very important role in strawberry production – and anything in farming. Since we’ve had such a mild winter this year it could move up our picking season.
We plant our berries on black plastic for two reasons. First, the black plastic warms up the soil faster when we take the row covers and straw off for the spring. As the soil warms, the strawberries come out of dormancy, begin to grow and get ready to blossom and bear fruit. So, the earlier that can happen, the earlier we will have berries to pick and sell. This is important to us because we want to have our berries available before strawberries in home gardens are ready. Second, the black plastic helps keep weeds from taking over the beds and ‘choking out’ the berry plants.
All of that said, there is a potential for the berries to come on earlier than the second week of May, like usual. We don’t want them to come too early though! There is always a chance for a late spring frost to wipe out a strawberry crop. If the days are warm, the plants are growing and doing their thing. If we get a late frost after the plants have blossomed and we don’t get them covered, the frost will kill the blossoms and we won’t have any berries. It’s a very fine line to walk in the spring when we’re ready to pull the row covers and straw off for good.
The second question we answer in the video is from Chantelle, “Will we have sweet corn and veggies this year?” After pumpkin season in 2019 we decided that we’ll be stepping back from sweet corn, vegetables and pumpkins for the next few y
ears to dedicate more time to our family and Charlie. It is hard farming with young kids. They don’t understand what can and can’t hurt them or why we have to be outside working all the time instead of being outside playing.
We’ve been extremely grateful for all the help and support from our family, especially help with Charlie but at the end of the day, we aren’t comfortable asking them for that help over and over and over. We feel like we’re using them unfairly. We also keep in mind that Levi’s off the farm work schedule is very busy during our peak times of the year on the farm which spreads us very thing as well. For those two reasons we’ve decided to step back from pumpkins, sweet corn and vegetables for the near future with hopes to pick them back up in a few years.
A great resource if you are interested in buying local produce or meats is your local Farmer's Market. In Morgan County, the Morgan County Farmers Market is a wonderful place to meet local farmers and pick up fresh produce, honey, baked goods and plants. If you aren't in Morgan County, check with you're counties Extension Office. They'll be able to point you in the right direction for finding a market or local farmer who sells goods off their farm.
We are planning to grow the sheep portion of the farm for now because the work is spread over the whole year instead of very short concentrated times. We hope that we’ll see you in May for strawberry picking and as always are so very thankful for your support.
Check out this weeks video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/fwNAGVe-ED8
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