Great Valley Berry Patch


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Posted on June 6, 2014 at 11:47 AM Comments comments (375)

     Get ready!  The season is almost here!  The berries are looking good:  lots of baby berries and lots of blossoms coming on!  We have planted two new acres on plastic.  These will be pick-able later in the season.
     We are also expanding and moving the raspberries!  The existing raspberry fields will remain pick-able until the new plants are mature enough to "take over."  This will be in 3 years.  We are also increasing the size of our blueberry field.  We are planting more late blueberries to extend the season.  These will be ready in 3 - 5 years.  We are also experimenting with fruit trees.  We have planted 100 dwarf apple trees, 20 dwarf sour cherry trees and 5 dwarf sweet cherry trees.  We are very excited with the promise they show!
     We have also planted Christmas trees!  These will be ready in 5 - 7 years, depending in how big you like your Christmas tree.
     Perhaps the most visible change is the expansion of the deer fence.  The deer have been a real problem for us!  We have so many delectable edible things.  We had just planted the new raspberry bushes and the next day we found a deer snacking on them!  We hope to convince them to look elsewhere!

Oops! Where Are the Ripe Ones?!

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 8:58 PM Comments comments (482)
As many of you already know, we made the difficult decision to close the Patch to let the berries ripen without visitors.  This is not a decision we make lightly and it is all 3 of us, Keith, Pam and myself, who pronounce the final verdict.  We do the best we can getting the word out when we decide to close.  The newspapers cannot react fast enough to our decisions so we opted to leave the ads running as the confusion of stopping them could lead to worse issues!  We have our large sign in the front by the road, the answering machine message (although I speak to as many people who call as I can), this website and our Facebook page.  We try to cover as many bases as we can.  Tonight, Keith, Pam and I will scout the fields and render a decision whether to open tomorrow or give Mother Nature one more day to catch up!  We hope that everyone planning a trip to pick will check first before making the drive.  The are lots of strawberries out there!  They are just in varied stages of color and ripeness, and when the decision to close was made last night, none of the colors was Ripe Red! 

This unexpected breather is giving me a chance to catch up with the mundane things like laundry and dishes.  No matter what, life behind the scenes goes on!  Pam and I will also get some more planting done tonight.  Most of you know that strawberries are not our only crop, possibly the main one, but not the only one.  We also have red raspberries (as early as within the next 2 weeks), blueberries (approximately a week after the raspberries), peas (u-pick and fresh picked), green beans (u-pick and fresh picked), sweet corn (August), garlic, red potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers (jalapenos and sweet bananas), cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, Swiss chard and kale.  I know I've forgotten a few things.  I usually do! 

The Night Before Opening

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (234)
It was a very busy day today as it always is before we open!  Unfortunately, the weather report predicts that tomorrow will not be the best of days for picking.  For those of you who are new to our Patch, we do allow picking in the rain but in the event of a thunder and lightning storm it is everybody out of the field!

To our veteran pickers, you will notice some change "afoot", so to speak!  We have buried the main-line irrigation pipe so you will no longer have to step over 5" aluminum pipe to get to the little treasures.  We also have more berries planted on plastic for this year's harvest.

We have a new supply of 4 quart baskets for purchase.  Those were very popular last year for picking!  Remember that you can bring any container of your own that you are comfortable picking into. (Don't forget to have us weigh the empty container first!)  I have seen an amazing assortment of containers over the years - planters, wastebaskets, coolers with shoulder straps, colanders, as well as a wide range of bowls! 

Well, whether you join us tomorrow or choose to wait a few days, we hope to see you at the Patch!

June 4, 2013

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (164)
It's been a while, but we think we have this site back up and running succesfully just in time for the season to start.  Sorry for the internet silence, but long story short technology hates me.  On the plus side, strawberries love me.  We're getting closer and closer to the start of the season.  The first few berries are starting to change over (which of course my youngest granddaughter had to taste, stem and all) so it won't be long now.  We anticipate opening sometime around the 15th of this month, if Mother Nature cooperates.  This cool down will slow down ripening, but we can't tell for how long right now.  Hopefully by this weekend we'll have a better idea of where we're at.

We've got baby blueberries on most of our bushes and the raspberries are beginning to blossom.  That late freeze doesn't appear to have bothered either of them thankfully! 

Peas, potatoes and corn are growing nicely and we hope to get the tomatoes, peppers and beans planted and transplanted tonight! 

Check back with us next week, but we're gearing up and getting ready for opening day!