This is one of my favorite times of the year, for many reasons. This is the time when we actually get to start harvesting our fruits, and vegetables. With roughly 50 acres of garden space, our imagination gets to run wild when we plant, which makes for a super busy harvest season. I also like the hustle, and bustle, that comes with the summertime. Long, hot summer days make you appreciate the winter much more.
This year, as you drive down Orr Drive, and look to the left, you will see 5 acres of just vegetable plants. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, peppers, and so much more. We have been harvesting things from the garden for roughly a month now. We are starting to see more, and more vegetables come in the door each week than the one before. This is good news, seeing as how we planted double the number of seeds than we did last year.
Our barnyard manager, Tammy, hand selected and helped plant our pick your own flower patch this year. She has over 20 years of experience working with plants, so she makes for the perfect person to oversee our flower garden. This year, she planted zinnias, sunflowers, and snapdragons. They’ve started blooming more, and more, over the past week. We’ve decided to open up the patch next week to pick your own flowers.
As for berries, aside from strawberries, and cherries, we also grow blackberries. We have 6 rows of blackberry vines total, which produce roughly 10,000 quarts of berries per season. Blackberries usually start to ripen around the end of July, and last until the beginning of September. I did check the patch this morning and noticed that there are some ripe berries out there, which means an earlier start date than we thought! Blackberries are great for eating, jam, jelly, ice cream, or my personal favorite; cobbler. Check out our Pinterest page for blackberry recipes.
As you drive in, you’ll also see rows and rows of peaches. Mostly yellow peaches, although we do grow white peaches as well. Peach season starts in late June and runs through the end of September. My favorite variety we grow is the “Coral Star.” I first had it two years ago, and I can’t wait until it’s picked each season.
Lastly, believe it or not, we’ve started picking apples already for the season. We start with a summer variety called “Transparent,” and end with “Gold Rush” in late November. Between our farm and the farm we rent, we harvest over 30 different types of apples.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the gardens, and orchard. Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes things.