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Good afternoon everyone,
Spring has arrived, the days are starting to get warmer, the grass is green again and it is time once more for an post covering the things that will be going on at Yoders’ Farm.
This post will cover the following.
- State of the PYO strawberry patch
- State of the pre-picked hydroponic tomatoes
- A few words about Jams and Jellies
- Changes this year regarding “Family Farm Day”
This is a fairly long email, so grab a cup of coffee, sweet tea or whatever helps you digest words, and we’ll jump right in.
State of the Strawberries
A strawberry update from the strawberry guy – Lowell Yoder
It’s been a challenging year for growing strawberries. The record setting low temperatures, extended winter and a windstorm around valentines day that uncovered berries, all added to the challenge. Even now that spring has arrived it has continued to stay cool longer than “normal.”
Despite the difficulties there are good things happening in the strawberry patch. Many blooms have begun the transformation from glorious white blossoms to juicy red strawberries. There are lots of small green berries waiting for warm sunny days so they can finish their development and turn into glossy red berries.
Now, what you really want to know;
- When will the patch be opening for your picking pleasure? At this point we are hoping to open around Mothers day.
- What kind of season would we forecast if we had to predict based on what we see right now? It looks like it may be somewhat short and sweet, finishing up a bit into June.
- What will the picking hours be this year? As always we are closed on Sundays and picking hours will be Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. till 7 p.m.
- What will the berries cost? The price per lb for pick-your-own berries will be $1.59 (that includes tax).
- Will there be pre-picked strawberries available, if so how much will they cost? We will try to keep some pre-picked berries on hand, if you want to make sure we have what you need give Lowell a call at (434)-401-4864 and ask him. The cost for pre-picked berries will be higher than PYO.
If you have specific strawberry related questions, feel free to give Lowell a call and ask him. (434)-401-4864
State of the Tomatoes
A tomato update from the tomato guy – Delvin Yoder
In spite of being inside where the climate can be managed through the winter, our tomatoes are still very aware that God originally intended for them to grow in July in a garden. The short, dark days of winter slow photosynthesis drastically and fruit production in winter is a fraction of what it can be during the summer.
About this time of year, though, our greenhouse plants catch another gear or two and if the rest of the ingredients are available become quite productive.
One way we monitor our plants is by taking tissue(leaf) samples for laboratory analysis. From a small bag of strategically picked leaves we can find nutrient levels of the basic Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash as well as micronutrients. This tells us how well we are doing in providing for the plants needs as well as giving us an opportunity to adjust fertilizer either by irrigation or by a foliar spray for a quicker response.
The bottom line, though, is how the plant looks. Leafy, green vines with bright yellow blooms on the growing tip and hopefully ripening, blushing fruit on the bottom. All this together tells us that we have a happy plant eager to fill the Yoders’ Farm store with amendments for your next hamburger or salad!
Those of you who swooned over last years hydro heirlooms will be glad to know that our grafted Cherokee Purple, Hawaiian Pineapple and Big Beef tomatoes are setting fruit. These are probably on track for an early June ripening if all goes well. Until then we should have plenty of our vine ripened “normal” beefsteak hydroponic tomatoes.
Now, what you really want to know;
- What do these hydroponic tomatoes cost? The tomatoes cost $2.75 per lb for firsts and $2.15 per lb for seconds.
- When will they be available? Right now we have “normal” beefsteak hydroponic tomatoes. Later we will have hydroponic heirloom tomatoes. Hours right now are Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. During strawberry season the hours for tomatoes at the Yoders’ Farm store will be the same as the strawberry patch hours.
If you have specific tomato related questions, feel free to give Delvin a call and ask him. (434)-401-4016
Jams and Jellies
Along with strawberries and tomatoes, over the past few years we’ve began to carry a fairly wide variety of jams and jellies, local honey, other goodies and some baked goods.
All of these things (along with the tomatoes) are available in the Yoders’ Farm store off the end of the greenhouse. Feel free to stop in while you’re here for strawberries!
In years past we’ve had a “Family Farm Day” each spring and fall. We’ve decided this spring, due to a number of things, to handle things a bit differently.
That means that we aren’t planning to have a specific “Family Farm Day” this spring. Although we are working on some plans for a couple of special things for May 23rd and possibly a few other things on other Saturdays. We’ll let you know more details further into the season.
As you’re probably figuring out by now spring is shaping up to be a really busy time. That’s a good thing!
We look forward to seeing you all out here on the farm in the coming weeks! We’ll try to save some strawberries, tomatoes, jams and jellies for you.
As always, thanks for the part you play in making our farm work. We are keenly aware of the fact that what we do doesn’t work without great support from the community.
See you soon,
All of us here at Yoders’ Farm