Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Another year in the books

Thank you for all your business this year! 

It was another great season meeting you all.  Thank you for all the word of mouth advertising you do for us.  You guys are pretty great.   Too quiet around here now without you all :)

We are starting to brainstorm for improvements for next year.  Please feel free to leave a comment or email BeilkeFF@gmail.com if you have any suggestions :)


 

So what will we do all winter??

Dad winter planning
The winter planning begins. Calling around getting information to make decisions.


With apple season over with, things slow down a little here.  Time to catch our breath and be thankful all our crops are in for the year.  Then soon after, next year's planning starts.  We look back over each crop we grew and brainstorm ways to make it go better next year , more efficient and try to learn from any mistakes.  We also do a final tally of how the crops turned our financially to help make decisions.  Then we sit down and figure out our "winter list", which is a list of things on our equipment that need fixed or improved.

Then we think of capital purchases like tractors, more efficient blueberry sprinklers, add drip irrigation, irrigation pump repairs, sprayers, etc that we would need to improve the farm.  To keep it moving forward instead of backwards.  My dad is good about thinking long term and big picture.  He likes to make a dream list if we had all the money in the world, what we would do.  Then we whittle it down to what can we actually afford and what is dire and most important for long term plus short term.

For each crop there are many things to think about:  Why are we growing this crop?  Is it worth it to grow this crop- financially and time and effort?  Do we have a rotation to keep this crop?  Do we trust the people we grow for so we will get paid?  What capital purchases in the future will we have to make to continue growing this crop?  What is the future of the crop for price and demand.  Etc, etc.

Then we have to decide where we will grow each crop on the fields we have.  It isn't the best to grow the same crop, year after year in the same spot.  Corn can be grown 2 years in the same field but only if you have to because your yield goes down.  Our vegetable seeds can't be grown again on the same land for 10-15 years because they can cross pollinate with weeds that maybe can't be controlled and the crop would be ruined.  Some crops don't get harvested until later in the season, like corn, so there is too short of time before the rains start to plant fall planted crops, like grass seed.  Anyway, my point is that you really have to do planning so you don't get yourself in a pickle.

Besides all the planning, we also start in on pruning the blueberries and later in the winter, the apples.  We also have to do mouse baiting in all the fields, so the voles won't eat our precious crop roots and trap for moles and gophers so our fields aren't destroyed.  Sometime we need to apply lime to our apples and blueberries depending on the pH.  We also attend LOTS of agricultural educational meetings.

I have a picture of a mole we caught and I'm so tempted to post it on here but I don't want to gross anyone out :)  So I will resist!

So that is what we are up to!  I will post a few pictures here and there throughout the winter so you guys can see if we are being productive or not :)

Hope you still have some apples left to enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2014

This Saturday, Nov 15th is the last day to pick apples!

This is your last chance for apples for the year.   It looks like it will be too cold for the apples after this.  Come pick your last stash for the winter on Saturday!  Open 8am to 6pm.

We also plan to pick a bunch of apples today that you guys can buy for $12 a bucket.  If there is any left after the weekend, you are welcome to buy some next week.  I'll post on Facebook on Monday if we have any pre-picked left.

We have Granny Smith and Gold Rush left to pick.  The Granny Smith left are especially gorgeous.
It will be cold but at least it will be sunny!!

Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Apple picking is still happening! Couple weeks more.

 Updated Nov 10:  All blueberry plants have sold.  Thank you!

We have some nice blueberry plants to sell!  We had to remove some from our fields for various reasons so we wanted to give you the opportunity to enjoy them!

We have about 25 of them left.  There are 4 year old Legacy and Aurora varieties which are a later season ripening blueberry.  Legacy is ready to harvest throughout August, and Aurora is Mid August to Early September. $20 per plant

We also have some smaller Duke blueberry plants that we had left from replanting some spots in our fields this fall if you are interested in those.  Dukes are ready to harvest the end of June through part of July.  $10 per plant for Dukes.

blueberry 1
Legacy Blueberry plant
blueberries
Aurora blueberry plant


Now back to apples!  Yes we STILL have apples :)

Still available:

Pink Lady

Gold Rush

Granny Smith

Braeburn


This time of the season we will usually have pre-picked buckets available for you at the entrance of the orchard if you are just not feeling up to picking that day!  $12/per bucket.
You are also welcome to call ahead for us to pick you some apples if you want more than a couple buckets at a time!  We are happy to do that.  Just call and leave a message at 503-393-1077 or email us at BeilkeFF@gmail.com.

 

Other Farm Happenings:

The blueberry fields are starting to turn their fall colors.  Soon the leaves will fall to the ground and it will be pruning time.
blueberry fall blueberry sorter

We also need to spread sawdust in one of our fields that we didn't get to last year.  We spread it at the base of the blueberry plants.  Blueberry plants grow the healthiest when they have lots of the little fine shallow roots present, so it is worth the effort.  Plus it helps reduce evaporation in the summer when it is hot out and reduces the weed presence!

We will also be making our "winter list" that gives us direction once winter comes.  Helps us prioritize what needs fixed first, and reminds us of all the small repairs and improvements that need done here and there to make harvest time run smoothly.

Well we need to keep working away.  Thanks for checking in!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Raindrops falling on your head.

It definitely feels like fall around here!  But I am kinda loving it so far. :)

We do still have apples left!


Little girl
Yes that is sunshine in this picture.  We already forgot what it is like!



You won't have any problem finding Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gold Rush and Braeburn.  A large amount of all these left. (Again, walk to the orange cones in each row and there you will find loaded trees of apples.  Granny Smith doesn't need a cone yet because there are so many!)

(For Braeburn, we have a long single row of these, and also a cluster of trees planted in a triangle shape in the Southeast corner.  They are right along Pueblo St actually.)

Jonagold and Melrose: There are a small amount left.  Walk to the far end of both these rows and you will find some down there.

Fuji, Ruby Jon, Rome, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious are done for the season.  You will find some strays out there if you are just dying for a last bucket, but if you want some easy picking apples, focus on the ones above!)


 More pictures of our great customers!!

customers in gator customer in truck

It really is a pleasure helping you all find your apples.  It is such a fun time on the farm.  We just really enjoy meeting new people and getting to see again and again customers from other years and even weeks!  Anyway, thank you for the fun attitude you bring with you when you come out!


























Friday, October 24, 2014

Just a quick update!

Happy Friday!

Not too much change to tell you about but wanted to give you an update for if you are coming out today or this weekend.

Obviously this picture was from a couple weeks ago because of the lack of warm clothes :) But I thought it was a great picture and wanted to post it! So fun to see people just enjoying themselves and not having to be in a rush! Thank you!


Most plentiful rows:  Gold Rush, Pink Lady, Granny Smith.

Apple rows that still have many apples but you need to walk to the far end to find them:  Melrose, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Braeburn.

Some Ruby Jon left, also walk to the farthest end.  I tried one today.  While the flesh is starting to turn softer, the flavor is amazing.  Wow.  I think they would make some even more amazing applesauce than 2 weeks ago.

Fujis are close to being all picked.  There are some smaller ones left on the 3 main Fuji rows.  Also bend down and look under the leaves into the tree.  These apples are kind disguised since they are a pale color.  We have 4 other trees in the older section, so ask and we will take you to them!  One of the trees hasn't even been touched yet.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Drawing winner announced!

And the winner of the Scavenger Hunt drawing is..................


scavenger hunt winner

The Smith Family!   
Come enjoy your free bucket of apples!



Thank you all who came out for the 2nd Annual Festival.   It was so fun to see everyone enjoying themselves, kids and families running around intently doing the scavenger hunt and lots of people discovering that the apple you choose does make a definite difference in the taste of your applesauce.  I think the hit of the festival was the Gator rides.  The kids really loved it.



Here are some other pictures for the festival for those who missed it:
App Fest 7




Ap Fes 1 Ap Fest 2 App Fes 4 App Fest 3 App Fest 5 App Fest 6

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pink Lady apples are ready now!

Pink Lady are our last apple to come ripe and it is well worth the wait!
Pink Lady is a great all-around apple.  Medium sweet flavor with a tang.  It is also great for baking, applesauce and my favorite for drying.  It is our longest storage apple too.
pink lady
Pink Lady
Pink lady tree


Other Apple Update:

Hint:  Walk down to the orange cones we have in most rows, and you will find the most easy picking starting at the cones!

Granny Smith, Gold Rush:  Lots and lots.  These came ripe just recently.

Jonagold:  Especially look on the west side of the row closest to the railroad tracks, plus toward the far south end.

Golden Delicious:  Many left in the main 2 row plus you will find more in the older part of the orchard.

Braeburn:  Lots left in the main single row.  We also have a whole section of Braeburn in the far southeast corner (by the road) that has barely been picked on yet.

Melrose, Ruby Jon, Rome:  Still quite a bit out there but you need to walk to the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the row.  One you hit the orange cone, the trees are full of them.

Red Delicious:  Some left on the single row, plus there are lots of trees spread throughout the older part of the orchard.  (If you don't know what the "older section" is, just ask us when you get here and we can show you!

Fuji:  Still some out there but getting low.  The last few trees all the way to the north are full of Fuji, and we have 3 trees in the older part of the orchard that we can guide you to.

 

One last reminder!  Apple Festival is this Saturday, Oct 18 from 10am-2pm!

Come find this little frog tomorrow for part of our scavenger hunt for adults and kids alike!

There is no entry fee or cost except if you'd like to purchase apples.

Come check out the apple tasting table, applesauce taste test, John Deere gator rides, Apple Tours around the orchard, Crafts for the kids, Scavenger hunt, Farm Equipment to check out, and of course, apple picking!  We'd love to have you.

frog


 See you soon!