Well now that we’ve completed our first strawberry season, (and we’ve somewhat managed to catch our breath) it’s about time we publish a recap on how the season went.
Those of you who visited the farm or who live in the area, know that this spring/summer have been wet. Many local farmers struggled to put their corn or soybean crop in the ground only to watch it continue to struggle to get proper nutrients and develop a sufficient root structure. We were able to get in our soybeans, sweet corn and strawberries that will be in production next year so on that note, how DID strawberry harvest go?
We opened one of our U-Pic fields on June 14, which was also our 3 year wedding anniversary!
The beginning of the season is always slow. Not all the berries ripen at the same time and it can be a bit of an egg hunt at the beginning. We thought we were off to a good start, until we found out the labor we hire for our Ready Picked strawberries was not going to be available this season.
After a few days of trying to figure out what to do, we managed to find Amish workers who were able to come and stock our Ready Picked berries on a somewhat regular basis.
We started to find our grove as owners/operators/managers/strawberry farmers. We figured out how to work with each other and accomplish tasks like updating our website, telephone, Facebook, and answering emails on a regular (sometimes hourly) basis. We really learned a lot about each other, communicating properly and discovered more about our strengths and limitations.
As the season progressed, we hit our peak and had our best sales day on June 21, the first day of summer. Our berry supply was extraordinary, we really had a great yielding crop with big, sweet, red delicious strawberries. Oh yeah, and we were able to get our food license and sell Kelly Country Creamery ice cream with strawberry topping!
As of June 29, we were planning to be open until July 3rd however excessive rains that week caused most of the berries to rot so we made the decision to end on June 30.
That day a lot of people said they felt bad for us in our first year, but despite the frequent rain delays, the need to close early or selling out of our Ready Picked berries, we really had a great first season and are truly blessed that God provided us with all that He did.