Spring is always a busy time for farmers. It’s a race and a bit of a game versus Mother Nature to see when you can put your crop in the ground. For Mayberry Farms, the beginning of spring means uncovering strawberry plants. Over the winter, the plants have been protected by a thick blanket of straw. The first week in April, we grabbed our rakes and took to the fields to uncover the plants that will provide this years crop.
Between the four of us, the current owners Wayne and Cindy Zastrow, Tim and myself, we uncovered five acres in one weekend. Once the berries are uncovered they will begin to develop flowers then actually fruit. However, with it being spring in Wisconsin there is still always a chance for frost and until about the middle of May, we have to be aware of the threat of frost and if there is a danger, then you have to irrigate the plants with water. We call it, frost protection and it is important if we want a bountiful crop this season. Since we were not living in the house yet this spring, we relied on Wayne and Cindy to help us and of course they did.
Next up at the end of April was to put in next year’s strawberry crop.
Planting strawberries on our farm requires four people. Two people on the back feeding the planter, one person walking behind in case any of the plants fell out or didn’t get fed properly and another person driving the tractor. Tim and I each took turns learning the different jobs. Driving is a lot harder than it looks because you have to space your rows properly. One day we planted 8,000 plants and it took another full day to plant another 12,000 which will equal about 3 acres for next year.
We are berry thankful that we got all our strawberry plants in this spring! Now onto planting soybeans…Stay tuned for #Plant17 Part 2!