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2022 strawberry picking information

Strawberry season is coming fast. The fruit set is good this year with many thousands of green berries everywhere. The weather is lovely from a strawberries perspective. We have plenty of moisure and strawberries like it slightly cool. Hot weather ripens them faster but does not give as good of a berry.
We are opening for u-pick for the first picking of the season Saturday (June 11, 2022) starting at 7 am. There is still a limited amount of ripe berries. For the first picking the ripe berries are fairly scattered and the picking will be somewhat slow as there are also lots of green tips to work around. Peak season is still 7- 10 days out. Strawberry pricing for 2022 is the same as last years prices.
We will be continuing many of the changes from last year as they worked well. During busy times there will be an outside express checkout option for berries that are being bought by volume.

Hours for u-pick are Monday starting at 7 AM; Wednesday, start 2 PM (no morning picking on Wednesdays); Saturday, start 7 AM. This repeats through out the whole season. The patch closes when the berries are all picked or at 6 PM.
When you arrive you do not need to stop at the stand to weigh your containers if you know the empty weight already. Also you do not need to stop if you are picking into standard Quart or gallon containers.
You have the option of bringing your own containers or buy empties from us.(Quart boxes 25 cents each. If you are buying empty containers from us please pay when you get them rather than after you are done picking to minimize confusion as to what is going on.
We will do our best to spread groups apart in the field. I expect family/friend groups to stay together as much as is reasonable to allow for social distancing where it matters. NO DOGS in the field or stand areas. We will be using the same random picking pattern that we did last year. This means that you may start anyplace you wish in the patches that are open as long as you are not cutting in front of someone. It is mandatory that when you are picking that all the ripe berries are picked as you move ( No roaming or grazing type picking. A section of row must either be picked or not picked when you leave. We will be scouting the patch and keep suggesting where you will find good picking.
Pricing (u-pick) $4 per Quart if less than 8 quarts and $3.25 per quart if more than 8 quarts; $26 for 8 quart tray and $12.50 for 4 liquid quart buckets, water pitchers, bowls and other similar sized containers. All containers are expected to well filled but not heaped. We will adjust prices up or down as needed for over or under-filled containers. By the pound price is $2.20/# (limited to bigger containers or larger amounts); By using volume rather than weight when it makes sense we can bypass the stand for most of the berries and reduce congestion. If you pay by credit card there is a 3% surcharge added to the above prices and you will need to use the inside checkout station rather than outside express options. Daniel

Cucumbers and strawberries today

We have a full tub of cucumbers today from our greenhouse. The plants look good and I expect a fairly steady supply of cucumbers on going. We pick them every other day. Today I also have 60 pints of some very good local strawberries. These are normal June bearing strawberries with a greenhouse over part of the field to get them ripening earlier. These berries are no spray grown. Priced @ 6.25 per pint. We have lots of asparagus, green onions etc. Daniel

Farmstand Open Today, Lots of Asparagus

We are open today (we are open on all the summer holidays) and we have lots of asparagus. If you wish to get bulk amounts of asparagus to put up in some way this year get it soon. The seasons move on quickly and soon it will be time for the next set of good food that God sends into our lives. Be thankful for this moment. Daniel

Asparagus season now; strawberry season in June

The Farmstand is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am- 6 pm. (Closed Sunday) We are in the main asparagus season now. Asparagus season will last until sometime in mid June. The strawberries are at about 10% bloom now which is normal for this time of the year. The plants look nice and healthy. I expect that the strawberries should be ready for harvest starting about mid June with the season lasting 2-3 weeks as is usual. We had a light frost with temps at 32 degrees yesterday morning. If a strawberry flower is damaged by frost/ freezing the white petals will still look bright but the sunny yellow center of the flower turns black within a few hours or a day. I just was out in the strawberry fields and the flower center are all looking up at me with bright yellow centers. This is wonderful to see they escaped frost damage. The first cucumbers in the greenhouse are almost big enough to pick and there are lots of sizing tomatoes. (still very green) Before you complain about the rain think of us produce farmers. It is so reassuring to hear the rain on the roof and to see the little plants taking ahold and growing. Daniel

Summer Hours begin today at Martins Farmstand

Summer hours begin today! The normal stand open hours from May- November are 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday. We are always closed on Sundays. Online orders from the previous day are packed each morning for pick up that day. (no orders are packed Sunday) We have asparagus today however supplies are limited. We have only about 100 lbs. here at the moment. I expect to cut again either tonight or early in the morning. This warmth and sunshine are soaking into the ground and the asparagus roots are responding. By late in the week we should be cutting several hundred lbs. a day. Daniel

The farm stand is open today

The farm stand is open today (Saturday, May 7) from noon till 5 pm. Some of the fresh produce items that will be at the market today are greenhouse lettuce and kale. From the outside is lots of overwintered spinach, garlic scallions, turnip greens, fiddleheads and chives. There is also beets, honey, maple syrup, eggs, bulk foods etc.
The asparagus is almost ready. Summer hours on the stand will start sometime midweek (Estimated May 11 or 12) along with the beginning of asparagus harvest. Daniel

Greenhouse arugula, and garlic scallions, and chives

The farm stand is open tomorrow (Saturday, April 23) from noon till 5 pm. New items that will be at the market tomorrow are greenhouse arugula, and garlic scallions, dandelion greens and chives from outside. The asparagus harvest is expected to begin in about 2-3 weeks. This is, of course, weather dependent as we need warmth for it to grow. The overwintered spinach survived (outside, no protection) exceptionally well and I am expecting an abundance of spinach to be ready for harvest at about the same time as the asparagus is ready.

Help wanted at martins Farmstand for this summer

The farm stand is open today (Saturday, March 26) from noon till 5 pm.
Canning jars and glass loop jugs like we use for vinegar and syrup are still somewhat scarce and expensive. One of the better ways to recycle is to reuse. Glass is very easy to sterilize. We here at Martins Farmstand appreciate donations of your used canning jars and loop jugs if you have more than you need. Do not just throw them away.
We are looking to hire more help (part time or full time) for the stand this spring, summer and fall. The job consists of customer service and checkout along with all the other jobs that keep a stand stocked and orderly. This includes helping to wash and trim incoming produce, pack orders as needed, refill displays, sweep floors, etc. If you or someone you know is interested tell us about who you are why you would like this job. On farm housing is a possibility. Daniel

Free Cabbage/ sweet potatoes today!

The farm stand is open today (Saturday, March 19) from noon till 5 pm.
We have a bin of cabbage that needs a good home. It is still in fairly good condition however not every head is perfect inside. I am giving this away today for free. Take as much as you can use. ( no purchase needed) Pick up some for a friend also if you wish. My desire is to see this good food used rather than wasted. Also there is several hundred pounds of slightly blemished sweet potatoes that will go on the free cart. Likewise I desire for them to be on somebodies table if possible. Come and get it!
Last of all I just wish to remind us to be thankful even if it is a dreary rainy day. This mud will go away and then it is springtime with little bits of green poking up. Daniel

The nut cracker project story

The farm stand is open today (Saturday, March 5) from noon till 5 pm. Yes there is still some local food available even in March. One of these food items that is abundant is black walnuts. They are an extremely nutrient dense food that stores well. They have a unique fairly strong rich flavor that I really like. My daughter says they have an good earthy flavor. If you would like to taste black walnuts come out to the stand. Today I have cracked nuts samples available for tasting. I plan to have these samples available throughout the early spring as supplies allow. (We have cracked Black walnuts available for purchase also.) Walnuts grow in very sustainable permaculture way that should be developed wherever we can. These walnuts however are a tough nut to crack with one of the hardest shells that can be found in the nut world. In addition to being very hard and strong the nut meats are locked into the shell cavity in a way that makes them hard to separate. There are various traditional ways to crack them using hammers, vises or manual lever nut crackers. All these ways are very slow and it is hard to crack the shells with out smashing the nut meats more than needed which makes them hard to pick out from the shells. This winter my son Phillip and I built a tractor powered mechanical nut cracker. The machine we came up with ( we had no plans to follow) works reasonably well as I had in my vision. We ran 200 lbs. of nuts Thursday evening after supper. We learned that we can partially separate shells and fines by various sifting screens. The separation process is then completed by hand sorting. If any of you have any experience with nut cracking I would love to talk with you and learn what you know.