We are opening for u-pick strawberries tomorrow morning (Monday June 29) starting at 7 am. This is the later part of berry season There are so many thousands of ripe berries out in the patch that I do not expect to have the patch all picked till late in the day tomorrow but one never knows for sure how many people will come.
The picking pattern we are using is a random one to allow for the best possible social distancing. I do not care which patch you pick in or where you start even if it is smack in the middle somewhere. What I do care about is that you give other groups of pickers reasonable space and that wherever you start picking that you pick all the ripe berries that are in the section of row you work. A section of row needs to be either picked clean or it should not be picked at all. Roaming, grazing type picking is not OK. We will be keeping track of which parts of the patch have ripe berries and be helping incoming pickers find good spots throughout the day.
We did not finish the patch Saturday even though there was a near record amount of berries picked by many hundreds of pickers with people in the patch for the entire day. ( I badly underestimated the patch on Friday) As is normal for the second week of the season the berries are smaller than they are early in the season. There are still some green berries left; the season should last till the 4th of July before gleaning, but the question of how these later berries will size up is still open.
We had a lovely rain shower this afternoon. To give you an idea of how much this means look at these numbers. It gave 6/10 inch x 27,150 gallons per acre inch x 20 acres =325,800 gallons of precious water on a desperately thirsty garden. I hope this is the beginning of more!!
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 buying empties from us.(Quart boxes 25 cents each or $20 per hundred. Gallon buckets$2.50 each.)
As you walk out to the patch you will be expected to walk on the right side of the field roads. Same when you are returning. 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.
Pricing (u-pick) $3.50 per Quart; $24 for 8 quart tray and $10 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/# (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. Daniel