It's no secret that most everyone enjoys a yummy, fresh-picked strawberry. Well, almost everyone. Don't sell me out, but they're not my #1 fav (LA). I know, I know...they're soooo good. I digress.
But seriously, it's always strawberry time on this farm! Once you commit to growing strawberries, the land designated to grow said berries is tied up for 10 months out of the year. And honestly, there are so many variants to growing strawberries that the two free months give you little to no time to plant and harvest anything else.
Strawberry beds are installed in August of each year, but before we lay beds, the soil has to be tested, worked, and fertilized to ensure it is ready for the plants in October. Above you see the bedder behind the tractor. The rolls of plastic and drip tape are loaded onto the bedder and arranged so that they form a seal around the dirt mound built by the tractor.
On each end of the rows, a worker pulls out the drip take to ensure it is long enough and packs dirt around the ends of the beds so they will stay intact. Say hey to Shorty! This is our third year contracting our bed production to our friend Frank and his awesome crew. Shorty is our fav, but don't tell the others. :)
See those lumps under the plastic? This is what we refer to as "new dirt." Previously, peach trees stood here for almost 20 years! We bulldozed the old trees and made a field (Thanks to the Tripps for your help!). We must have got 100 calls with people thinking we'd just bulldozed all the peach orchards and got out of the peach business. Not hardly, y'all. Things do age and have to be replaced!
Anyway, the new dirt was lumpy and bumpy but it is sure to make some awesome berries! New dirt is imperative to productivity of strawberries and really any crop. We practice crop rotation on the farm, which means we try not to plant the same crop in the same place more than once or twice without giving the dirt a break.
Look at those beds! Shew wee! Aren't they pretty, and 1,400 feet long! There will be PLENTY of berries on Greene Acres Farm this year! Now, we wait on the second week in October when the plants are scheduled to arrive. We have thousands and thousands coming, and it will likely take two days if not more to get them all planted.
Once the beds were finished, we scraped down the middles to make a more even walked ground and spread wheat to help with erosion and nematodes. Farmer Earl does everything in his power to use all best practices in his farming because our girls run around out here bare-footed eating fruit right off the vines, plants, and trees! He makes sure what he's doing is safe for us and you!
What a crew! These fellas worked hard to help us get our beds in. Farmer Earl jumped in the picture with them - he's on the far right. And yes, he is in shorts and crocs. If you know him, you know he's unapologetic and does life his way. That's why we love him!
Stay tuned for more happenings on the farm! It's a busy time for us here at Greene Acres Farm.