I apologize for being a slack blogger the last couple of weeks. Originally I intended to do this once a week. That was a great plan until we actually started selling berries. Now when we close up and I'm home I am so dead tired I've actually been going to bed around ten or eleven like a normal person. The other day my back hurt so much from carrying berries that I had to take Ibuprofen to get moving the next morning (The Husband turned thirty Sunday as if I needed another reason to realize that I am starting to get old!) Let me catch you up on the last two weeks.
The Mon and Tues after we opened, we had the pleasure of hosting the Kindergarten from Northwest Elem. There were a total of 155 kids split over those two days (yes you read that right, 155!!!). Luckily it was all hands on deck around here. I had my wonderful employees, Michelle, Amy, and Tiffanie here, oh and The Husband (almost forgot!) was here to help me. Thankfully there were no bus-sliding-into-the-ditch disasters, the kids all seemed to have a great time, I had enough ice cream and coloring books, and they seemed to think my strawberry lesson was a little fun (only because I let them plant strawberry plants, so they all got to get their hands dirty. I assure you it wasn't my stunning educational skills on display.) The only problems really were that a couple of the kids were allergic to eggs (which we solved by giving them honey straws instead) and a logistical problem with the ice cream (someone had to run up to my house and get it from the freezer, since I currently do not have electricity at The Stand, I cannot run a freezer there). All in all we had a great time and I really loved seeing the kids get excited about picking berries.
I have to say I am a little surprised at the number of you-pickers we have had. Not ever having done this (I've never even picked strawberries before I owned a farm), I never realized how much people enjoy picking berries. Hey, I think it's awesome. I love the sound the cap makes when it separates from the vine. That little pop just sounds neat to me. And yes, it's perfectly okay to eat some in the field. I love it when people come to The Stand with sheepish grins on their faces and strawberry juice on their shirt. We understand and accept that yes, you are going to eat while you pick (The Husband probably eats a half a flat everyday straight from the field.) I promise we don't have scales in the field to weigh you coming in and out and scanners for strawberry seeds in your teeth at The Stand (yet anyway :)).
This past week has been a week of problems. First it rains Tues, Wed, and Thurs, so that we weren't able to be open Tues and Wed afternoon or Thurs all day. That week also happened to fall about three-four weeks from the big frost, so our berry production was in a lull. When it frosted, we saved the fruit, but we lost some of our blooms. Approximately 28 days later and voila, lull in production. Unfortunately that meant we had to shut down the you pick, and then because it rained we weren't even able to pick some to sell, so we had to close Thurs. I apologize greatly if you were one who wanted to come during this time and were disappointed. Trust me, we were just as disappointed that we had to close as you were for us to be. Hopefully we won't have any more lulls like that.
We have high hopes for a better week this week. I'm thinking we may have to open a little late Wed morning, but if that's the only problem then bring it on. We need the rain. Hopefully all other types of weather will stay away. I see the destruction in Alabama and think, man we dodged another bullet. We're having a treasure hunt for Mother's Day on Saturday. This was an idea I picked up while perusing a comrade in arms website (yes, not only do I scope out their prices, I scope them out for good ideas for things to do at the farm. The Berry Girl is always on the hunt for a great idea). They hide little things like earrings and gift cards in the berries and while people pick they come across the goodies. I'm really excited about it and I hope some of you decide to take us up on the offer (if not I know what I'm giving out for Christmas and birthdays this year).
Next weekend I really want to do something for military appreciation and I was hoping to donate a percentage of the profits to a charity/association that does something to help local military families. We appreciate our military and we love having them come out to the farm. We would like to give something back to the community to let them know that we appreciate all they do. If anyone knows of such an organization please let me know. So far I have come up empty. I don't know how much the ultimate amount will be, hopefully it will be decent if we can get some good support for this, but giving back to my community means a lot to me and I really want to do this, not only with the military but other great causes as well. You have all helped and continue to help support us, we want to let you know how much we appreciate it!
Oh, and as a sort of update or PS, that mortal enemy is back plaguing our feild. Yes, the deer have realized there is tasty sweet deliciousness in the field. Everyday I see new tracks in the field and yes, I get extremely peeved. The Husband sneaks (he slams the door and stands down wind) out with the rifle in the attempt to shoot them off (it's more like scare them off, his aim isn't exactly what it needs to be to actually shoot them). It works for about five minutes and then I'm sure they're out there sampling the buffet that we apparently planted just for them. The sweet potato beds are beginning to fill in so now they will have their choice between juicy berries or sweet tender leaves. Hmmmm...decisions, decisions.