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The Happy Berry

Newsletter

2016 Newsletters

February

Published February 1, 2016

In this edition:

  • Willows & Woody Florals in FULL SWING
  • Rain, lots of Rain
  • Cold (finally!) boost for blueberries
  • Blackberries, Grapes, Muscadines
  • Continuing Education
  • Web site scheduled to go Mobile Friendly!

WILLOW HARVEST IS IN FULL SWING.
We have beautiful bouquets, plants and starter kits for sale and are eager to teach you how to grow your own… We have about nine different varieties of willow starter stakes. With any purchase of our starter kits or starter plants, we will also teach you about the characteristics of each type so you know what to expect and when.

VALENTINE’S DAY and WILLOW BOUQUETS
Make it special with a willow bouquet to express your love for your Valentine Sweetie! You’ll never have to worry about keeping them watered and they can literally last for years!

WILLOW Programs & Events schedule
– Subject to change – check the home page regularly for updates:

  • January 19 Primrose garden club at 5 PM, in Greer SC
  • January 29-31 Savannah Home and Garden Show, all day each day in the Savannah Civic Center, GA
  • February 3, Morning Glory Garden Club at 11AM, Greenwood SC
  • February 5-7, Anderson Home and Garden Show -all day event at the Anderson Civic Center
  • February 10, Fox wood garden club at 11AM, Westminster SC – if it is a nice day the program will be at the farm.
  • February 13, Master gardeners Symposium, all day event, at Civic Center in Greenville
  • February 18 to 21 couple programs pending
  • February 27-28 Build and Remodel Show, all day event, western NC Ag Center across from Ashville airport
  • March 1 Green Valley Country Club, District Meeting West Piedmont Garden Clubs
  • March 18-19 Home and Garden Green Living Show, all day event, Down town Convention Center, Asheville
  • April 6 is Dyngus day (Monday after Easter) also called Wet Monday- a fun day with perhaps a little romance. Pussy willow season will be over soon after Dyngus Day.

SATURDAYS?
If we are not at a show/program we will be open from 11 to 3 on Saturdays January through Dyngus Day in April. We will have plenty of willows, a limited number of daughter Zoe’s Willow Crafts, as well as fresh free range eggs from your Happy Berry chickens! If you are having a hard time catching us at the farm, and since we do have many Saturday events, it is always an option to arrange a meeting that is convenient for you. Just give us a call and we will set it up! 864-350-9345 (cell, no voicemail), or 864-868-2946 (answer machine).

RAIN
October, November and December were the rainiest that we have ever seen… since 1979 when we began farming in Six Mile. (October- 6 inches, November 9.61 inches and December 12.34 inches.) Global warming is resulting in climate change. In response we are preparing an action plan as to how we are planning to be part of mitigation and how we are going to adapt to the changes. We will post this on our website soon. It is a draft that will be revised as the situation changes. We would love your input and suggestions!

COLD (Vital to the blueberries)
We are accumulating chilling hours at a good clip now (we were worried because some low chill varieties were beginning to bloom) so do not anticipate any delay in bloom once it warms up in late March. Let’s hope for no “roller coaster” weather during warm up. We have had a very good bud set last fall and winter. So if all goes well a big crop of blueberries is in the offing. The wind machine has been repaired from last year’s complications, and is now ready to help protect those precious buds during those nippy nights in early April.

BLACKBERRIES
In the blackberry fields, everything looks good except for the Black Magic. With the warm wet fall most primo canes bloomed all the way to the ground just before those harsh low temperatures hit us.

GRAPES are looking very good. We are still suffering from the ravages of the grape root borer in the Mars variety but will replant dying vines. The pheromone for grape root borer (GRB) seems to be working well with no apparent GRB damage to younger vines. Also another grower is helping us grow off some Dogridge and Saltridge root stock by sending cuttings. These vigorous root stocks will be used to approach graft the Arkansas seedless varieties. They appear to be tolerant of GRB.

MUSCADINES are looking great! We have planted 100 Razzmatazz seedless muscadines. Maybe enough for a taste…We have 71 Black MULBERRIES in the ground…maybe enough for a taste this year also. This fall we worked clearing up the some of the brush jungle on the west side of the farm. Come admire!

CONTINUING EDUCATION
My daughter Zoe and I (“I” being Walker) have been busy acquiring as much knowledge as possible during the farm’s downtime. We attended a Muscadine Conference in early Fall, the Carolina Farm Stewardship conference in November, and the Southeastern Fruit and Vegetable Conference in January. We successfully accumulated 32 hours of intensive training, an average of 6 hours visiting vendors that support us and were able to spend time updating with fellow farmers and Extension Agents (priceless!).

Please stay tuned to our home page — it should be mobile device friendly very soon! And we update the home page much more often then we send out newsletters.

Thanks for your support! You make it all possible!
Walker for The Happy Berry Bunch
Walker, Ann, Zoe and Betty-Ann

January

Published January 23, 2016

Rain — October, November and December were the rainiest that we have ever seen… since 1979 or since we began farming in Six Mile (October- 6 inches, November 9.61 inches and December 12.34 inches). Global warming is resulting in climate change. In response we are preparing an action plan as to how we are planning to be part of mitigation and how we are going to adapt to the changes. We will post this on our website soon. It is a draft that will be revised as the situation changes. We would love your input and suggestions!

Pussy willow harvest is in full swing. We have beautiful bouquets, plants, and starter kits for sale and are eager to teach you how to grow your own. The nicest part about investing in a Willow Bouquet (to express your love for your Valentine Sweetie) is that you’ll never need to worry about keeping them watered and they can literally last for Years! We now have willow starter stakes for sale for those who would like to root their own. We will have nine different varieties available at the farm, and at our listed events as well. With any purchase of our starter kits or starter plants; we will also include all the info you need to know about the characteristics of each type, so that you can grow like a Pro with abundant yearly bouquet replacements!

Our schedule, as of now, is as follows; but we may be adding to this list depending on any new received invites in the near future:

  • January 29-31: Savannah Home and Garden Show, all day each day in the Savannah Civic Center, GA
  • February 3: Morning Glory Garden Club at 11AM, Greenwood SC
  • February 5-7: Anderson Home and Garden Show -all day event at the Anderson Civic Center
  • February 10: Fox wood garden club at 11AM, Westminster SC – if nice day program will be at farm.
  • February 13: Master gardeners Symposium, all day event, at Civic Center in Greenville
  • February 18 to 21: couple programs pending
  • February 27-28: Build and Remodel Show, all day event, western NC Ag Center across from Asheville airport
  • March 1: Green Valley Country Club, District Meeting West Piedmont Garden Clubs
  • March 18-19: Home and Garden Green Living Show, all day event, Downtown Convention Center, Asheville

April 6 is Dyngus day (Monday after Easter) also called Wet Monday- a fun day with perhaps a little romance. Pussy willow season will be over soon after Dyngus Day.

If we are not scheduled for a show/program, then we will be open at the farm from 11 to 3 on Saturdays, January through Dyngus Day in April with plenty of Willows and some of our daughters limited Willow Crafts, as well as fresh free range eggs from your happy berry chickens! Or, you can call us anytime at the office 864-868-2946 or the farm 864-350-9345. If we are not able to meet at the farm, we will arrange a meeting that is convenient for you.

We are accumulating chilling hours at a good clip now (we were worried because some low chill varieties were beginning to bloom) so do not anticipate any delay in bloom once it warms up in late March. Let’s hope for no “roller coaster” weather during the warm up season. We witnessed a very good bud set last fall and winter. So if all goes well, a big crop of blueberries is in the offing. The wind machine has been repaired from last year’s complications, and is now ready to help protect the buds for those nippy nights in early April.

In the Blackberry fields, everything looks good, except for the Black Magic. With the warm wet fall, most of Black Magic’s primo canes bloomed all the way to the ground just before those harsh low temperatures hit us.

Grapes are looking very good too. We are still suffering from the ravages of the grape root borer in the Mars variety, but are replacing any dying vines. The pheromone for grape root borer (GRB) seems to be working well with no apparent GRB damage to the younger vines. Also another grower is helping us grow off some Dogridge and Saltridge root stock. These vigorous root stocks will be used to approach graft in the Arkansas seedless varieties. The Dodridge and Saltridge appear to be tolerant of GRB.

Muscadines are looking great! We added 100 Razzmatazz seedless muscadine plants this fall, adding to our collection of new varieties; Maybe enough for a taste…We also added 71 Black mulberries in the newly cleared ground…maybe enough for a taste this year also. This fall we worked on clearing up some of the brush jungle on the west side of the farm. Come admire!

My daughter Zoe and I have been busy acquiring as much knowledge as possible during the farm’s downtime. We attended a Muscadine Conference in early fall, a Carolina Farm Stewardship conference, and the Southeastern Fruit and Vegetable Conference in January as well. We successfully accumulated about 32 hours of intensive training and classes, an average of about 6 hrs of visiting these conference’s supportive vendors, and received lots of updates with our fellow farmers and Extension Agents.

Thank You So Much for your support! You make it all possible! Please visit our web site (www.thehappyberry.com) – it should be mobile device friendly very soon!

Sincerely, The Miller Family and The Happy Berry Bunch