When we first started our berry patch, we planted several different varieties of berries. Very quickly, we realized which varieties were our favorites, and therefore we put all of our focus into those varieties. Lately though, our perspective has changed.
Early on, we realized that we like the June Bearers better than the Everbearers (Day Neurtal).
- You get a lot at once. Once the season is over, you can focus on other crops.
- They taste better…plain and simple.
- They are bigger. It take fewer large berries to fill up a container, increasing our overall yields. Plus the customer gets enticed by the size of the large berries. They are also less work when you are slicing them.
This strawberry season has gone a little different than in past year. The first big reason is because we have sold every single berry from our farm…no farmer’s markets, festivals, or roadside stands. This was a huge goal for us, and we are glad we reached it so quickly.
The only problem is that people aren’t always the most prepared for strawberry season. You go from one end of the spectrum to the other. Some customers begin calling in April wondering when they will be ready, and then others call after they are all gone and are upset they didn’t know. It doesn’t matter how much advertising you do, you never are going to be able to reach everyone. This has sparked a new idea to add to our business plan.
Strawberries are our staple crop. People LOVE them to eat fresh or cook with. They will drive for fresh strawberries…sometimes very long distances. And when they get here (because they want strawberries) they will often add on a little bit of something else, some blueberries, fresh salad greens, onions, etc. So we have decided to try to elongate our strawberry season by planting some Everbearers and early June Bearers.
Up until this year, planting early varieties of strawberries was not an option. Our best picking time was when school got out, and we just were not able to manage the farm while working other jobs. Now that Berry Man is working the farm full-time, we think adding the other varieties is a very good option to help us increase our strawberry production.
Everbearers do have some perks.
- They produce strawberries all summer long, and often into the fall. We hope this will entice people to continue to stop by to see if we have any, and maybe pick up a few more things from our farm.
- They produce about the same amount of berries as the June Bearers, just not all at once.
- They are fresh, and taste far better than store-bought.
My heart and taste buds are still into the June Bearers, but the idea of some strawberries all season long makes me happy. We do not anticipate being able to sell the large quantities like we can around Memorial Day, but we hope to be able to meet our customers’ desire to eat fresh strawberries all season long.
Which strawberry plants to you prefer? Why? Leave a comment below.