Our Pick Your Own crops are a special and exciting feature of the Stearns CSA share. They give members the chance to spend some time at the farm while appreciating the meditative task of harvesting. We want to make it possible for everyone to have access to these crops, but there are several things to consider when welcoming sharers into the gardens and berry patches. Here are a few things to take note of when you arrive to pick up.
Weather: If it is raining while you are picking up your share and berries are in season, we will close the blueberry and raspberry patches. We will let you know when you can come back to pick once the plants are dry. It is important to never move through the berry patches when they are wet because it could make the fruit more susceptible to contracting certain diseases.
If it is raining when you wish to pick flowers or herbs, you may try and do so in the rain, but you are also welcome to return on any day until the Sunday following your pickup day. You do not need to let me know and are welcome at any time during the day.
Electric Fence: We have an electric fence around most of the farm to keep deer out. We turn it on every night when we leave and it’s been successfully keeping the deer out of the fields so far! The only PYO crop that is within our electric fence are the blueberries. This is important because we want to make sure everyone gives themselves enough time to pick their blueberries before 7pm on pickup days. At that point, the electric fence will need to be turned on as the farmer gets ready to head home. If the weather is bad and we need to reschedule blueberry picking, we will make sure it is within our work day to ensure the fence is turned off.
No “carry over”: If you end up picking on a different day than your pickup day, just be sure you do it before the following week. You cannot “carry over” into the following week and take double the amount. We make decisions for the following week on how much is available assuming everyone has picked already.
Containers: Please remember to bring your own containers for berries. The best sizes are ½ pint and 1 pint containers. We do not have containers to give out in case you forget, but will have a few pint containers you can measure into and then return once you are done picking.
Until next time,