The theme of this week’s newsletter is Silver Linings, and we’ve a some pretty big ones today. Silver Lining #1: For all the damage that last week’s hailstorm wrought on our farm, it very clearly missed one important spot: the TFF Strawberry field. (Actually, it missed several spots on the farm.)
The strawberry field also missed another, more minor disaster. Many, if not most, years, our first berry harvest of the spring is ruined by an untimely rain. Ripe strawberries are soft and quickly rot if they sit in water for more than a few hours. But green (not yet ripe) berries can tolerate rain just fine.
Silver Lining #2: Our strawberry field got rained on twice last week. The first time was during the storm that pounded our other fields with hail just a few miles away. The second was on Thursday night, when a storm forecast to produce light drizzle instead gave us over half an inch of steady rain. But there were hardly any ripe berries to rot in the rain last week.
And yet by Monday morning, we were out harvesting our first 30 boxes of ripe red berries. Today, Wednesday, we expect to get double that many.
Before everyone gets too excited, I need to mention right now that we did not have enough berries on Tuesday to give everyone a basket in the Wednesday boxes. Medium boxes instead got a second bunch of asparagus. (We will make it up to you next week.)
All Thursday and Friday subscribers will get one basket of berries.
Silver Lining #3: This will be the earliest date in the year that we have ever had enough strawberries for all our subscribers. Last year we were thrilled to have enough on April 11th and 18th for just the Large boxes. It wasn’t until April 25th that we send a basket of berries in every box. That is pretty normal for us.
At this point, Terra Firma’s lawyer Mr. Murphy has asked me to include the following disclaimer: There are still plenty of things that can go wrong with our 2013 strawberry season. It’s still early in the spring, and the weather could suddenly turn cold and wet. Much more likely, though, is that a prolonged and intense heatwave could accelerate the ripening of the fruit and burn up the plants. If it cools back down again, they might push another round of fruit. But we have had strawberry seasons that have lasted just three weeks.
So it’s probably prudent at this point for me not make any predictions for a great season. Let’s just say the potential is there. The plants are healthy with lots of flowers and green fruit. We’re just getting started so keep your fingers crossed that the weather cooperates from here on out.