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Logo of AdAgrA 2021: Hidden Treasure

02 Strawberries

John Dysinger Barry Mosier



  • January 13, 2021
    2:45 PM
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So I think we've talked we talked in the 1st hour about some of the the big challenges kind of unique challenges of strawberries one is the frost in the spring one is the rain. Which you know Springs tend to be raining and that's right when your fruit is developing and then the 3rd one which is kind of really well it's very much related to the rain is the the disease issues. And then force is passed right. So so we're just going to go through those in particular and give a little more. Detail and thoughts again I would refer you to the handout that I have done and I think Barry actually has some handouts he's going to be giving out here when we start the search. But in there it's got links to in our part of the country North Carolina State University has done a lot of the pioneering research on these methods because you know basically they took what was being done in California and Florida and adapted it for the Southeast you know for Carolinas Tennessee Georgia and everything so anyway there's links in the handout to articles that go into like frost protection in depths you know way more than we can do here so look at that up. And it's interesting with frost protection just to comment that you know it's strange to me that John is fighting frost so much and spring is Barry's in Tennessee and in Minnesota where I'm growing I've been I've grown 6 seasons and we've never ever sprayed our strawberries for frost and it's 1st several reasons we're we're starting later with the mad roast system I'm uncovering those as late as possible to prevent them from blossoming so early and then I never grow early varieties I'm scared of them but I did plant some last year so we're going to find out but and so I've I've never We've covered our strawberries once for frost and it still froze them I mean it got down to $28.00 or something $26.00 and it's still frozen but we still got a pretty good production that year in spite of it just got a lot of the king berries but it's just interesting that because of the plastic culture he's using He's getting strawberries much much earlier and fighting Frost with it more than we are in Minnesota with the matted role system farming I'm late just kind of a an egg. But again that brings up the point that. You know if if you're not worried about I'm shutting down from the heat yeah you can get later bearing varieties you can do things to cause them to peer leaders so it's it's a double edged sword that's the bottom line with plastic colds you're trying to get them to bear earlier I will say that we're very much in a frost pocket which you know that's where your best soil is and we that's where we have gravity flow waters so we chose that knowing that we were going to have to deal with frost more than if we were on a hill you know we would probably have to frost protect half as much. Now the interesting thing about the frost protection is just that our farm is located on a very slight North Slope and so we're behind most of the strawberry growers in our area by 2 to 3 days every single year and I think our plants are getting going a little bit later and so that also delays us and and causes us to have less Frost problem another thing that we're going to try this year because we planted early varieties we planted override a call Wendy and that's a very very early and so it could be a week or 2 ahead of our other jewel variety and what I was just talking to somebody I buy some organic fertilizers from and they have a product that you can spray I have a spray and we spray Foley are on all of the leaves of the field and in the spring after you uncover they're just fighting using all the nitrogen they can to grow and so you spray them with potassium. And I was just talking to the rep today and he said that will gain you 3 to 5 degrees of protection by spraying them a day ahead of time with potassium and then they take it off of that nitrogen kick or nitrogen Hi there on and slows them down little bit and so the frost doesn't hurt them as much so that could gain you 3 to 5 degrees and row cover maybe depending on how thick it is could save you maybe $2.00 to $4.00 degrees so there are other methods that spring we've always been a little afraid of the spring just because like you said one of the sprayer quits in the middle of the night your crops done and so those are the challenges still so just quickly if anyone wants to try to use irrigation for frost protection and this can be for other things besides strawberries we actually did it on our blueberries this year which I'm not sure how helpful it was but anyway scent injure wobblers are what I recommend for frost protection not only for frost protection but just as a general sprinkler garden sprinkler they're cheap they're very uniform and they don't freeze up like you know traditionally big strawberry farms they use rain birds and they have to walk the fields all night when they're Frost protecting knocking the ice off the rain birds. And with the wobblers we would just get up every hour or so. So we we gambled a little bit but it makes for a very long night I'm telling you especially about the 3rd night it's like are we sure we want to grow strawberries but the Senate juror wobblers sprinkler heads are plastic and they don't build up the ice like a metal Rainbird does so I would highly recommend those I know a grower in our area who protected you who protected her strawberries through a 17 degree freeze which most people would never recommend you trying to do that but she did it with wobble or sprinklers but just well again most of you are not looking at commercial but you know you're talking about 45 to 60 gallons a minute to frost protect one acre of strawberries so you have to have a lot of water when you're going for hours and hours. Ok and then floating row covers I think we talked about this we we use a one ounce per square yard cover and I think if I remember correctly it's rated for $3.00 to $5.00 degrees. But the neat thing that you can do and this is one of the benefits that we've found in the last few years we've we've made we've standardize all our plots sizes so we grow on basically 30 by 100 foot plots. And it's very easy to put row covers on a 30 by a 100 foot plot but when you're putting it on a $300.00 foot field. Putting row covers on is. A test of your Christian experience because usually you're putting them on when there's a cold front coming through and so it tends to be breezy and it's not easy so anyway just an advantage of small plots but the other thing with the small plots is that we can easily double or triple cover them in every additional row cover you put on is trapping air between those layers and you can protect I mean with 3 layers of rope cover you can protect most anything I mean I guess I should be careful what I say but. You're going to be hard pressed to freeze your strawberry flowers with 3 layers of rope cover on there so that's a simple solution especially on a home scale just have enough rope covered to double or triple cover your your plants and you should be good to go now ideally you have a thermometer under the row cover and growers you know have these electronic 3 monitors with probes and so they can go around their field and be monitoring the temperature under the row cover because otherwise you're just kind of guessing. But again you know for a home scale just always err on the side of you're not going to hurt the plant overnight by putting on 3 layers of rope cover so just. Err on the side of caution does that make sense any. Any other comments on Frost No I'm ready to move on to rain Ok. Yeah. So this is kind of a bad picture but it's the only this was actually after we had had a bad wind storm that came through and really kind of bent up our Caterpillar tunnel. So I guess I'll just go through some things we do for rain protection and then you can do go through years so again the raised plastic covered beds in and of themselves are rain protection because it's keeping the plants up and it's keeping excess water from the plants so that in effect is is rain protection and then of course having individual plants with air flow and sunshine around each plant the plants will dry out quicker after rain or whatever and so you know that's what you're wanting you're wanting to encourage an environment where the plants are as dry as possible so again I talked some about spraying organic fungicide. These are ones we have used oxidase which is hydrogen. I think is actually hydrogen dioxide but I think it's pretty similar to hydrogen peroxide Yes. Hydrogen dioxide is a more fancy name of hydrogen peroxide Ok that's good to know. The more expensive name too I think is so oxidative is is a hydrogen peroxide based spray Serenade is a. Some kind of beneficial bacteria I don't remember exactly the name or anything but but again it's it's. Working in that kind of way trilogy is actually a name base spray and somebody was just sharing with me that they've seen some some harmful effects on soil life with spraying names so I don't know I haven't actually used trilogy in quite a few years so you may want to be careful with that double Nicole is another one that again is is some kind of strain of bacteria that the tax certain pathogenic organisms. And then this is something we've been experimenting with over the last couple years and we're actually quite excited about it. A lot of people have tried growing strawberries in greenhouses you know it's like Ok of rain and frost are big issue it makes a lot of sense to grow them in a greenhouse but there's a couple down sides that people have found we've we've experimented with that we've found it and I've heard it from others so it's not just us number one is just the reality that you're tying up your greenhouse all winter with something that's not even going to be right until spring so it doesn't seem like the best use a very prime real estate but secondly. Greenhouse environment seems to really. Encourage the growth of the spider mites you deal with spider mites not much problem with those. Pretty much anybody I've ever known and I'm seeing some nodding heads back there pretty much anybody I've ever known that's grown strawberries in greenhouses or hoop houses has had major spider mite in for stations so for those reasons among others we haven't we have not grown them in our who poses but we've come up with this you all are familiar with Caterpillar tunnels maybe in fact I think is that this evening maybe they're putting one up here during booths so you can see it for yourself but basically it's a low cost who palace that can be put up and taken down relatively easily so sometime in March well early March Ideally we just direct Caterpillar tunnels over right now it's only a 3rd of our plants but that gives us some insurance keeps the rain off it actually even without any ends on the tunnel they produce almost a week earlier than those that are outside so it's it's it's a nice solution and you're not having to spray anything or any of that and then. Somebody was asking me about about shade cloth we haven't done this yet but we want to try this this spring you know you put shade cloth over it and I think actually we could take our berries in the caterpillar tunnel longer into the summer then. So we've got a comment back here I'm going to let you comment even though I'm not supposed to you now go ahead I know it's going to be good. Ok do you do frost protection in the tunnels we yeah we we still use road covers in there yeah. Ok I think hoops Yeah that's all I have rain protect wealth for rain. I know is in 2019 it was a wet year I mean we had we had probably one of our best crops ever I remember that the One morning I had a lady and her daughter they picked 11 flats of strawberries in 2 hours just the 2 of them and just as they were done picking it started raining we got 7 inches of rain and that was you can imagine was just devastating to the crop to the bridges in the area to actually a close bridges and 3 different washed out bridges and nobody could get to our farm to pick and so we had all these ripe berries and nobody coming to pick it was not a good situation you can imagine quite a few of them rotted in the field so but it was amazing that because we have about maybe a 2 degree slope. On our fields our strawberry fields that water ran off we were picking the next day so we didn't have standing water a friend of mine has about 6 acres of strawberries and he had one area that was a little more like a bowl and that was completely finished so you when you choose your strawberry area if you have just a little slope it will drain and that's significant people could hardly believe we would pick the next day after a 7 inch rain but because of all the straw between the rows the straw was damp but there was no mud and so people could get right in there and pick if they wanted to come so. And because of that too we have not had as much of the fungus and I've not had a huge problem with fungus through the years because of rain but we do get some diseases we're going to get to that one problem I have is the rain that comes as hard water it's called Hail you know the hard water's really hard on strawberries when you pit up a hailstone against a strawberry the hailstone wins every single time and what it will do is just leave bruises on your strawberries even the green ones if you get enough hail but. It's bruises the strawberries and it makes it very difficult to sell them and it will shred your leaves but you know this is kind of one of those things that a lot of these things are out of our control and I can remember last year we had one night if kale 4 different times in one night on our farm and every time my wife and I were praying Lord stop the hail and so. In the next morning I remember going out into the field and I could see some of the leaves shredded but there was not one bit of damage on the strawberries you know and we knew i can remember taking my shoes off and praying and saying Lord your angels were out here in the night in this field and so that's what I I think that we can talk about all the fungus sides and all kinds of problems and challenges but I'm telling you prayer goes a long way he says you know it's bigger than any of these things and we pray a lot about our strawberries as I know John Does and Pam but so pale has been a problem one year I think I lost half of my crop due to hail but it was amazing one of my varieties came through pretty well and it's the jewel variety that I grow a lot of and it my other varieties were finished but the jewel variety came through so Hale has been a bit of a problem for us there we can talk about disease next that's I just wanted to make a comment on the prayer because certainly we don't ever want underestimate the power of prayer God is a miracle working. Our experience with with very very few exceptions is God asks us to do all we know to do amen and then we leave the rest with him and so there's many many situations where we knew that what we could do was not enough but we do everything we know to do and then we can go sleep knowing that it's all in the Lord's hands Amen and many times he's performing miracles not all the time you know you know he knows what we need and he gives the cigs Ackley what we need Ok this is a sly I don't like to look at because. It gives me bad feelings in my stomach because John and I compared notes getting ready for this talk we were talking about do we have pictures of the disease and weeds and stuff we have very few pictures of the challenges because we don't like to think about them too much so I'm going to give Barry a quiz here let's see how he does he's been growing stronger Greece for 6 years now. Do well I'm sure some of you know what these things are but very what's the top left all that looks like a nice case of gray mold Ok he's correct one for one I've heard people say if you have strawberries you will have gray mold or the the. Proper name is but try this Sonera or something like that but try to say it's any time you have wet berries you're going to have. But you write this and the more wet you have the more bots rightists you're going to have and all this relate a story and it kind of goes back to this dirty dozen thing that John mentioned earlier and I had another grower come to my farm and visit me and we had there was a little bit a grey mold in one of my varieties that had been wet and you know what he said was spray it with this in the us and. It doesn't leave any trace that anybody can see and nobody will ever know the difference that you sprayed this because you know we're going to be picking these berries the next day just spray em it'll knock that gray mold right out and of course we never ever spray our strawberries but it just so you know when you're worried the strawberries if you buy in the store you know that you don't get to ask them those questions. Yeah I used to go to Strawberry conventions when we were just learning and unfortunately there weren't any organic strawberry conventions specially in our part of the country. And I don't want to be knocking conventional growers because there are some very. Upstanding conventional growers with integrity but I did leave those conventions feeling that there was a certain amount of this attitude what the customer doesn't know won't hurt them. So just you know buyer beware when you buy strawberries in the store if they're not organic they're going to be almost guaranteed to be heavily doused with fungicide and that's the neat thing to have all these people coming in many of them are home gardeners to grow their strong strawberries and know what they're getting exactly and I'm just really pleased with that Ok Barry what about the top right that is a particularly Glee picture yeah the spots there are those dark spots on the strawberries that would be the anthrax. Disease and that that like for a strawberry grower I think that's their worst nightmare is to see that in the fields the Children's I was sharing that is 2 years ago right. You basically lost your crop too and throughout the house yeah somebody was asking me in the break you know why don't you keep them for more than one year well this. Picture right there is the main reason we don't keep them more than one year because there are native host plants that will host anthrax noce and Chandler's strawberries are very susceptible to anthrax Noles So if you carry them over in our home gardener I have people say well you know what what about it well you can try as long as you're willing to lose your crop you know it's a gamble you may it may do fine it may not. But the thing about anthrax no says it spreads so quickly if the weather is warm and wet within days I mean literally 2 days it can go through your whole fields it's just it's horrible we've had it and we know so it's something that you want to avoid Ok what about the bottom right now and maybe a little hard. If my daughter was here she could smell of the United picture she has a nose for leather rot and when there's She can take a basket or a pail or pictures pick into pails and if there's a one leather rod in there she can smell it. It's just amazing and and I'm terrible at I'm not upset I can't smell them for anything but but they're really stinky and one leather rot will spoil a whole jam a Jar Jar jam if it gets in there you know just ruin things and it tastes horrible. I think that's what happens when the berries get submerged Yeah I was saying how bad they are and I think it may be have to do with leather rot but that's another we don't have that one so much unfortunately we have not had and track knows we are our year was 2003 when our crop was wiped out pretty much between rain we had the same experience the bridges were washed out under water nobody could even get to our farm it was it was yeah it was one of those experiences that I can still get choked up about. So anyway Fortunately we haven't had to deal with and trek Nelse Well we had it the next year to 2 years in a row but we haven't had it since then at least on any kind of scale but try this you're always going to deal with leather rot again I mean these are all it's all about moisture so the more moisture you can keep off the better and then what about I don't know I don't hear you talk about this one the bottom left you know to recognise that that's this is actually the one we've had the most issue with. Because it comes in on our plants from Canada it's called angular leaf spot. And especially we found when we were irrigating for frost protection in the spring we were just spreading that and you can see that it it attacks the Calix which is the green part on the top of the Berry and it kills that which you know if that's all it did it's it just makes the berries not look as nice you know but the problem is it can then go the next step and it starts rotting out right under the Calix So you have had issues with angular leaf spot so that's the one that we have dealt with probably more than any other but again you know no simple solutions but the goal is to keep the berries as dry as Paul Yeah if you can keep up hires John Scott a man raised beds and Ferrars by the time we cultivate and planting a role that Roe ends up being a little higher than it is between the rows and so the water kind of drains off and then for us having that 2 percent slope on the field helps and we never plant in a low spot because that's just that you're going to get rain that's the kiss of death for those berries. I'm trying to remember when desire how long do we have here till we're supposed to have another break 345 Ok. I'm thinking maybe should we just take a few questions like disease so we've gone over frost and rain and this is disease let's just well just finish and then we'll have time for questions Ok pass protection. Now again it's interesting Barry and I have different issues here our biggest past by far is dear and so I just want to tell you what we do and we've been very very happy and satisfied with and let me just say this when we started out we tried all the the home remedies you know they talk about hanging up so and hair and blood. And you know mountain lion urine and. I mean you've heard I'm all right deer are smart I mean any of those work for like 2 nights max and then they're like wait a minute there's nobody out here it's just hair hanging up. So yeah they may be very very short term solutions we even got this special thing that amount Lions scream you know every 15 minutes. And the 1st night I went out and I saw were a deer had just jerks you know and jumped the other way scared to death then you know the 2nd night is like you know. Not even sure there's mountain lions around here. I think this is a trick so the only thing that I know that works effectively is a fence now there's multiple kinds of fences we have found that this. The trade name is 10 x. since a Flex is a 7 and a half foot tall black mash fencing has worked 100 percent of the time now I have talked to one of these kind of well just last year I think somebody told me that they'd had deer jump it we've never had that now technically deer could jump it because they can jump that high but because it's hard for them to see some some companies call it invisible deer fence you can hardly see it in the picture there right. The deer don't seem to be able to judge the depth their height and they're like you know they're not sure what to do with it and it seems to really be very effective so this is what we do we have 8 foot t. posts every 25 feet we and I have some more could close up pictures for this here in just a minute yellow electric fence insulators on top of each post then you just hang the fence from the insulators and then drape it out on the ground because deer can theoretically go under a fence but with it draped out you know if they tried to go under it would stop them it's worked amazingly for us and the beauty of it is you know that the challenge with permanent fencing is maintaining it you know if you're not I mean course most people just spray round up around their fence but you're not wanting to do that so you got of weed either rounded or something it's a lot of work but with this you just go around and lift the fence up in the hang it from the insulator on the top can mow under it weedy to under it then just put it back down. So we just fence we just fence those plots that we know the things the deer like to eat strawberries green beans or any kind of bean carrots be anything in the beet spin inch Swiss chard family. Sweet potatoes you know certain crops over the years we've discovered Ok this is what the deer like here's some more close up pictures so at the corner I don't know how well you can see these at the corner we just put a couple insulators in that's our door we just cook it and when we want to go in we just unhook the bottom and slide in there up at the top you see a close up of the fence insulator and then at the bottom you can see how it just drapes out on the ground you know like I said these are 30 by a 100 foot plots it takes you know I don't know half an hour to put up the fence or something it's not a big job 12 t. posts put up the whole fence just roll it out and hang it up it's worked amazing for us and it sounds like a great solution but on 3 acres that's a lot of fencing the for the them well I was admiring a herd of 30 deer that's grazing in the all fell far across from our field just the other day and I'm afraid they're going to develop a taste for strawberries they come in in the winter and try to rake the straw off of our strawberries and eat them because they know there's something green under there to eat and so it is a challenge dear a challenge I think I'm going to try John Spence this next year. My wife does have a not a cougar yell but she has a certain scream she can put out that. The hair in the hair goes up on their neck and they run but you know after even a week of that almost every day they get used to that and they're they're Ok with it they just say oh that's Mary about the gun. Dogs can work but dogs tied up don't work because the deer learn the length of their rope and they'll just go around them oh so if you have a good dog breed a good guard dog or something that is quite effective but not 100 percent effective because dogs sleep too sometimes. Yes So let's see Ok got another quiz here. So these are so dear are the main big pass although the thing is every year is different you know and we had one year where we had a really weird spring because we had a super late hard frost. That killed all the the you know the leaves on the trees were big it killed them all and we had a 2nd fall in the spring and then it was like it turned all of nature upside down and see only time has ever happened but we had big flocks of Cedar Waxwings coming into our fields and you know I thought it was just us but come to find out all the way from Carolina all the way we have a grower. Mennonite grower an hour from us he said he was shooting them in his kids were taking the Cedar Waxwings out of the field in 5 gallon buckets and he finally gave up because. He couldn't you know I guess it was costing too much to shoot them or running out of ammunition or something. And for like 2 weeks we didn't have a Red Berry in the field and then they left and we ended up still having a few strawberries but it was weird you know one time I don't know if you've had past like. Well. The one that we get that was probably one of the most devastating we've had is flour through ups fire on the upper right there yeah there Riri very small you can hardly see them but I had as many as 20 on every flower cluster and they were disk drawing they wiped out about half my crop in it. It was the same year we got the hail so maybe it didn't matter so much but anyway. And I think I know why John doesn't get so much of them is a problem what happens when we get a super strong wind in the sun in the spring there are billions of flower thrip coming in that wind and they drop on the fields and that's where we get our flower threw up so I think if you send him up or they just seem to come up anyway they come on the way in this and that's where we get our flour through ups but there is that the South Wind from the south Yeah and so. You know I suppose conventional folks would just be spraying and I think you can get some organic sprays for it but I it's a challenge and no disk don't like that super strong self wind coming in. So do you do you have the other bug up on top there it's another tarnished plant bug you know we've got another slide for that oh Ok tiny little black bugs oh go ahead I don't recognize those That's a sap Beetle we get those towards the end of the season and especially any fruit that's over right so you have that's a good reason to really be careful in your picking because they will just start eating a hole in the berry and you know over time the hole and I'm sure there's some microorganisms that help it just kind of becomes just something you wouldn't want to eat. So again the solution that I know of with beetles is just try to pick thoroughly don't leave anything over right and again it's towards the end of the season and then the bottom 2 pictures there one the picture with the arrows do you see little maggots it's not something you want your customers to see right. How many of you have heard of the spotted wing just saw for a few. If you haven't heard of it you're probably better off not knowing about this anyway it's a pretty major pest that has come into the u.s. in the last what 15 years writing imported I think imported pes that you know you remember in high school biology or just software what's just saw fulla. Just a fruit fly but the thing that makes the spotted wing soft so much of a menace is usually fruit flies lay their eggs in over ripe fruit but the spotted wing just softly lays its egg in green fruit and so as the larva hatching and starting to feed the fruit is ripe winning and I've heard horror stories there are protect bad with raspberries but I've heard horror stories of people going to the farmer's market and coming home with this pint of raspberries in the next morning it's writhing with all these little maggots that's bad for business. Most I'm convinced most people are eating em and not even knowing they're eating and especially on blueberries That's right he's saying you're better off not even knowing about him because now you're not going to want to blueberries. Yeah it's a challenge and they get worse through the summer so again by having the strawberries early we don't normally have an issue except maybe towards the end of the season you'll start noticing little soft spots on the berries you know on the side of the burial disappear soft area maybe even around the whole berry we'll get them until the very end of the season we wouldn't grow late season strawberries because of this past but very late in the season we feel the soft sides and you break open the berry and you'll find these little maggots inside of there and I think we found our 1st one a year ago we found our 1st one on a Friday and by Sunday it was pretty much through the field the season was over. That was it then we had picked most of the berries Anyway it's very very end of the season for us so we're fortunately on the right side of the time where those little things come up but many of the raspberry growers in our area have just stopped growing raspberry because it's too discouraging they cannot resolve the problem in the fall during raspberries especially but probably you can summer beer yeah even the summer berries in the conventional farmers so I think just spray every couple of days for the insecticide right on their berries and that's that's how they would take care of it but. Again you just again so what are we saying you know you might want her leave varieties to avoid it and be aware know what your pests are when is their season if you know them it's a lot easier to defeat them so we know the timing is so we're not going to grow berries that ripen during that time period and so again with most of these pests we don't want it want to make it. So that you look at this and say there's no way I'd grow strawberries look at all these problems you know just be aware of your path how you can best defeat them and that's that's the best answer some people have tried things like putting coverings over their fields at that time of the year but it's. It's. Nearly hopeless to think of that you just have to plan around them one thing I've heard with s.w. d. that's that's its nickname spotted winged you saw Flora. Is a hummingbird feeders. And I you know I haven't confirmed this myself but I have heard that hummingbirds eat the s.w. d. So if you hang feeders out in your fields and they do this with blueberries you know that encourages the hummingbirds to come around there so that's one thing you might try. But yeah you kind of have to pick your poison either go early or bearing and deal with frosts or later bearing and deal with maggots Ok one more here Barry this is for you. Well I recognize these tarnish plant bugs but not very much because only the nymphs at the bottom those are the ones who get on the flowers usually I don't see very so many adults in our field as these nymphs also and you end up with these little cat face strawberries which are very fun to eat because the the end is kind of crunchy and you know it's just not attractive and it really just spoils your berries but they're into your it's not that the berries they're ruining it's the blossoms that they're chewing on see the top picture there they're eating on that blossom which is as well disfigures the fruit and again you can avoid it with natural methods like for one thing you wouldn't want to have an elf elf a field right next to your strawberry field. They the alfalfa as a host for tarnish plant bugs and then when is the season goes on they say all their strawberries next door to Will let's have some for I a t. here why you just tell fell for and so yeah let's go for the dessert and so. That would be a bad combination and we haven't had a huge problem with that I think one year I've had I counted as many as 3 on a blossom cluster but up to now I guess you know. Sometimes you can just if you don't have very many you just share a little bit I guess. I will say that cold damage can define warm berries as well and so for somebody who's not really trained they may see a disfigured Berry and think it's tarnished plant bug when actually it's just cold damage. In the early season Ok I think that brings us to the and of our. Challenges one thing that's a challenge I still want to grow berries one thing that's a challenge for us and that is just because we have a you pick operation and. So as we get people coming to pick some of them are just really terrible pickers and as they go up and down the rows I have a few customers that come in they really just go 5 every 5 feet and pick the very biggest berries in the field that they can find and they come up you can tell when they come to check out I mean they've got the most beautiful berries you ever saw but they left most of a modern the field and so you have to have people in the field monitoring that and somebody is just going to have to pick that roll over again or by the time say we try to pick every 3rd head pick the whole field every 3 days well so if you wait for the next 3 days to come in all the berries that were there that were ripe today are going to be getting towards rotten. By the time we pick that area again so. And I I do have a challenge because we we also pick berries for for sales and so I do have a challenge. Finding workers to help me pick those berries some people or I tend to hire young people to help us and some of them are good pickers some are used to working and some aren't. And that's a bit of a challenge so just the pickers are a bit of a challenge but I don't want to leave it on just challenges I want to say that you know this year was it's considered a challenging year with cove Ed And you know yet there's a blessing in it because I remember going to a class early on this spring and the class I attended on how to deal with coal bed was saying only pick every 6 rows and then every night after everyone leaves bleach the field. Well I didn't stay for the rest of the class and. So it could have been a very discouraging year and yet people had nothing else to do they came to our farm in record numbers I think the most cars we'd had at our farm in another year for you pick was 140 cars in one day that's a lot for a little country road gravel road out in the country but we had this year we had 2 days where we had 250 cars coming probably an average of 3 people to car $750.00 people on the farm and cut to get strawberries and one of those days and it is this is amazing growing Actually it's about $2.00 acres we had we had a $10000.00 day selling strawberries and so so I think you can make some money at it there are challenges and yet. If you you know with the diseases and things if you watch your growing conditions keep tabs on what's going on out in your field. You can you can overcome these things and have a good experience and I think the better part of it is to that of those maybe 750 people we have signs up on our farm and and my son is out praying with people in the fields and you have opportunities to share Jesus with people when they come in they're getting food that they can trust they don't trust necessarily what they get in the store but they're learning to trust you Year by year and we pray with people regularly on the farm and it's a blessing in an opportunity so I don't want to just focus on the challenges but I think we will answer some questions on the challenges. Ok we've got about 5 minutes. We do give them a role when I'll show it in my presentation which is this going to be coming up here in a few minutes I think John has to disconnect here and we've got to treat computers but. We give them a role to pick and we we really encourage them to pick all the right berries and sun as you get the little ones that will novenas They're like your little fingernail you nobody would want those but I don't know really what you do we don't. You know it we're pro family we like to have people come with children and sure they trample some berries but that's just part of a part of the thing and you know it's hard to you encourage them to pick all the berries but then they pick what they pick. Ok another question in the back. So how do you treat anthrax no son of an organic farm you know anthrax is. An insidious enough disease that even conventional growers kind of shake in their boots over it. And they've got a lot more powerful poisons you know than organic growers do so basically you know if you detect an outbreak in your field you know what they recommend you doing is immediately pulling out that plant and all the others around it so you can try to contain it and you know you have to be really careful with washing your hands and everything you know don't don't pick the plants when they're wet because that's only going to spread it so there are a few things you can do but the bottom line is if you know usually by the time you see it in the field it's too late to do anything about it right so you need to be praying long before you ever see it so prevention you know that's why you know early in the season if you you know you can there are. Organic fungus sides. That you can use we spray Maybe it the 10 percent blossom time or just before that the field and that will you but then as the berries are on we would never spray the strawberries but you know that's with an organic spray you can you can do things that would prevent it but once you see it it's too late yeah yeah that goes pretty much for any kind of organic sprays you have to be thinking ahead you have to be proactive by the time you see a problem it's really too late. Right the spores. Wind and rain Yes Yes Ok I think here and then here and then we probably need to close well that's a challenge we we haven't had the kind of repeat the question thinking that you verse yeah wondering about the spores. Being from anthrax infecting the field so that it's ruined for the future years too and I guess it's gone by the moisture that we have in any particular year but I what we do is we pick for 3 years so there could be some carry over but I haven't seen it where we have one part of the field that's an anthro part of the field next year it is too I just haven't seen that well I have seen there's a little bit he might call it cyclamen might that tends to be in one part of the field but they don't travel very far or very fast and so they're mostly eating the leaves the new leaves but. So I haven't seen it so much I guess that's why John's ploughing his up every year and we still pick for 3 years but if after 2 years we see that the field is not doing very well we would plow it up and then we put in cover crop because that's what we've seen is that when you put strawberries on strawberries on strawberries eventually those diseases and those problems bugs or whatever are going to continue on and just continue to ruin things so we have. Between our 3 years of picking we would have 2 years of cover crop so that the ground has something else and we're putting some nutrients back into it. So in just to follow up on that to my knowledge and throughout knows this is not linger in the soil but it can infect a host plants native host plants so it will be in the environment around your field and then could reinfect in that's why we do an annual planting Ok one last question and then we need to. Ok he's saying regalia my understanding with regalia is it's not so much a fungicide as a plant. What's the word they use. Yeah I mean it basically strengthens the plant so I haven't used it yet but I'd like to try it it's cheaper regalia is organically approved. Yeah I don't do they call it a fungicide I don't know anyway Ok well we need to stop but I just want to make one last comment and then Barry is taking over from here but yeah we've talked a lot about the challenges but there's no easier crop to sell than strawberries and you can get a good price for it so there's a lot of good things going for it and even though by the end of the season we're kind of like strawberries but every spring we're still we can't wait to tell us that 1st Berry So it is something you know well we've been doing it for 23 years so obviously we must think there's some good in it otherwise we wouldn't keep doing it so don't be discouraged We'll take a break in meet back at 4 o'clock Ok 4 o'clock we'll be covering the manager broke growing system with a little more of a natural method than the plastic one so maybe more what you use in gardens but we'll talk more about that then this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio 1st if you would like to listen to more service leave a visit w w w audio verse or.


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