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Posted: 11-25-13  

Neal’s Berry Farm & Farmer’ Market          24527 ½ Gosling Road, Spring, TX  77389     

Friends of the farm: Blackberries grow all year, and need pruning, weeding, fertilizing and lots of year-round handwork to bring them to full picking potential. Crowds turn out during the busy blackberry-picking-season in May and June, but we need your support the rest of the year in order to keep the operation going. We are only closed the months of January and August, and a few days on each side of that, depending on how the weekends fall, but open the other ten months, so drop in soon and see what’s going on. Thank you for your patronage!

HOLIDAY HOURS: Open 10:00 am 6:00 pm– Mon. Nov.  25, Tues. Nov. 26, & Wed. Nov. 27.  Closed Thurs. Nov. 28 thru Sun. Dec. 1, 2013. Back open Mon., Dec. 2, and then open every day ‘til Christmas.

FRUIT: Homegrown citrus, including Meyer lemons, Rio Star grapefruit, tangerines and more. We also carry a variety of apples, Holiday grapes, bananas, avocadoes, pears, limes, etc. from other sources.

VEGGIES: Homegrown broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, beets, kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, collards, green onions, zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, lettuce.  Herbs: Sage, Rosemary, Cilantro, Basil. Peppers: bell, poblano, habanero, ghost, jalapeno & more!

STRAWBERRIES: Strawberry plants, “Festival” variety, sold Bare-root (unpotted) $7.00/dz.; planted in 4” pots 3/$7.00 or flat of 18 $25.00. We are growing this variety hydroponically, and hope to sell our own pre-picked pesticide-free strawberries starting in December or January. We grew this variety last season and it did well for us here.

GIFT CARDS NOW AVAILABLE: give the gift of good taste—perfect for someone who loves to eat healthy!

BAKERY: Mrs. Neal’s homemade from scratch baked goods, some made with our own homegrown veggies & fruit. Homemade 10” pies, ($20. each). Selection includes: Kiowa blackberry lattice-top, Meyer lemon, Fredericksburg Pecan, Kentucky Derby pie, and Peach lattice-top pie.  Breads, ($2-$6).   Banana bread, Fairytale pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, Cranberry-Orange-Walnut bread.  Homemade gluten-free* cobblers ($20 each): Kiowa blackberry, peach, pecan and blueberry. *Gluten-free products are made with rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch. They are baked in the same kitchen where wheat flour is present, so a trace of gluten might be in the air. Persons allergic to gluten should avoid our baked products.

PUMPKINS: Jack-O-Lantern types, Fairy Tales for baking & soups, and mini-pumpkins for decorating. Some are the perfect size for using creatively in place of a vase or soup bowl.

FREE-RANGE CHICKENS: Our own farm-raised, free-range Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens, sold dressed & ready for roasting, $5.00/lb. Average weight is 6-7 lbs each. No hormones, no antibiotics.

FREE-RANGE GEESE: Our own farm-raised, free-range geese, French Toulouse and White Embdens, sold dressed and ready for your holiday dinner. $8.50/lb. Average weight 8-10 lbs each. No hormones, no antibiotics.

FREE-RANGE PORK: Our own all-natural pork. Heritage breeds raised outdoors here on our farm. Frozen and vacuum-packed. Most cuts available, while supply lasts.  Best sellers: Bacon, Pork chops, Ribs, Pan sausage, Link Sausage (same Polish-style link sausage recipe as we used when we owned Neal’s Restaurant).

SEEDS: We sell small $2 packages of the same seeds we plant here, so we know they are well-suited to this growing region. Selection varies with the season.

CANDLES: Circle-E-Candles, at lower prices than most.  Many scents, including most popular Bird of Paradise.

JAM & JELLY: Large selection, including Strawberry Jam, Muscadine Grape Jelly, Seedless Blackberry Jelly made from our own  homegrown fruit.   Van Roehling sauces from El Campo, TX.

FROZEN : Check out our new freezer section—peaches, blackberries, blueberries, and peas. 

YEAR-ROUND PRODUCTS: fresh & dried vegetables & fruits, nuts, Mexican Vanilla,  stone-ground cornmeal,  Reed Family HONEY bottled in Montgomery, TX. 

Follow us on Facebook—Neals Berry Farm & Farmer’s Market. To unsubscribe from this list, please email request to nealsberryfarm@yahoo.com.   

 Ph: 281-255-3699   www.nealsberryfarm.com

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Posted 11-18-13: Fresh, free-range chickens available beginning 10:00 a.m. today.  These Jumbo Cornish Cross birds were raised here on our farm, with no hormones or antibiotics, and are sold whole, dressed, ready for roasting. They average 5 – 7 1/2 lbs each and price is $5.00/lb. Limited supply.

In addition, our farm-raised free-range geese should be ready for sale beginning Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.  Breeds are French Toulouse and White Embden, weight and price to be available soon.

We also have homemade pies and a few varieties of gluten-free homemade cobblers for sale, along with banana bread, pumpkin bread & zucchini bread, all made from scratch here on our farm, made with our own produce when available. Sorry, we are unable to take orders for the baked goods.

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Posted 11-1-13: Fairytale Pumpkin Bread (shown at right) made from Fairytale Pumpkins. We also bake Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread, and occasionally you might be lucky enough to find our Honeycrisp Apple Cake in stock. Also, try our Strawberry-Oatmeal Bars made from our own pesticide-free strawberries!

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REposted 11-1-13: More link sausage is in stock! Also various other cuts of our pork are available.

Posted 7-23-13: More link sausage is ready! Our own farm-raised all-natural pork, made into Polish-style links–get your before we close for the season on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

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Posted 7-17-13: Homegrown Texas Sugar Figs for sale. $4.00/1 lb. carton. Hurry in for the freshest figs around.

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Posted 7-11-13: Blackberry season is officially over for 2013. Thanks to all who came out and picked. We are already preparing the field for next year, so make sure and check back early May 2014 & we will have a general idea when picking begins again. Our Farmer’s Market will be open until the last Sat. or Sun. in July (exact date TBA soon). We will re-open for fall/winter season Friday, Sept. 6, 10:00 am. Lots of good stuff still being harvested, so be sure to make trip before we close!

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Posted 7-8-13: It’s not too late to pick blackberries, but main season is over. We are now in the last days of this year’s crop. We have never had berries this late in July, but in order to prepare the field for next year, we must NOW begin removing all the vines that had berries on them this year. This allows the plant to generate the new growth it will need to survive the winter, and the branches it needs to grow 2014′s berries on. So every day, the available picking rows are lessening as we prune, but the untouched rows still have lots of nice berries. So come on out and get your berries before they are all gone. U-Pick berries $4.00/lb.

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Psted 7-8-13: Blackberry picking is not over yet! Open Monday, July 8 from 9am-6pm. Berries have had a chance to ripen this weekend with no pickers, so LOTS of berries avail for Monday pickers. We didn’t get any rain here, and the overcast weather kept the berries from cooking on the vines, so there are lots to pick from, but this will most likely be the last week for picking til next year. Please check in before 5:30 pm so you can pick & check out by our 6:00 closing time. Also, WE HAVE TEXAS PEACHES FOR SALE IN THE MARKET! First Texas freestone ones we have been able to get this year.

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Posted 7-6-13: We are AMAZED that there are still so many blackberries in the field this late in the season! Never in the history of this farm have we had U-Pick this far into July. Blackberry picking will resume Monday, July 8, 2013, from 9am til 6pm. (Picking closed weekend days Sat. & Sunday). SEASON ENDS SOON! Pickers please arrive on Monday before 5:30 in order to check out by our 6pm closing time. Farmer’s Market is open Sat. from 10:00 am til 6pm, & Sunday 10:00 am til 2pm. , then Monday thru Friday 10:00 am-6:00 pm.

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Posted 7-5-13: Berry Picking Friday July 5, 9am-6pm! Looks to be a great day for picking. Lots of berries still there for picking–come on out and get ‘em while you still can. Season ends very soon. Pickers please arrive by 5:30 so you may pick and check out by our 6pm closing time.

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Posted 7-3-13: Thanks to unseasonably cool weather the Blackberry season is still holding on! Picking will be open Wed, July 3 & Friday, July 5, from 9am til 6pm. Please arrive before 5:30 so you may pick and check out by 6pm. U-Pick $4/lb. Some strawberries still available for picking too. Farmer’s Market will be open the same hours, 9am-6pm. We have lots of Texas watermelons and other goodies for your JUly 4th parties! We are closed July 4th, but will be open Friday, 9am-6pm, Saturday 10:00 am-6 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am-2 pm. We will assess the field over the weekend and announce here and on Facebook if blackberry season is closed, or if there are still enough berries out there to pick another day or two. It won’t be long til it’s over!

 

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Posted 7-2-13: Great Berry Picking weather Tues 7-2 and Wed. 7-3-13! Take advantage of the Cooler temps and pick berries while they are still in season. On July 2 & 3, picking is open from 9 am til 6pm. U-pick berries are $4.00/lb. Pickers please arrive by 5:30 pm so you can pick and check out before our 6:00 pm closing time. Farmer’s Market is also open the same hours with lots of fresh veggies!

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Posted 6-30-13: U-Pick Blackberry schedule for the next 3 days: Monday (July 1), Tuesday (July 2) and Wednesday (July 3) picking hours are from 9am til 6pm. Pickers may arrive anytime from 9am til 5:30 pm and should pick & check out by our 6:00 pm. closing time. Monday will be a GREAT day for picking, since the field has been closed for the past 2 days to allow more berries to ripen. The season might end this week so don’t wait any longer if your still need those berries for your annual jelly/jam-making adventure. There are still a lot of nice huge berries out there but now you have to look more under the foliage for them. The leaves have protected them from the sun/heat/birds so that is why those berries are still available as we slide into July. Farmer’s Market is also open 9am-6pm, so stop in & stock up on local veggies for your July 4th celebrations. We have lots of homegrown pickling cucumbers, picked fresh daily right here on our farm!

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Posted 6-28-13 : Blackberry season 2013 is almost over!! Lots of huge berries still out there but will be gone in the next few days!! Pick them while you can before they are gone ’til next May!! Our Schedule for the next 4 days: TODAY!! Friday, 6-28-13: Farmers’ Market & berry picking 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Pickers please check-in before 5:30 pm, check-out by 6:00 pm. Saturday, 6-29-13: Farmer’s Market open 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Berry picking closed. Sunday, 6-30-13: Farmer’s Market open 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Berry picking closed. Monday, July 1, 2013: Farmer’s Market & berry picking 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Pickers please check-in before 5:30 pm, check-out by 6:00 pm. We don’t know yet how much longer  the season will last past next Monday. Monday will be a GREAT day for picking as the berries have Saturday and Sunday to ripen. Lots of berries ripening daily on all height levels. We especially need tall pickers! There are LOTS of huge juicy berries above the 6′ trellis fence, and tall pickers can just walk along the rows and fill their bucket VERY quickly. Berries are $4.00/lb U-Pick. We have some for sale in the market today pre-picked $6.00 lb.

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Posted 6-26-13: Blackberry picking schedule for the next 5 days: Thursday, 6-27-13, & Friday, 6-28-13: Farmers’ Market & berry picking 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Pickers please check-in before 5:30 pm, check-out by 6:00 pm. Saturday, 6-29-13: Farmer’s Market open 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Berry picking closed. Sunday, 6-30-13: Farmer’s Market open 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Berry picking closed. Monday, July 1, 2013: Farmer’s Market & berry picking 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Pickers please check-in before 5:30 pm, check-out by 6:00 pm. Blackberry Picking season is rapidly coming to an end due to the heat. We don’t know yet how much longer the season will last past next Monday.  Monday will be a GREAT day for picking as the berries have Saturday and Sunday to ripen. Lots of berries ripening daily on all height levels. We especially need tall pickers! There are LOTS of huge juicy berries above the 6′ trellis fence, and tall pickers can just walk along the rows and fill their bucket VERY quickly.

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Posted 6-25-13: Berry picking season is still going strong–LOTS of huge ripe Blackberries ready now, but not for long. If you have been waiting to fill that freezer or make that jam, now’s the time to pick your fruit. Picking hours, and Farmer’s Market open hours, for Wednesday, June 26 are 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Pickers please arrive before 5:30 to get your bucket and finish picking by our 6:00 pm closing time. If you are going to pick, please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway & park in the shaded lot up near Gosling Road. Then walk South to the Market and get your bucket & directions. In the picking field, visit with our flock of White Embden and Toulouse geese–our own personal “weed eaters.”

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Posted 6-24-13: Berry picking hours for Tuesday & Wednesday, June 25 & 26, 2013: 9:00 am-6:00 pm.  (Farmer’s market is open the same hours ). Still in PEAK blackberry season–vines are loaded with huge delicious Kiowa Blackberries. Also a few strawberries remaining to be picked. This may be the last week of PEAK season for blackberries, then production will begin to decline and season might be ending in the next 10-14 days. U-Pick berries are $4.00 lb., no minimum to purchase. Blackberries are grown on 6′ trellis fence, so no bending needed to pick them. The hours between 9am-11am, and 4pm-6pm are the coolest picking hours, since the woods shade part of the field at those times. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway, & park in shaded lot near Gosling Rd. Then walk South to the Farmer’s Market for a picking bucket & instructions. We accept Cash/MC/VISA/Discover.

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Berry picking hours for Monday, 6-24-13:

Early bird hours, from 7:00 am til 9:00 am–we are opening super early so y’all can pick in the cooler morning hours, but we do have a minimum of 4 lbs for each bucket issued between 7:00am & 9:00am, today only. You are required to use our buckets for picking during those hours. Between 9:00 am & 6:00 pm there is no minimum and you may pick in your own bucket if you like. Pickers must enter the field by 5:30 pm and have berries picked and checked out by our 6:00 pm closing time.

This evening we toured the field and it looks like a great day for picking tomorrow. Lots of huge ripe berries! Lots of strawberries too. We will still be in peak season this week, but this MAY be the last week of peak, then MIGHT begin to decline the week thereafter. We will have toassess at that point and keep you posted. We will probably have picking every day this week, thru Friday, but we will post hours as we need to schedule according to how many berries are ripe.

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Posted 6-22-13: Neal’s Berry Farm schedule—

Today (Sat. 6-22-13) Berry Picking field is CLOSED. Our own Farmer’s Market is open 10:00 am til 6:00 pm.  Also visit our booth @ Grogan’s Mill Farmer’s Market, 8:00 am til noon, Grogan’s Mill Rd @ South Millbend in the Woodlands.

Tomorrow (Sun, 6-23-13) Berry Picking field is CLOSED. Our own Farmer’s Market is open 10:00 am til 2:00 pm. Also visit our booth @ Gleannloch Farms Farmer’s Market, 11:00 am-3:00 pm, 19393 Champion Forest Dr. @ the Golf Club. We hope to be bringing lots of homegrown blackberries!

Monday (6-24-13) Our own market & Berry field opens early– 7:00 am. All buckets handed out during “Early Bird Hours” from 7am-9am are subject to a 4-lb minimum. Cost per lb is $4.00, so that is $16.00. The minimum does not apply to any other time. Pickers must use our buckets for picking. Market and picking hours for all day 6-24-13 are 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.

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Posted 6-20-13: Don’t put off your annual Blackberry picking at Neal’s Berry Farm, or you just may miss out on some of the best berries ever. We’ve had some heavy picking all week, but we are now in peak and vines are still loaded with U-Pick berries, $4.00/lb.  On Friday, June 21, our hours are 9:00 am til 8:00 pm, so U can Pick  in the the cooler shaded hours. FIELD IS CLOSED SATURDAY & SUNDAY. But Farmer’s Market is open regular hours Sat, 6/22, 10:00 am-6:00 pm, & Sun. 6/23 10:00 am- 2:00 pm. Then MONDAY 6/24 we offer Early Bird Hours. Open 7:00 am, close 6:00 pm. Market is open for the same hours. MINIMUM: Every bucket given out before 9:00 am is subject to a 4-lb minimum purchase. That’s $16.00. Customers must use our buckets with liners for picking. We accept MC/Visa/Discover & Cash. 

Pickers, please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway and park in the shaded lot up near Gosling Road. Then walk South to the Farmer’s Market and get a bucket and instruction. Please observe all signs posted around the property–they are there for a reason, and that is so you may have a safe & enjoyable farm experience. Thanks!

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Posted 6-19-13: There are still tons of blackberries in the field, so we are going out on a limb and projecting the need for extended hours thru Friday this week. We are open this evening (6/19/13) til 8:00 pm, and will be open tomorrow (Thurs, 6-20-13) AND Friday (6-21-13) from 9:00 am til 8:00 pm. Our really cool air-conditioned Farmer’s Market is open the same hours. The field is shaded on some areas early and late in the day. Besides all the fresh & dried fruits & veggies, our Farmer’s Market stocks bottled water, soft drinks, juice, Gatorade, ice cream, and snacks for purchase.

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Posted 6-18-13:  Still TONS of Pesticide-free blackberries to pick, so we are extending hours today June 18 & Wednesday, June 19, from 9:00 am til 8:00 pm. Blackberry season is at its peak, and this volume won’t last long, so hurry in and pick while the picking is easy. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway, and park in shaded lot up near Gosling Rd. Then walk south to Farmer’s market and get a bucket and instructions. U-pick berries are $4/lb. We accept Cash, MC, Visa, Discover. Some strawberries still available too. Farmer’s Market is also open the same extended hours for fruit & veggie shopping! Homegrown products in market are marked with a green tag and the word “Homegrown” on it so you can tell at at glance what we grew.

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Posted 6-17-13: Extended hours for blackberry picking Tuesday, June 18, 2013! Open 9 am, close 8 pm. Pickers may enter the field up until 7:30 pm provided we are not picked out before then, in order to pick and check out by our 8pm closing time. U-Pick Blackberries are $4.00/lb, and some strawberries are available for the same price. Farmer’s market will be open same hours with fresh fruit & vegs, dried fruit, dry beans, jar goods, nuts, Circle E Candles, homegrown veggie plants and lots more stuff. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway and park in shaded lot up near Gosling Road. Then walk south to the Farmer’s Market for a bucket and instructions. We are now in PEAK BLACKBERRY SEASON so get your berries while they last!

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Posted 6-17-13: TODAY’S EVENING SPECIAL! Due to the heavy crop of ripe blackberries out in the field today, we will be open til 8 pm this this evening (Monday, June 17). Pickers may enter the field up til 7:30 pm in order to pick and be checked out by 8:00 pm. Farmer’s market will also be open til 8:00 today. We are in peak berry season and these yields won’t last long. Get ‘em while you can! U-Pick $4.00/lb. We also have some pre-picked blackberries for sale $6.00/lb.

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Posted 6-16-13: Blackberry field is LOADED with ripe berries, open for picking 10:00 am Monday, June 17, 2013. We are now in peak season, so Monday will be a great day for picking. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway & park in shaded lot up near Gosling Road. Then walk south to Farmer’s Market and get a bucket & picking instructions. Pickers will be allowed in the field until 5:30, provided we are not picked out first, but berries should be picked and checked out by 6:00 pm closing time. Blackberries are $4.00/lb. A few strawberries will also be available for picking, but they get picked out really early.

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Posted 6-14-13: Sorry, no berry picking this weekend–Fields closed Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16 to allow more berries to ripen. Fields will be back open Monday, June 17, at 10:00 am with lots of ripe blackberries again. Thanks to all who picked the last 3 days! Our Farmer’s Market will be open as usual Mon-Sat 10:00-6pm, and Sunday 10-2.

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Posted 6-13-13: Yay! Blackberry Picking will be open Friday, June 14, 2013 beginning at 10:00 am. Picking will continue til 6:00 unless we get picked out first, but pickers must enter field by 5:30 in order to pick and check out by 6pm. This warm weather is really ripening the berries now, so there are LOTS of ripe juicy ones. Pickers please make right turn as you enter driveway and park in designated lot up near Gosling Rd. Then walk South to farmer’s market to get a bucket. U-pick berries are $4.00/lb, payable in cash, MC, VISA, Discover. Shop in our market for lots of fresh vegs, fruit, herbs, dried fruit & beans, etc. New shipment of Texas watermelons just arrived.

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Posted 6-12-13: Blackberry picking is still open til 5:30 this evening (Wednesday) and Blackberry field will also be OPEN for picking tomorrow, Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 10:00 am. Picking will be open til 5:30 pm unless we get picked out first. Lots of berries are ripening now, so come on out and pick yours while you can. U-pick berries are $4/lb. We accept cash, MC, Visa, Discover. Pickers please make immediate right turn after entering driveway and park in lot up near Gosling Rd.  Then walk south to the market for a bucket. Farmer’s market is open 10-6 with fresh vegs & fruit, jar products, local honey, nuts, & lots more. Great homegrown tomatoes coming in daily. Lots of homegrown squash and kale (regular curly and the tender heirloom Red Russian kale too.) Free-range eggs and our own farm-raised natural pork also. Check us out!

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Posted 6-11-13: Open for Blackberry picking Wednesday, June 12, 2013 beginning at 10:00 am. Pickers will be allowed in the field til we get picked out, or 5:30 pm, whichever comes first. Our farmer’s market closes @ 6pm, so we ask that all berries be picked and checked out by then. Lots of ripe berries are still out there, and hopefully these rains the last 2 days have cooled the air a bit. It is a little muddy out there, so sandals are not recommended. U-pick berries are $4/lb. Pickers please make an immediate right turn after entering driveway and park in shaded lot near Gosling Rd. Then walk south to the market for a bucket & instructions.For your safety, please read and heed all warning and boundary signs on the property.  Looking forward to a great day! Pick some berries, enjoy the farm life, and shop for some good eats in the farmer’s market.!

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Posted 6-10-13: Berry picking will be closed Tuesday, June 11, 2013, but will be open on Wednesday, June 12, at 10:00 am. We close at 6pm so we ask that no one enter the field after 5:30 pm so that berries may be picked and checked out by 6:00. Field might close earlier if we get picked out before that.

Berry pickers, please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway and park in shaded lot up near Gosling. Walk to market and get a bucket  & instructions. U-Pick berries are $4.00/lb. We have some for sale already picked –$6.00 lb. We accept MC/Visa/Discover & Cash.

Our Farmer’s Market will be open til 6:00 with lots of fresh fruit & veggies. We also carry local honey (Reed Family Honey) from Montgomery–it is some of, if not THE best, honey around. We also have lots of our homegrown squash, tomatoes (including colorful cherry/grape tomatoes) and a new shipment in of Klein Brothers pickles and pickled peppers. Try our new custom blend 15-Bean Soup Mix, with recipe on the bag. Season with our natural farm-raised smoked pork for extra flavor.

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Posted 6-9-13: It was a great day for picking blackberries! Thanks to everyone who came out. We will NOT have picking tomorrow, Monday, June 10. POSSIBLY picking might be open Tuesday, but if not Tuesday, then for sure on Wednesday this week. We just have to see what today’s rains do as far as washing away the ripe berries. Our Farmer’s Market will be open as usual, Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sunday 10 am-2 pm regardless of picking status. Stay tuned to Facebook and this site for updates.

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Posted: 6-8-13: Blackberry (and some strawberry) picking will be available Sunday, June 9, 10:00 am, and remain open til 2:00 pm unless we get picked out before then. Berries are $4.00/lb (cash, MC, Visa, Disc), we furnish buckets. Provided we still have berries at 1:30, no pickers will be permitted to enter the field after 1:30 in order to have all berries picked & checked out by our 2:00 closing time. Pickers please make immediate right turn as you enter driveway, park in shaded lot up near Gosling Road, then walk to market for bucket & instructions. Note to Pickers: Thank you for reading and respecting signs regarding areas that are closed for your safety.

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Posted 6-7-13: Wow! What a crowd we had here today for berry picking. We will remain open for picking the rest of today (Friday), so please arrive by 5:30 this evening and have your berries picked & checked out by our 6:00 pm closing time. Due to today’s demand, we will NOT be able to have picking tomorrow, Saturday, June 8, but will re-open the field on Sunday, June 9, from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Again, berries must be checked out by closing time (2:00 on Sunday), so no one will be allowed to enter the field after 1:30 on Sunday. We had planned to be open tomorrow for picking, but the ripe berries are already gone so we need to give them a day for ripening. We thank you for understanding. Our Farmer’s Market will be open Saturday 10-6 even when picking is closed, and we will also be @ Grogan’s Mill Farmer’s Market in the Woodlands 8am – noon on Saturday.

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Posted 6-6-13: Blackberry field re-opens for picking 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2013. A few strawberries will also be ripe early in the day. U-pick berries $4.00 lb. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway, park in shaded lot near Gosling, then walk to market for picking bucket and a “how to pick a ripe berry” lesson if you need one.  We plan to also keep the field open Saturday, June 8, from 10:00 a.m. ’til we get picked out. All berries should be picked & checked out by closing time. Farmer’s Market open 10:00-6:00 weekdays & Saturday, 10:00-2:00 Sunday.

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Posted 6-5-13:  Berries need to ripen tomorrow, Thursday, June 6, but we will be open for picking Friday June 7, 10:00 am. until we get picked out or 6:00 pm. All berries should be picked and checked out by closing time. Strawberries also are ripening Wed. & Thurs., so some should be available early Friday. We are hoping to still have blackberries available for picking on Saturday, but no promises on that yet if alot get picked on Friday. Watch this site for further details as the weekend gets closer and we see what is out there. Our Farmer’s market is open Mon-Sat 10-6, Sunday 10-2 regardless of berry picking status.

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Posted 6-5-13: Blackberry & strawberry picking will be closed Wed. June 5 & Thursday June 6 to allow time for more fruit to ripen. Picking will re-open on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Thank you all who came out today and picked, and we look forward to a heavy Blackberry harvest on Friday. Some strawberries should still be available for the early pickers on Friday.

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Posted 6-4-13: The field is open for picking with LOTS of ripe blackberries. We open at 10:00 am and ask that picking be finished and checked out by 6:00 pm. Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway, and park in the shaded lot up near Gosling. Then walk to the market for a bucket and instructions. U-pick berries $4.00 lb. We accept Visa/MC/Discover/Cash.

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Posted 6-3-13: Lots of ripe Blackberries ready for picking now. Field re-opens Monday, June 3, 2013, 10:00 am. After being closed since mid-day Friday, plenty of blackberries and some strawberries have had time to get ripe just for you! Field open until 6:00 pm today or until we get picked out, whichever comes first. All berries must be picked & checked out before 6:00 when we close.

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Posted 5-31-13: Sorry, we are “picked out” for today, and for the weekend. Thanks, everyone, who came & picked blackberries this morning & you could see there was not much ripe out there yet. Lots still to come, so stay tuned to this site and our Facebook page (“Neal’s Berry Farm & Farmer’s Market”) for continuous updates. It takes about 2 days to ripen the field, so picking should resume Monday, June 3, 2013. Our own Farmer’s market will be open regular hours Mon-Sat 10am-6 pm, Sun 10am-2pm with our usual goodies. Visit us also Saturday from 8 am-noon at the Grogan’s Mill Farmer’s Market, in the Randall’s shopping center off South Millbend in the Woodlands.

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Posted 5-30-13: Blackberry picking will be open Friday, May 31 from 10:00 am til we get picked out. No strawberries will be available then–all the ripe ones were picked today. Sorry, we will NOT have blackberry picking this Sat. (6-1-13) or Sun. (6-2-13), to allow time for more to ripen. This is still VERY EARLY in the season, and we hope to have lots more ripening next week. There are thousands of pounds of pesticide-free blackberries still to ripen, so we all have to be patient while they take their sweet time! Our Farmer’s Market will  be open regular hours, (Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm, Sun. 10am-2pm) with  a big selection of homegrown fruits and vegetables, local honey, veggie & herb plants, free-range eggs, nuts, jar products, our own farm-raised pork & lots more. For all your baking needs, we offer Mexican vanilla, now in small bottles in addition to the  huge ones we have always had. If you have never had Mexican vanilla, you are missing out on some of the best-tasting and reasonably-priced vanilla there is! Check out our pie kits–with everything you need to make a cobbler except the fruit.

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Posted 5-29-13: Get ready for more pesticide-free berry picking on Thursday, May 30, 2013. Lots of big, juicy Kiowa blackberries and a FEW strawberries are available for picking from 10:00 am til we get picked out. Farmer’s Market is open 10:00 am til 6:00 pm with fresh vegs, fruit, local honey & more for sale, but field will only stay open til “picked-out” status occurs. All berries must be picked and checked out by 6:00 pm (if we still have berries that late). All U-pick berries are $4.00/lb.   Pickers please make right turn as you enter driveway and park in designated lot near Gosling Rd., then walk to market for bucket and instructions. We accept MC/Visa/Discover, & cash. Check out our selection of veggie & herb plants too! Lots of different pepper plants –mild, hot, and OMG hot (Ghost Chili Pepper)!
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Posted 3-13-13: It’s spring planting time! Over 40 varieties of homegrown tomato plants on sale now. Heirlooms, romas, classic favorites, cherry & grape tomatoes, heat-sets, black tomatoes, &  even some with stripes. Pepper plants include colorful bells, anaheims, poblanos, habaneros, piquins, ornamentals,  & a wide variety of hard-to-find specialty peppers. Also eggplant and herb plants. Seed packets available from our own stock for some that do well direct-seeded, so you can plant the same varieties we do! Hurry in for best selection. Don’t wait too long to plant your tomatoes or they will not set fruit before the it gets too hot! In addition, we now (as of March 2013) have our homegrown strawberries available, pre-picked for sale in our market. Picked by us at the peak of ripeness, full of flavor and pesticide-free. Lots more veggies and fruit in the market–check it out!
******************************************************************************************************************* Posted: 9-11-12: Fresh Homegrown Free-range chicken—it’s what’s for dinner! These chickens were raised here on our farm, so that you might experience that good old-fashioned flavor you recall from days gone by.   Fresh, unfrozen hormone-free chicken halves for sale Tues, Sept. 11 & Wed, Sept.12.  Also available, same chickens, but frozen whole, or frozen and already cut up into pieces. After Sept. 12, we will offer same birds, but any left to sell will be frozen. With head, neck, feet, feathers & giblets removed, virtually NO fat, and NO water or other “plumping” agents administered, the bird is ready to cook. Price $4.25/lb. Dressed weight averages  3.5 to 4.5 lbs.  Supply limited to the 100 birds on hand. Next kill date right before Thanksgiving, when we will offer larger roasting size free-range chickens. *********************************************************************************************************************
Posted 6-27-12: Watermelons galore from our patch in Montgomery County, Texas. Red-meat melons with seeds, just picked yesterday and more being picked today. Just in time for your July 4th celebration, we have all sizes from 7 lbs to 50 lbs or more. Not organic, but grown on a virgin field with no pesticides and no GMO seeds. Just good, old-fashioned home-grown flavor!
Blackberry season is virtually over for 2012–we have a few scattered berries that can be picked if you look.Also still some cherry and grape tomatoes to pick also.  Call before you come to make sure U-Pick is still open.
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Posted: May 9, 2012:
Neal’s Berry Farm & Farmer’s Market         24527 ½ Gosling Rd.  Spring, TX  77389
281-255-3699             www.nealsberryfarm.com                       Follow us on Facebook
Hello, Friends of the Farm!
Are you ready for some berries?  We hope so, ‘cause picking season will officially begin here on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Early indications are that it will be a bumper crop of Blackberries, and we know y’all are more than ready for a bountiful harvest after last year’s slim pickins. Favorable weather conditions have helped improve this year’s outlook:
     1. Late freeze in 2011 killed Blackberry blossoms before they emerged—no late freeze in 2012.
     2. Exceptionally windy Spring 2011 prevented bees from pollinating the berries—no such
              wind in Spring 2012.
     3. Inadequate rainfall in 2011. We drip-irrigate, but have had ample rain so far in 2012.
     4. Scorching heat cooked berries on the vines in 2011, hence an early end to season. Adequate
              moisture this spring has helped to grow more leaf cover, so if summer 2012 is as
              hot as last year, season may last longer but the leaves should protect them from the heat.
     5. One advantage to last years’ season ending so soon was that we were able to prune earlier.
  Since Blackberries put fruit on new growth, the plants had more time to grow bigger
  for 2012, which has the effect of more and bigger berries!
In addition to U-Pick Blackberries, we also offer U-Pick Strawberries and U-Pick Tomatoes. Strawberries are mostly “Eversweet,” an ever-bearing variety that is promoted as bearing in over 100 degree temperatures. Strawberry plants are looking great now, and are planted in rows between the Blackberry fences. Tomato varieties available for picking are Juliet Grape, Black Cherry, Red Cherry and SunGold Cherry.  A wide variety of pre-picked fresh fruits & vegetables, free-range eggs, cold drinks, ice cream, snacks, jar goods (jelly, preserves, pickled items, salsa, etc.) candles, pasta, fertilizers, gardening treatments, vegetable plants, fig trees & more are available in our Market.
Farmer’s Market and U-Pick hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday thru Saturday, and 10:00 am-2:00 pm on Sunday.  Please have your picking done and checked out by closing time.  U-Pick Blackberries, Strawberries and Tomatoes are $3.50 per pound. We accept MC, Visa, Discover and cash. We’re not sure if berries will last into July, so plan your picking soon!
Pickers please make an immediate right turn as you enter the driveway and park in the shaded lot near Gosling Road. After parking, please visit the market for buckets and instructions. Water coolers and park benches are placed in the field, and Porta-Pottie and hand sink are located between market and pickers’ parking lot. Please remember, this is a WORKING FARM and contains restricted areas that are closed to the public for safety reasons. Parents, please make sure children at all times observe all warning signs and barrier tape, and treat the plants in a respectful manner. No pets (other than guide dogs) are permitted anywhere on the farm. PLEASE NOTE: The picking field and Farmer’s Market are the ONLY areas that are open to the public.
Thanks for your interest in our micro-farm. Hope to see you soon.

The Neal Family 2-18-2012:  Home-grown Vegetable Plants available NOW!  At Neal’s Berry Farm, besides growing berries and row crops, we plant thousands of tomato, pepper, and assorted vegetable seeds in order to bring you the plants you need for home gardens. When deciding how many seeds of each variety to plant, we make our best guess. Some of the proven sellers have been planted abundantly, and some, especially the heirloom tomatoes, have been planted very sparingly, so when they are gone, there will be no more this year. So if you see a variety you like, grab it while you can.   Most plants are offered in 4″ pots, priced at $2.50 each or 3/$7.00, with a few exceptions.      Shop in our Farmer’s Market for fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, including our fabulous HOMEGROWN TOMATOES ! You don’t have to wait ’til yours produce–we have a greenhouse full of them, so enjoy ours now while you wait for yours to ripen.     ********************************************************************************************************                                                                                                    Abbreviatons: Det.: Determinate growth habit. Will reach determined height and put on all fruit within a short period of time. Then plant is finished  and will produce no more. Ind.: Indeterminate growth habit. Will grow continuously and put fruit on new growth. Needs staking or trellis. Days: Number indicates days from transplant to maturity. AAS Winner: All-America Selections winner. Annual awards given to highest- rated plants. Heirloom: Seed Savers Exchange defines an heirloom as any garden plant that has a history of being passed down within a family, just like pieces of heirloom jewelry or furniture. Some companies have tried to create definitions based on date, such as anything older than 50 years. **********************************************************************************************************  (We have a limited supply of some of our favorite tomato plants in one-gallon pots, some already with blooms, priced at $6.00 each.  These will produce earlier than the smaller plants because they have had a head-start in our greenhouse. The following varieties are available as of Feb. 18, 2012, in the one-gallon pots: Big Beef, Big Boy, Cherokee Purple, Eva Purple Ball, Marglobe, New Girl, Picus Roma,  and Valley Girl) *********************************************************************************************************** As of Feb. 18, 2012, we offer the following varieties, except for those marked as *–Not available for sale until approximately last week of Feb. 2012. Tomatoes: “Applause”—Det. 70 days; 10-12 oz. smooth red fruit * “Better Bush”—Ind. 68 days; 4” diameter red fruit. 4’tall Patio favorite “Big Beef” –Ind. 73 days; 10-12 oz. red fruit. AAS Winner “Big Boy”—Ind. 78 days. 10 oz. Red Beeefsteak. “Campbell #1327” Heirloom– Det. 60 days; 7 oz. Developed by Campbell’s Soup Co. “Celebrity”– Det. 70 days. 8-12 oz. red fruit; Mid-season; AAS Winner “Early Girl”– Ind. 52 days; Classic favorite; 4-6 oz. red fruit *“Tasti-Lee”®–Det. 72-75 days; High lycopene. Vivid red color. Firm 6 oz fruit.  Developed by University of Florida. ( Tasti-Lee”® is not included in the 3 for $7.00 bundle pricing.) “Valley Girl” –Det. 65 days. Heat/cold set. 7-8 oz. red fruit Yellow Tomato “BHN-871”– Det. 75 days. XL Round fruit   Small-Fruited & Grape Tomatoes: “Black Cherry” Heirloom– Ind. 64 days. Fabulous flavor. “Juliet” Grape– Ind. 60 days; Crack-resistant. AAS Winner. “Red Cherry”–Ind. 70 days. Classic favorite. “Sun Gold Cherry” Heirloom–Ind. 57 days. Half-ounce sweet fruit.   Heirloom Tomatoes: “Arkansas Traveler” Heirloom—Ind. 85 days; 6-8 oz. Pink fruit. Heat-tolerant. “Big Rainbow” Heirloom Beefsteak– Ind. 95 days; 2# Red/Gold Bicolor. “Black Krim” Heirloom– Ind. 75-85 days; Heat-set type. Purple fruit. “Box Car Willie” Heirloom—Ind. 69-80 days; 10-16 oz. smooth red fruit. “Bull’s Heart” Heirloom– Ind. 87 days; Large Pink Oxhart fruit. “Cherokee Purple” Heirloom– Ind. 80 days; 10-12 oz. Purple fruit. “Eva Purple Ball” German Heirloom–Ind. 70 days; 4-6 oz. Round Purple fruit “German Johnson” Heirloom– Ind. 85 days; 1# Beefsteak; tall vine. “Kellogg’s Breakfast” Heirloom– Ind. 80 days; 1# Orange Beefsteak. “Marglobe” Heirloom–Det. 75 days;  Heat-tolerant; 7-10 oz. red fruit. “Pineapple” Heirloom –Ind. 75-95 days; Golden-orange beefsteak, up to 2#. “Virginia Sweets” Heirloom– Ind. 80 days; 1# Red/Gold Bi-color.   Roma Tomatoes: “Picus” Roma—Det. 75 days; Good heat-set. Great firmness at red stage. “Viva Italia” Roma –Det. 75 days. Plum shape. Medium size-under one lb.   Tomatillo: “Tomatillo Yellow” –90 days. Sweet Peppers: “Blushing Beauty”—72 days. 4 lobed. Ripens ivory to peach to red. “Colossal Bell” –70 days. XL size, Ripens green to red. “Lavender Bell Tequila”—72 days; Blocky; Lavender ripens orange to red. “Orange Bell”—Ripens green to orange. “Pimiento” Sweet Pepper * “Purple Beauty Bell”—70-80 days; Ripens green to dark purple to red. “Red Bell” –76 days; Blocky; ripens green to red. Triple disease resistance. “Romanian Rainbow Bell”—60 days; compact plant; ripens ivory to orange to red. “Yellow Bell”—70 days; Good leaf cover. Blocky; Ripens Green to yellow.   Hot Peppers: “Anaheim”–mildly hot. * “Chichimeca Giant Jalapeno”—65 days; 4” X 2”  medium-hot fruit * “Chile Pequin” Heirloom—Round red very hot fruit “Fish Pepper”—African Heirloom; 75 days; Med-hot. Variegated leaves & peppers “Habanero Cow’s Nose”—Chocolate brown, from Belize. Hotter than orange. “Habanero Orange”—classic, ripens green orange * “Habanero Red”—ripens green to red “Jaloro” Yellow Jalapeno—70 days; compact plant, very hot. Developed in Texas. “Ladybug” –90 days; Small red cherry pepper, ripens green to red * “Medusa” Pepper—6-8” tall, mild fruit. Edible and ornamental. “Mucho Nacho” Jalapeno—69 days. 4” jumbo. Vigorous plants. Ripens green to red. “NuMex Joe Parker”—mildly hot; semi-flattened Anaheim. * “NuMex Suave Orange” –habanero taste & look with a fraction of the heat. Mild. “NuMex Twilight Pequin”—Starts purple, ripens to yellow, orange, then red. Hot! “Poinsettia”—90 days; 3” long brilliant red fruit. Hot fruit. “Serrano”-heirloom, very hot. * “Tabasco” from New Iberia, Louisiana stock. * “Yellow Mushroom” Heirloom —95 days, 1” x 1 ½”, ripens green to yellow. Hot. *********************************************************************************************************  Nov. 16, 2011

 Hello Fans of the Farm: When you think about Thanksgiving, most of what comes to mind is food. Fall vegetables come in a beautiful array of “fall” colors, and no matter which ones you serve they will look stunning on that dinner plate.  At Neal’s Berry Farm & Farmer’s Market, we stock many of your holiday fixin’s: Sweet potatoes (medium for baking, & really big ones for mashing & topping w/marshmallows), red potatoes, cauliflower, kale, cranberries, cushaw, leeks, onions (in 4 colors: green, red, white, yellow), summer squash in zucchini, yellow crookneck and Zephyr and much more.
‘Tis the season for homegrown greens of all types–collards, turnips, mustard, baby bok choi. For a tasty side vegetable, split and bake our homegrown butternut or colorful acorn squash, scoop it out and mash it with a little butter. For a healthier alternative to green bean casserole, saute our fresh green beans with a little olive oil, onion and sun-dried tomato. Yum!
     Be adventurous and try something new–perhaps even making a pumpkin pie from, what else–an actual pumpkin. Fairytale “Cinderella” pumpkins make fabulous pies–we sell individual raw sections cut from a huge Fairytale–each pound of microwaved raw pumpkin makes one cup of pulp, so you need at least 2 pounds to make a 9″ pie. We now carry delicious Mexican vanilla too!
For all you scratch-dressing makers, we offer “Brazos Bottom Mills” stone ground cornmeal from Angleton, TX. This cornmeal makes a courser dressing which does not turn to mush like that made from a finer-ground cornmeal. We can pick fresh broad-leaf sage as you need it.

     Make a colorful veggie tray: for dip “bowl,” cut a head of red cabbage down the center of the stem, and cut the side slightly so that it has a flat bottom to sit on. Remove the inner leaves, and place “bowl” in the center of veggie tray. Fill bowl with our “Chipotle Ranch,” or”Sweet Onion Ranch” dressing. Arrange zucchini sticks, yellow cherry tomatoes, red grape tomatoes, carrot sticks, cauliflower & broccoli florets, fresh mushrooms, green onions, kale, red & green peppers, radish “roses”and other “veggies du jour” you find in our market.

     Red Bartlett Pears, apples, “Holiday” grapes (only available this time of year), kiwi fruit, Texas navel oranges, homegrown Satsuma mandarin oranges, plums and bananas all work together for a fine fruit salad. Throw in a few new crop Texas Pecans, or just make a pie with them, or both. You can never get too many Texas pecans! We sell them in 1/2 lb. and 1-lb bags of shelled pecans, or in-shell by-the-pound.

If you’ve never opened our ice-cream freezer, maybe you didn’t realize there’s a whole lot more in there besides ice cream. We have frozen peaches, blackberries, blueberries, purple-hull peas, cream peas, speckled lima beans and green limas. Those frozen peaches make a mighty fine cobbler–in fact, we sell a cobbler kit that just fits that bag! For a quickie sweet thang masquerading as dessert, offer your guests our “Sweet Potato Butter” or “Pumpkin Butter” on a piping hot roll–all the taste of holiday pie without the fuss. For the ultimate no-fuss cobbler, open a jar of our ready-to-eat cobbler, in Country Peach, Cherry, Blackberry or Apple. If you’re not into baking but still want that fresh-from-the-oven smell, light a Circle E candle in “Apple Strudel” or Fredericksburg Candle Co.’s “Hot Apple Pie” scents. I know y’all are all wrapped up in Thanksgiving right now, but it wouldn’t take long to plant a few strawberry plants outside. Think ahead to the next few months and picture yourself picking luscious ripe strawberries from your own home-grown plants. We sell “Eversweet” and “Chandler” plants for only $2.50 each, 3 for $7.00, or a whole flat of 18 for the bargain price of $30.00. Some already have berries on them! We will offer pre-picked strawberries for sale in the market soon, and expect to have pick-your-own in late February or early March. Watch Facebook or your e-mail  for notices.

    Onion sets are here. We have “Texas 1015 Super Sweet” and “Early Texas White” in bunches of 25 for only $1.00 each. On Nov. 28 (afternoon) we will have “Candy Apple Red” onion sets.  A recent market addition is “Olivero Farms” 100% pure unblended Texas olive oil, grown and pressed in Weimar, Texas. Try it plain or infused with Sage, Oregano or Basil.Market Hours: Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm; Sunday 10 am-2 pm. Closed Thanksgiving weekend Thursday thru Sunday. Re-open Monday, Nov. 28. Then open regular hours through Christmas Eve.
     We are thankful for the recent rains, and appreciate all of you who support our farm!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at

Neal’s Berry Farm & Farmer’s Market ****************************************************************************** Nov. 11, 2011      ” GRASPING AT STRAWS YIELDS STRAWBERRIES ” By: Theresa  Neal It all began with Mama grasping at straws to find out a way to make her five-year-old daughter quit sucking her thumb. One way or another, she was going to see to it that I did not start first grade with my thumb in my mouth. She tried everything, and nothing did the trick until she bribed me with a home-made “strawberry apron.” It couldn’t have been more than ten inches wide, white with big red polka-dots and green rick-rack edges, and a huge hand-sewn strawberry pocket with green leaves and embroidered golden seeds. It was exquisite! Thus began my lifelong love for all things strawberry.  Like other wannabe Flower Children of the early 1970’s, I stitched strawberries on my boyfriend Tommy’s lime-green striped flared-leg jeans. Our first Valentine’s Day together was celebrated with a bottle of the much-maligned “Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.” My favorite mini-dress in high school was red and white gingham, with a big red strawberry appliqué, and my 17th birthday cake was chock-full of strawberries.  Later, as I commuted via bus to Blinn College in Brenham, I sewed a quilt top of strawberry-appliquéd panels. This quilt has now become a family heirloom of sorts, with my youngest daughter asking me if she can have it when I die. Or sooner. Hmmmm! In rebellious departure from royal-icing roses, our mid-1970’s wedding cake was decorated with fresh whole strawberries. Our wedding china is “Luscious,” which features, you guessed it, a cascade of strawberries and white blossoms. To this day, I still use an acrylic cutting board which we received as a wedding gift that was originally covered with strawberry modern-art decals.  I use the past tense “was” because those decals were soon melted into the circular pattern of an electric range-top burner, since newlywed me didn’t know that an electric stove coil stays hot for a while after you turn it off.  So far, not one of our three children has asked for that cutting board when I die. Don’t they know it’s priceless? Lest you think I should join some support group for strawberry addicts, I actually don’t have that much strawberry-themed stuff anymore. I don’t believe I have anything left in my closet that has a strawberry on it, and Lord knows what would happen now if I patched my husband’s Dockers with a strawberry. Our 3-acre field supplies us with lots of blackberry wine, and the wedding china is often replaced by Chinet. So strawberries had pretty much faded from the top of my list, that is, until recently when my husband told me that he had just ordered thousands of strawberry plants for our Berry Farm. He selected three varieties: “Chandler,” “Festival,” and “Eversweet.” Chandler is a classic favorite, known for its high yield, brilliant fruit color, excellent flavor, and high performance in the winter months. “Festival” is a hybrid perennial berry, popular for its large, firm, sweet fruit and resistance to fungal  diseases. “Eversweet” is prized for its heat-tolerance, with proven yields of medium-large fruit at 95 degrees. Along with its exceptional flavor, it is an everbearer, denoting an extended harvest season.  “Eversweet” plants in 4-inch pots are available at Neal’s Berry Farm & Farmer’s Market, priced 3 for $7.00, or a flat of 18 plants for only $30. All three varieties will be picked for market sale, and we will commence “Pick-Your-Own-Strawberries” in late Feb. 2012 or early March. We hope the heat-tolerance of “Eversweet” will yield strawberries for picking concurrently with blackberries! Now I’ll go play my Beatles album, “Magical Mystery Tour,” and hope I stay awake to hear my favorite song, “Strawberry Fields Forever.”  ****************************************************************************   10-6-2011 Finally, some slightly cooler weather so we can go ahead and get the fall growing season started around here! The squash crop has been one of the few to thrive in this heat, and they are still producing like crazy–we have yellow crookneck, Lioness straightneck (pictured in the Houston Chronicle article 10-6-11, see link), regular green zucchini, yellow zucchini, 8-ball round zucchini, the fabulous Zephyr GRILLABLE squash, butternuts, scallop squash, and acorn squash in beautiful fall colors (decorations you can eat later!). In addition, we currently have homegrown cucumbers, okra, collards, mustard greens, green onions, green beans, eggplant and kale. In our market, homegrown items are marked by the bright green tags. More homegrown vegs added daily as the season progresses. In a couple of weeks, we will offer fall vegetable plants for sale in 4-inch pots and 6-packs. They are later than usual, again due the unending summer weather. Now is the time to plant strawberry plants–we are just planting ours now and also have some for sale in 4-inch pots. Check back for pick-your-own schedule for spring strawberries. 7-3-11  This evening we got 3 1/2 inches of rain! We only had a 10% chance of rain, but we were in the 10% that got it for a change. It’s too late for many of the summer crops, but it will definitely help the fall crop. And maybe now the squirrels and armadillos will quit eating holes in our irrigation lines to get water. And maybe now the squirrels will quit hauling off bushels of squash from our patch every day, just for the squash seeds. Things were really getting bad here, and we are thankful for this blessed rain! In case you missed previous notices, BLACKBERRY SEASON IS CLOSED FOR 2011. In addition to the usual excuses of winter freeze, prolonged record-setting drought, and perpetual record-setting heat, you can thank that  HERD of robins that visited the blackberry patch and consumed every blackberry. They were not descriminating in their taste–they ate the black ones, the red ones, the purple ones, the juicy ones, the shriveled ones and even the raisins. We will be open Sunday, July 3, regular hours 10am-2pm. Closed JULY 4th. Open Tuesday, 10 am and regular hours the rest of the week. We got a second shipment of Hempstead melons this week, and also some divine Hempstead cantaloupes! 6-19-11 Hempstead watermelons are here! Both seeded and seedless–if you know watermelons, then you know Hempstead is famous for having some of the best ones around. We will have to  skip the annual peach run this year–the late freeze and drought has all but wiped out Fredericksburg’s peaches, and supplies of Fairfield peaches are very limited. However, we have been able (finally!) to secure some Fairfield peaches, but they will only be sold by the pound, no box pricing. They will go quickly, so get yours while you can. Open today (Father’s Day and Juneteenth) 10 am-2 pm. 6-16-11 Blackberry picking season is rapidly coming to a close–earlier than usual due to the extreme heat. Nice blackberries are still available if they have been shaded by leaves, but the ones exposed to the sun with 100-plus degree temperatures are baking on the vine. If the skies become overcast, that will help, but if the current hot, dry, cloudless days continue, then this coming weekend (June 18-19, 2011) will be the last WEEKEND for picking. We will still have some berries into next week, but pickens will be getting slimmer by the day. So if you want berries this season, hurry in soon!  In the market we still have lots of fresh veggies & fruits available for purchase.