Warm sunny days are really ripening the blackberries fast! Pictured below is a box filled by a customer this morning. Lots of berries--No limit on how much you can pick. Yellow sign posted shows what will be available for picking tomorrow: Thornless Blackberries (@$5.00/lb), Napa cabbage (@$4/head), Veggies @$2/lb: Yellow squash, Green and Yellow Zucchini, Kale, Dino Kale, Sunflowers @$1/stem, and Zinnias (@$3/solo cup). More veggies ripening soon. Please bring your garden shears/clippers to cut flowers and some vegs. Open Wed., 5/12/21 7:30am-1:00pm--Pickers must arrive before 12:30pm in order to pick, weigh and pay by our 1:00pm closing time. Admission $2/persons age 2 and over. Re-usable berry picking box $2. No outside containers--all berries must be picked in our box. Please check this page or our Facebook "Neal's Berry Farm & Farmer's Market" before you come out to be sure we are open. Looking forward to seeing lots of our friends of the farm tomorrow!
Open tomorrow (Tues., 5/11/21) 7:30 am-1:00 pm. with NO LIMIT on amount of thornless blackberries you may pick! Entry fee is $2/persons age 2 and over. Bring your pickin' box from previous years and let us put the first 2021 date stamp on it for you, or purchase a new box for $2.00. This picture shows about 10 lbs of berries in the box. After picking, bring your harvest to the market to weigh and pay. U-Pick berries price is $5.00/lb., U-Pick veg price is $2.00/lb except for cabbage ($4/head). Available for picking tomorrow, besides blackberries: Kale, Dino Kale, Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Yellow Squash, Green Zucchini, Yellow Zucchini, zinnias and sunflowers. Please bring garden shears if you wish to pick flowers. Sunflowers price $1/stem, Zinnia price $3/solo cup. Pickers must check in BEFORE 12:30pm, then pick, weigh and pay by our 1:00 pm closing time. These last few days of sunshine and warm temps are just what we needed to get these berries ripening fast!
Huge thanks to all who came out today for our season opener! Everything ripe got picked, so we will be closed Sun. 5/9/21 and Mon. 5/10/21. Back open Tuesday 5/11/21 with more ripe thornless blackberries, yellow squash, green zucchini, yellow zucchini, kale, dino kale, cabbage, Napa cabbage, zinnias and sunflowers. Please bring your garden shears to cut flowers. Once the season gets going, our regular hours will be Tuesday through Sunday 7:30am-1:00pm (closed Monday), but we are always subject to being picked out or rained out. But for now, with so many veggies not ready yet, we will let you know, as soon as we know, if we will be open the next day, so always check this page or Facebook "Neal's Berry Farm & Farmer's Market" before your come out. Happy Mother's Day!
The season will open tomorrow, (Saturday, May 8, 2021 7:30am-1:00pm), with zinnias, sunflowers, kale, dinosaur kale, Napa cabbage, yellow squash, zucchini, and A FEW RIPE BLACKBERRIES. The yellow sign pictured here will also be posted (on a porch post!) in the market, but reading it ahead of your visit will help move the line quicker. Also, we have copies of the site map on the porch posts, but again, studying it in advance or having it handy on your phone for reference will help. Cash is preferred for check-in to speed the process, but we do take cards. PLEASE bring your garden shears to cut zinnias and sunflowers. We expect to have largest blackberry harvest ever, but the season is starting later than usual due to the cool spring weather, so not many ripe blackberries yet. Hence the limit of one zip-top bag per paid entry for a short time. But don't expect to fill that bag tomorrow unless you are an early picker. Wait a few weeks for the easy pickin'. See our HOME tab on this website for rules, etc. and see the SITE MAP tab here for an aerial view of the farm with legend. Looking forward to a great season and seeing many of our friends of the farm!
We will open the farm on Saturday, May 8, 2021 (7:30am-1:00pm), but don't get too excited and think there will be much to pick on the first day. There MAY be 10 lbs. of ripe blackberries on the 3 miles of fences now, but you can see TONS will ripen soon. We'll have more total berries than ever before, but the harvest will be a little later than usual. Because the cool spring has been great for early crops like squash, kale, Napa cabbage, sunflowers, and zinnias, we need to open and get them picked. If you're just looking for an outing and want to see what will be ready soon, come out and enjoy the morning, with limited expectations. At any time during the open hours, we are likely to be "picked out" on specific items. Admission $2.00-age 2 and up. Please bring your garden shears to cut flowers. See our "Home" tab on this website for more information about visiting the farm. We wish we could open with more, but we are grateful for what we do have, and are looking forward to the season being our best ever; it's just getting off to a slow start.
We're inching closer to our opening date, but with the 6" of rain we got last week and cool, cloudy days, the TONS of berries are just taking their sweet time to ripen. Vegetables are loving this weather, and the updated map shows we added more U-Pick veggie fields this year. Sunflowers are not listed on the map, but there are many rows scattered all over the place, with lots of different varieties and colors. A few days of sunshine is all we need to get this season open, so keep watching here for the for the big announcement of the opening day. TIP: screenshot this map on your phone so you can use it for reference in the field, or it is always available on the SITE MAP tab on this website.
What a difference two months of warmer weather and lots of hard work makes. It should be a great blackberry picking year, with greater production than last year. Jury is still out on when the earliest variety will be ready to pick, and we have the fewest of that kind. We have many more plants of the varieties that usually begin harvest in mid-May and last til the end of July. Due to popular demand, we planted more veggies and sunflowers than last year, but again, weather in the next two weeks will determine their beginning harvest date.
Blackberry field in the (left) background. Lots of white blooms and some green berries now on the earliest producing variety. Muscadine grapes in (right) background with blue trunk liners. Grapevines are only one year old so still too young to predict harvest dates or IF there will be a harvestable amount.
Wow! What a wild crazy season we have had this year! We went from being worried in mid-April that we wouldn't even be allowed to open at all due to Covid-19, to then suddenly being allowed to open AND being one of the few types of business people could get out and enjoy. We appreciate ALL of you who participated in ANY way to keep this season going. We have the most amazing customers who want this farm to succeed, and because you got the word out that this was the place to be, it will! For the first time EVER in the history of our business, we had to limit the amount of blackberries to 1 qt. zip-top bag per person for the first two weeks. But no one seemed to mind, you were just patient and returned again and again when you could pick all you wanted. We work 9 months of the year to get ready for the 3 months you can pick, so for us, the work never ends. We have already completed the first of several prunings of all the peach trees and most of the blackberry plants, so a huge bonfire is on the calendar as soon as we get some rain. After this year, we have a better idea of what to plant more of, and we have plans for some new products next season. Thanks again for your patronage and support, and check back here periodically to see what we have going on to get ready for an even bigger and better 2021 season!
Cooler temps have given the plants a slight break, so the season can still last thru this week. So will be open Thurs. 7/23/20 7:30am-1:00pm. We also plan to open Sat., 7/25/20 if weather permits. Thursday with its high 70's to 80's temps looks like a great day to visit the farm, but pickin's are getting slim on most things so get here early. Saturday weather looks about the same but maybe a slighter chance for rain around noon.
For U-Pick on Thurs. we will have: Thornless Blackberries (last variety still producing nice crop, but only a few rows for early pickers), Figs (Few Celeste, lots of Magnolia, lots of LSU Gold, more LSU Purple every day), Kale (reg, & Dino, amazingly still looking pretty good), Okra, Eggplant, Tomatoes (lots of grape, not many large), Peppers (bell, tons of Tabasco, cayenne, jalapenos, a few ghost, and others), Purple-Hull Peas (patch starting to dry but still some to pick), Cream Peas (lots of good looking ones),Cucumbers (a few left, get here early), Watermelon Radishes (tops don't look great but radishes are fine). Lots of Sunflowers (Some pretty ones left for floral, lots going to seed to pick for bird/squirrel feeders), and lots of gorgeous Zinnias still waiting to be picked ($3/cup).
Pre-picked in market we will have Thursday: Lots of watermelons (red/yellow meat), Cantaloupes (still awesome!), Squash (butternut, spaghetti, Delicata), Pumpkin (Fairy-tale & Cushaw), Fresh-Shelled Purple-Hull Peas and Fresh-Shelled Cream Peas (1-lb bag/$6.00). Please remember to bring your shears for cutting flowers and some vegs.
Will be open Thur. 7/23/20 7:30am-1:00pm for U-pick & market shopping. More info about availability will be posted Wed. 7/22/20.