Asparagus Price 2014

Just a quick update…we realized we left out the price per pound on asparagus in the post below.  This year we’ll be asking $4/pound for fresh asparagus.

Asparagus Orders

Hello everyone!
After a winter that seemed to go on forever, the ground is warming up and that means the asparagus will be making its appearance soon!

We wanted to fill you in on some details about how to order your fresh asparagus this spring, as we are making some changes from last year on how we deal with orders.

Beginning now, we will take orders by e-mail, phone (660-342-1771), or Contact Us form on our website ONLY (no orders by social media including  comments on blog posts please!) for a specific poundage of asparagus.  We will fill these orders in the order we receive them when the asparagus comes up.  When we have enough asparagus to fill your order you may pick up your order in Kirksville.  We’ll establish the days of the week we will be bringing the asparagus orders to town, pick-up times, and location of pick-up, at a future date.

If you place an order and state which date you will be picking it up that week,  please make sure to show up at the specified time and place to  pick up your asparagus.  If you don’t show up we will assume you have decided you did not want (or could not because something came up) your order and it will be applied to the next person’s order in line.  We know “life happens” and you just had something happen to prevent picking up your order.  Please just re-order and we will put you in line for the next available asparagus.  We want to keep the asparagus as fresh as possible from cutting to you and that is the reason for this protocol.

When the asparagus comes up, we’ll notify everyone we have on our e-mail list and those who are following the website.  If you want to be added to our e-mail list, please let us know by e-mailing or calling.

End of a Surprising Season

We have come to the end of the 2013 season and what a surprise it was.   Due to the late winter, rain, and fairly mild temperatures the berries did extremely well despite the 50 year drought last year.   I had also pruned very heavily due to a large amount of diseased canes.   So I am very thankful for the bounty.  What was really nice is the berries stayed rather large most of the way through.    We had very good customer turnout from all over the region, Kirksville being, of course, about 80% of our patrons.  We had quite a few who were new to our farm and also blueberry picking.  That is very exciting too.

With all that being said, I want to say “praise God from whom all blessings flow.”  He causes His rain to rain on the just and unjust.  That means that if you are alive, it is because God has allowed you to be.  If God withheld His protection from us we would not be alive for one millisecond.  And I am definitely being treated better than I deserve (as Dave Ramsey would say).  Men think they are really in control but the truth is that God is in control. He is Holy (totally “other” than us), righteous, just, and loving.    I am eternally grateful for his eternal gift of Jesus Christ.  The Father willed that His beloved Son would be crushed on the Cross for me.  That while I was still His enemy, Christ died for me (Romans 5).

So, I quote to you a section from I Corinthians 15:

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. ”

Some of you may wonder about this, the Gospel (good news).  If you ever would like to know more, please feel free to contact me.  It’s my whole reason for living!

Ok, so just a “heads up”  for next year…

We should have quite a bit of asparagus for the  Spring of 2014 (Lord willing).  We are changing how we deal with orders.  When the time comes that it is ready to pick, we will notify everyone we have on our list.  If you want to be added to our e-mail list, please let us know via e-mail or call.   When that time comes we will take specific orders for a specific amount of poundage.  The orders will be taken Monday through Friday, and we will have a specific time and place for all to pick up their orders at a designated  place in Kirksville.  This will insure that the asparagus we bring to you will be the freshest possible.  Many people commented on how tender and delicious our asparagus was this year.   So that is just a  preview.  We will post more specifics next spring.

Blessings in Christ,

Robert (Blueberry Bob)

Irrigation

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Unravelling a roll of drip tube is a bit tricky.  If one gets careless about it one may end up with one great big tangled mess.

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…it’s kind of like working with a lariat rope.

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….one person is taking off the roll and another is pulling it up the hill.   Teamwork!

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Attaching the drip tube to the riser is a snap (and twist).

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A bit tricky pushing the tube onto the connection.

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Gotta get the tube next to the plants.

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Cutting the tube off the end.  Notice the built in emitter inside the tube to the left.   This is where the water drip out at a rate of approximately .5 gal per hour.

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Need to remember to close off the end of each drip tube with a “figure eight” closure.

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That’s all there is to it……well, actually there was quite a bit of work that took place last fall in putting all the main water line and electrical signal wires etc…  This was just the “icing on the cake”

Great asparagus info

If you’re interested in asparagus, check out this link with some really interesting facts about asparagus.  http://www.asparagus.org/maab/facts.html

Such as, did you know it’s a member of the lily family and under ideal conditions can grow 10 inches per 24 hours?? And with deep soil it can send down roots 10 feet!

Here are nutrition facts: http://www.asparagus.org/maab/nutrition.html

And some tips on storing it…http://www.asparagus.org/maab/recipes/storage.html

An Asparagus Lover says…

Asparagus, yum!

I prepare asparagus by pouring a little olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish or pan, rolling the spears so they’re covered, in a single layer, sprinkle with sea salt, roast/bake in a hot oven (400′) until browned, turning them to get browned all over. Doesn’t take very long, but it makes them so delicious.
I hope to freeze some.  Then I will probably use it in frittatas, or scrambled eggs.  I did see a picture of Schwan’s frozen asparagus on skewers on a grill, and that looked promising.  I’m not much on just cooking it like green beans, because it gets too slimy… .” Yet onward I haste to the heavenly feast: That, that is the fulness; but this is the taste.”  C.Wesley
-CK

Last Big Planting!

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Boxes filled with plants–Bluecrop, Patriot, Blueray, and Legacy. Some we used for replacements in
Zones 1-3.

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We were SO thankful for our wonderful help this year, the M. family and Daniel and Ginger P. It only took four hours to plant about 700 plants! Here Andrew M. digs holes for the planters.

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Grant planting.

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Make sure you keep the crown above ground…!

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We had already put some mulch along most of the rows, so it was easy to pull around the new plants.

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Alyse M. being a great helper!

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Such a beautiful day for planting!

2013 Blueberry Outlook

As I write this note, we are awaiting our third major snowstorm for 2013. You won’t find me complaining because I am thrilled over having the much needed moisture. Our main irrigation pond was reduced to 5 feet of water (normally about 2 times that deep) last year. I then switched to our back up pond and sucked it down about 5 feet. I was amazed that over the winter, especially after the last snow storms and rains, both ponds are full! I am very thankful. Another thing that I’m thankful for is for the extended cold (please don’t be angry with me). This is really good news for all of us who raise fruit crops. Maybe we will not have to deal with frost after everything is bloomed out like the last few years.
I think it is really shaping up to be a good growing year (that’s the good news) The problem is we are still reeling from the effects of drought and stem blight disease from 2012.
About 10 % of our bushes died and probably another 20% have been affected to where they didn’t have good bud set. We also had to prune pretty heavily so as to invigorate the languishing bushes. This further reduces the crop. So, sad to say, we will be limited on the amount of berries we have this year. I will keep everyone abreast as harvest time approaches as to how many berries we will actually have. We do have 800 new plants coming to finish off the final two zones. Some of those will be replacements for the plants we pulled up last year.

Blueberry Bob

1{A Psalm of David.} Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103)

Almost Spring Update

Happily, spring is just a couple weeks away.  It doesn’t much look like it, since we’ve been inundated in the past two weeks with an accumulation of 18 inches or so of snow–which we are NOT prepared for here in Northeast Missouri! Last week three of us were stranded in town for the night simply because the small amount of new snow drifted so badly on Lost Branch Way that my dad even got stuck in our four wheel drive truck!  We are very grateful for the moisture, though, since the drought last summer really depleted our water supply.

The primary location for the 2013 Missouri Blueberry School was moved to town, as the snow was too bad out here.  It went very well, however, and many brave people came out to practice pruning some of our blueberry bushes amid the drifts of snow.

Below is my dad giving his talk during the blueberry school, along with Patrick Byers,  a University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist.

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Another pic of the pets is in order.  We saw this this morning and had to document it…

IMG_2884It really is a love-hate relationship!

The lambs are still coming.  “My” black sheep had twins yesterday! I saw she had a white one, so I went outside to investigate.  Seeing a mostly white exactly-like-a-Katahdin lamb was kinda disappointing after all my speculations as to what a black Finn/Romanov crossed with mostly white Katahdins was going to look like.  But, I was then delighted to watch the birth of this:IMG_2892

So cute!

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Like Mother, like daughter. :) And she is turning out to be a pretty good Mother, thankfully, since I had heard that her breed might not be too good at lambing.

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Mama is keeping a wary eye on the black thing that makes weird noises and flashes.

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Join us for the 2013 Missouri Blueberry School!

Sponsored by the University of Missouri Extension, Missouri State University, and the Missouri Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant program, the Winter Blueberry Management Workshop will be held at our farm on Friday, March 1, 2013, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

From the flyer:
“Join the Missouri Blueberry School for a hands-on workshop that focuses on blueberry planting managment, pruning, weed control, disease management, and food safety. Bring your pruners, appropriate outdoor clothing, and your questions!

Workshop location:
Lost Branch Blueberry Farm

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Pre-registration is required to attend the workshop and is $20 per person, which includes lunch, refreshments, and educational materials. The workshop will be limited to 30 participants. Please pre-register by February 26 by contacting the Adair County Extension Center at 660-665-9866 or email schutter@missouri.edu.