Ben's Berry Farm
Hinckley, MN

Ben's Berry Farm Updates!!!

This is a brief history of Ben's Berry Farm.  We try to chronicle the main events at the farm here and answer some common questions.  Please enjoy reading.
Update 02/21/2011:
As most of you know, we had to delay the greenhouse raising because of an untimely backorder and delivery date (and then snow and cold).  We will be putting up the greenhouses as soon as the ground is clear.

We do have jam available. Ben has been busy making strawberry jam, triple berry jam (strawberry, raspberry, wild blackberry), strawberry-raspberry jam, and strawberry-rhubarb jam.  We have limited quantities available.

We do still plan to plant blackberries and blueberries this year.  These take a couple of years to become established.  We will have triple the strawberries and will be in our second year of raspberries so stop by for all your berry needs!  Planting starts in April, strawberries will be available as early as mid-to-late May.  Looking forward to seeing you!

Two of our greenhouse frames are up, the blueberries and blackberries are planted, and the first strawberries are ripe!  It looks to be a great start to the season.  We will have blueberries and blackberries for 2012.  The raspberries will be ripe in a couple of weeks and continue to produce throughout the summer.  Remember, strawberries will also be available throughout the summer.

Wow, is it hot outside!  The strawberries have reacted to the heat and have limited their production.  That means availability will be limited for the next couple of weeks, please call ahead if you want a large quantity.  Many of our rows are setting new flowers and we expect to see an increase in production beginning with the first part of August.  The summer raspberries are ripe and the fall raspberries are gearing up for production, stop by and pick while they are fresh!  BLUEBERRIES:  We weren't planning for a big crop of blueberries this year, but we do have some available for picking.  Stop by or call to see what's available.

What a way to end summer vacation...with a trip to Ben's Berry Farm! The strawberries are perfect!  Stop by a pick a few.  Summer raspberries are finished and the fall raspberries will be ready by the end of August.  Stop by to pick or call ahead with a pre-pick order.  Don't forget, we have jam!

We're now picking strawberries and fall raspberries. Come on over!  One question many of you ask is if we are "no spray."  We grow our berries naturally; whenever we need to use a product on our berries we rely on organic listed or food grade products (i.e. baking soda).  So, we do spray, but we spray carefully. :)  We will be putting the covers on the greenhouses early in long as the wind cooperates!  This will let us offer strawberries until well into October.

Ten days and counting!  We are looking forward to a new season!  The greenhouses have their covers on and survived the winter well.  The picture below was last year at this time...see the montage on the home page for what it looks like now!!  The raspberries may even beat the strawberries as our first crop this year...probably due to the warm spring we had.  We were unable to overwinter any strawberries but have plenty planted for you to pick.  We have two new varieties (Sweet Ann and Sweet Eve) and well as two returning varieties (Aromas and Albion) that we are giving another try with the greenhouses covered as well as our mainstays: San Andreas and Seascape.  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Last year was a great year!  We are looking forward to another one starting soon!  Our opening date has been pushed to the end of June (very snowy and cold April and cool May).  We didn't have a good return of last years plants but the new plantings are setting strawberries.   The black and yellow raspberries are setting as well and so are the blueberries.  Look for strawberries at the end of June with raspberries to follow a couple weeks later.

We had a late start this year...and the website was down for awhile!  We're picking strawberries and raspberries now, blueberries will follow in a couple of weeks.  We lost most of the blackberries to the very cold winter, but a few places survived where tips rooted in the seam of the floor of the greenhouse.  The strawberries are doing well and we have been picked out early in the morning each morning we've been open so far.  Thanks for a great start.  Looking forward to seeing many returning customers this season!  We are on Facebook...more updates there. 

Looking forward to a great year for strawberries.  We have 3 times the strawberries of last year and will open in one week. Some of the raspberries were set back by the open winter but the newer raspberry patch will will be fun to pick in. We will not have any blueberries this year because of the winter.  We hope those that survived will thrive as the growing year continues and produce again next year.  No blackberries again this year; we keep trying.  Again this year, we will keep Facebook as up to date as possible.  As always, call our farm for the day's berry availability.

We opened on June 21 for strawberry picking this year.  We went back to 1 greenhouse of strawberries, but are planning to plant a second greenhouse with June-bearing strawberries for next summer.  The raspberries look great and plentiful...picking will begin there in a week or so.  We will have some blueberries this summer and a few blackberries.  The blueberries seem to like their new patch and we are in the process of setting up a dedicated blackberry patch.  Again, we will keep the phone message up-to-date and post on Facebook regularly.  Please call for current picking times and berry availability.

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