Article in this week's Daingerfield Bee
. May not be archived there so I've made a copy here.Seasonal fruit is ready to pick in Daingerfield
Eva and Sid Greer show off the thumb-size blackberries
raised on the Greer Farm. The berries are ready for picking.
By Marlene J. Bohr
Spring provides a smorgasbord of goodies to eat, and included in this array are blueberries and blackberries. Due to the diligent planning by Sid Greer and his son, Karl Greer of Daingerfield, the literal fruits of their efforts are ready for enjoyment by area residents.
“The first blueberries and blackberries were planted on the Greer Farm in 2005,” Mr. Greer said. “We planted five acres of blueberries with 4,000 plants. We have an acre of blackberries with 800 blackberry plants. The variety of blackberries planted are thornless and those with thorns. The blackberries are the jumbos that are the size of a thumb.”
According to Mr. Greer, after they planted the bushes, they installed drip irrigation. “Drip irrigation consists of black, plastic pipes that run along all the rows so that each plant is watered all the time,” Mr. Greer said. “Things were difficult with the drought we experienced last year. We lost about 10 percent of the plants, but they have been replaced.”
Growing the berry plants has not been easy, according to Mr. Greer. “The learning curve on how to grow the plants has been steep,” Mr. Greer said. “It has taken awhile to learn how to do it. You would think it would be very profitable for a small acreage, but it is very intensive as far as work. “The work is year round. There is pruning to be done in winter and some organic sprays that also need to be applied in the winter. So, in the winter you are shaping the plants for their production in the summer.”
Blueberry bushes get in full production in about six years, so the bushes at the Greer Farm are about at half production. “There are numerous berries already at this time of year,” Mr. Greer said. “We have picnic tables, little red wagons for kids and adults, and restroom facilities. You can pick your own berries, or we can pick them for you if you call ahead at 903-645-3232, or contact us through our Web site at www.greerfarm.com
Blackberries are available around Memorial Day, and blueberries are ready shortly after. Both plants will be producing until mid-July.