PICK YOUR OWN TODAY, Friday , Oct. 28, 2016:
- Apples: picking is good.
- Stayman- red, tart, all purpose
- Granny Smith – green, tart, all purpose
- Pumpkins: picking is good.
- Beets: picking is very good. Look at the ground to judge the size of the beet before picking.
- Kale: picking is fair.
APPLE UPDATE: In late June, there was a tornado with hail. The hail kissed some of the apples and left marks. Most marks are small nicks that are easily removed with the tip of a knife. Please be forgiving of the appearance of some of the apples.
- HAYRIDES – Offered Saturdays & Sundays. A 20 minute ride around the farm and through the woods which are decorated with storybook characters. Fee charged. No reservation needed.
- THE STRAW MAZE – fee charged which is an all day pass. Open every day.
- THE BOO BARN – fee charged which is an all day pass. Open every day.
- APPLE FRITTERS, HAMBURGERS, HOT DOGS AND FRENCH FRIES offered Saturdays and Sundays.
We provide picking containers for adults. We ask that children share or bring their own containers. Please re-use our boxes for picking. They are quite sturdy. You may bring a container to pick in. Please have it weighed at the check out counter before picking so that we may subtract the weight of the container.
The following crops are done for 2016: strawberries, gooseberries, sweet cherries, tart cherries, currants, blueberries, blackberries, and peaches.
It is important, just before leaving the house, to check and make sure there is still ripe fruit for you to pick. The phone recordings and our website are updated everyday and throughout the day to make sure you get accurate information.
- Pink Lady and Gold Rush open on Saturday October 29, 2016.
Harvest season begins when the strawberry crop ripens in early June. The harvest season ends with the apple crop in early November. The first Sunday in November is our last day for the year. For a complete list of all our crops and their approximate ripening times, please click on the Harvest Calendars below.
THE RED BARN FARM MARKET:
The Red Barn is filled with already picked Stayman apples, Granny Smith apples, Golden Delicious apples, Mutsu apples, Fuji apples and Cameo apples, fresh apple cider, sweet potatoes, sweet onions, acorn squash, butternut, squash, Hubbard squash, local cheeses, applesauce, local honey, jams, jellies, syrups, canning and freezing supplies, and fudge.
To decorate your home for Autumn, there is Indian corn, multi-colored gourds, straw bales, and corn stalks.
There is cherry wood and hickory wood for smoking on your home grill.
Our crops in the field change daily based on the growing season and customer demand. Always call the day you are coming, just before leaving the house, to find out what’s available that day and to avoid disappointment. Call 410-442-2605 or 301-854-6110. The telephone recordings and this website are up-dated throughout the day, and everyday, as needed.
- Please leave your dogs/pets at home.
- We provide picking containers for all adults. We ask that children share with their parents or bring their own containers.
- Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted both in the field and in the Red Barn. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. ATM available in the Red Barn.
- Please pay at each field where you pick.
- If you would like an e-mail update of this page during the harvest season, please sign up for our Today’s Harvest Newsletter.
News from the field, 206:
- Sept. 9, 2016. The rows in the next peach orchard have been flagged. The field is ready for grass seed. The rows in the next blackberry field have been flagged and the field is ready for grass seed.
- September 1, 2016. All of the fall crops have been planted. Broccoli will be forming heads soon. The spinach and beets are up. We are planting 2 Asian pears orchards next spring. One field has been prepared and the grass has been planted. The 3/4 ” of rain last night was welcome. The other field is currently growing tomatoes and will be prepared later. We are laying out the rows for a new raspberry field and will soon plant the grass. Both the pear trees and the raspberry plants will be planted next spring.
Site selection for a crop is very important. We consider orientation of the rows to sunlight and air drainage. If the dew dries earlier in the morning then there is less chance of fungal diseases spreading through the crop. We also consider the ability to irrigate, parking for customers, proximity to other crops of the same harvest season and crop history of the field.
- August 26, 2016. The weather has increased the work load substantially. The crops are doing well and are productive but it is making us work a lot harder. I’m tired.
- August 7, 2016. We are planting fall crops: broccoli, beets, spinach, kale and turnips for harvest in mid-September and October. We are also preparing fields for spring planting. Next spring we will be planting these permanent crops: apples, peaches, red raspberries, blueberries and Asian pears. For these crops the fields have been limed and fertilized as needed. Manure is added for certain crops. Then rows are laid out for erosion prevention and drainage. The grass is planted this fall and a cover crop of forage radishes is planted in the row where the crop will be planted. All the plant material has been ordered last year and this year.
- June 24, 2016. Mother Nature continues to deliver surprises. The tornado touched down on the farm Tuesday, June 21 in the early afternoon. Fortunately there was no damage to people, houses, barns, or equipment. Many of the trellised crops are leaning over and need repair. There are lots of downed trees to clean up. There was about 5 minutes of hail that damaged some peaches and apples. We are still cleaning up and will be so for days.
- June 17, 2016. The strawberry harvest turned out better than I thought. The plants compensated for the frost killed blossoms and produced nice fruit on the remaining blossoms. Mother Nature has many tricks up her sleeve.
- May 30, 2016. Three days of sunshine have made a big difference. Strawberry ripening has improved, good flavor has developed, and picking is good. Plants are growing well.
- May 28, 2016. Opening day for pick your own strawberries. all of the ripe berries were picked by noon and the fields are closed until Monday, May 30, Memorial Day 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
- May 27, 2016. We planted 5200 tomato plants today. It was so hot the plants wilted immediately. Then we had to irrigate the field to remove heat from the field. The tomato plants have perked up.
- Late May. It has been a long, cold, wet spring. Planting crops has been delayed and difficult. BUT, SO FAR, SO GOOD. The crops that we planted this spring look good. We planted: 325 peach trees, 1500 apple trees, 310 Asian pears, 2,400 blackberry plants, 22,000 strawberry plants, and several acres of grass. The cloudy weather with plenty of rain makes it easy for the transplants to settle in and start growing. It just makes it hard to get in the fields and continue to plant. If you work ground with excess moisture, it destroys the soil structure and turns it into brick. Then the roots cannot penetrate the soil and grow. It is important to wait for the right soil moisture content before entering the fields with heavy equipment.
- October 29. After the last rain, it got dry again. We irrigated the broccoli a few days ago as it had not increased in size for two weeks. Now the heads are growing well and will be ready for harvest Saturday, Oct. 31. The end of the growing season is drawing near.
- October 21. Repaired the erosion damage to the big waterway below field 56. All of the area was smoothed out and replanted in grass seed. The area was fertilized and new curlex was put down to prevent erosion and protect the new grass seedlings once they emerge.
- October 15. We have been hand treating hard to kill perennial weeds in the orchards and blueberries. These weeds are strong and extensive root systems that make them very hard to kill. We have been fighting these weeds for many years. Hopefully this special hand treatment will be effective. These weeds not only compete for water and nutrients, they also harbor diseases and insects.
- October 6. The excessive rains caused some damage on the newly planted fields. The repairs are tedious and difficult because of all the hand labor involved. The damage could have been much worse so I am glad we only have some repairs to make and not many repairs.
- October 4. Over 5″ of rain in the last 4 days have fallen. The farm is a muddy mess. We have tried to minimize the damage by closing the pick your own fields and orchards and not doing hayrides. When the soil is wet, if you compress it by walking on it or driving on it, when the soil dries it turns into a brick that will not grow crops. Once this happens, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to return the damaged soil into good growing conditions. So we try very hard never to let the damage occur in the first place.
- September 24. The grass has germinated in the new plantings with the irrigation that has been applied for the last 4 weeks. The fields look good.
- September 5. All of the fields to be planted in perennial crops next year have been prepared and planted.
- August 27. Laid out the new blackberry field for planting next spring. The hillside slopes in 3 different directions and it took 2 people almost 3 days to lay out the rows. Tomorrow we will plant grass and spring oats. The spring oats will germinate quickly and protect the soil from erosion. Then they will die out during the winter and allow the grass to grow. The blackberry plants will be planted next spring.
- August 22. Preparing to plant orchards next spring. The fields are laid out. The rows are established. The grass is planted now. The fruit trees will be planted next spring. The fruit trees were ordered over a year ago to ensure we get the varieties we want. Also we are preparing a new blackberry field.
- August 18. Finished planting all of the fall vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, spinach, turnips, kale and chard.
- August 6. Much of the work force is college students who will soon be leaving for college. If you are looking for full/part time work for August-early November, we would love to talk to you.
- August 5. Peach harvest is in full swing. Planting the second planting of broccoli for harvest in early October. Finished pruning the tart cherry trees. Positioning new canes on the red raspberry plants for next years’ harvest.
- July 31. Finished pruning the sweet cherry trees and now starting on the tart cherry trees. Weeding the new plantings of blueberries and apples. Harvesting peaches, vegetables and tomatoes daily.
- July 23. Planting fall vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, chard, kale and turnips.
- July 15. Pruning cherry trees. normally fruit trees are pruned during the dormant season. Because of severe bacterial canker disease that is prevalent in this area, we prune in the summer to minimize exposure to the bacteria.
- July 2 Summer pruning peach trees. Next years’ crop is set in August and September. Pruning now removes excess vegetation and allows sunlight into the tree. The remaining branches will set a better crop when they receive more sunlight. Summer pruning will take about 3 weeks.
- July 1. Planted the fourth and last planting of tomatoes. These tomatoes will ripen in September and October. Prepared to open blackberries for pick your own. Attached apple trees to the trellis to protect them from the high winds. Repaired ditches caused by the unusually high amounts of rainfall lately. Pruned the new canes on black raspberries to allow for picking and to keep next years’ crops at a convenient picking height.
- June 18. Getting ready for the transition from strawberry season to the early summer fruits: blueberries, raspberries, cherries, gooseberries and currants. The baling is done and the bales of straw are in the barn to stay dry until mulching season in November. The pumpkins are up and growing. The summer cover crops (about 15 acres) are just coming up. This includes buckwheat for pollinators, sudex to build healthy soil, and sunflowers for pollinators and for our enjoyment. Sometimes it is nice to plant a crop, such as sunflowers, just because it makes everyone feel good. Planted the third tomato planting, the second planting of squash and cantaloupes, and the last planting of cut flowers.
- June 12: Still thinning peaches. We have about 21 acres of peaches. That’s about 2700 trees. It takes 5-10 minutes to do a tree, by hand. We are about half way done.
- June 10: baling rye straw for mulching strawberries in November. We grow our own straw so we can control the weed seed that might be in the bales. This reduces herbicide use in the strawberry fields. We use about 125 large round bales of straw to cover the strawberry fields for the winter. The straw does many things: prevents ground from heaving during freezing temperatures; keeps soil from splashing up on the berries when it rains so the fruit stays clean; prevents a fungal disease that is present in the soil from splashing up on the fruit and rotting the berries and thus the straw allows us to reduce fungicide applications.
- June 2: Draining the farm following 3.5″ of rain in the last 30 hours. Staking and stringing tomatoes. Weeding raspberries. Starting to thin peaches. Many times a peach tree will have many more peaches on the tree then it is able to bring to harvest. So, by hand, the excess peaches are removed from the tree. This year I think it will take 3-4 weeks to thin peaches. Cherries are starting to ripen.
- May 30: planting pumpkins, mowing, de-blossoming new strawberry plants so the plants will grow stronger and larger for a better crop next year, training new shoots on the grapes, and still putting pheromones in the apple orchard.
- May 27: The influence of weather always amazes me. We have gone from scattered strawberry picking to excellent picking in just two days.
- May 26: Working on the irrigation system. Even with plenty of natural rainfall, we constantly use the irrigation: germinating and watering tender new planting, cooling fruit in the strawberry fields to prevent sun scald on ripe berries, supplementing rainfall during critical growth stages of the crops to improve the quality of the harvest, etc.
- May 25: Opening day for pick your own strawberries!
- May 19-22, 2015. Getting ready to open May 25. Still pruning blueberries, removing blossoms from young blueberry plants to grow a stronger plant and bear better fruit in future years. Installing pheromones in fruit trees to confuse male moths. This prevents the moths from mating. Then they can’t lay eggs on the fruit and leaves and cause feeding damage. The use of pheromones allows us to decrease pesticide usage.
- May 13-18, 2015. Planted the third planting of tomatoes. Installed irrigation to the new field of gooseberries and currants, the 4 new rows of grapes, and the new row of plums. Put trickle irrigation in the tomatoes. Fertilized all the perennial crops: peaches, apples, cherries, plums, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries; and the beets and spinach. Planted the cut flower garden. Mowed the farm. It takes 3-4 days to mow the entire farm with an 8 foot wide mower.
- May 3-12, 2015. It has been very busy here. All the pruning is done except for the blueberries and that is about one-third done. The second planting of tomatoes is in the ground. The peppers and eggplants are planted and I will work on squash and cantaloupes this afternoon. It is dry now and Fenby has been working very hard on the irrigation system. Water is running in many fields. The market crew is cleaning the Red Barn and preparing to open. Looks like opening day will be sometime between May 28 and June 5. We hope it will be soon. The strawberry fields look good.
- May 2, 2015. Finished pruning the blackberries and started on the black raspberries.
- April 30, 2015. Re-planted missing or dead apples and peaches in young orchards. Came across some diseased fruit trees. Taking samples to the plant clinic today.
- April 28, 2015. Finished pruning the peach trees. Started pruning the blackberries.
- April 25, 2015. Planted 145 peach trees, 10 plum trees, 66 apple trees, lettuce, kale and flowers for the cutting garden. Still pruning.
- April 24, 2015. Planted 90 seedless table grapes, 4 different varieties. Planted grass in parts of the apple orchard. Still pruning.
- April 23, 2015. Planted 725 blueberry plants. Still pruning.
- April 20-22, 2015. Pruned peaches and pears. It takes 7-9 people about 3 months to prune all the fruit trees on the farm. All the pruning is done by hand. Each tree takes 5-20 minutes to prune depending on size and variety.
- April 19, 2015. Planted 400 gooseberry plants and 245 currant plants. The plants will produce a small amount of fruit in year 3 and be fully mature by year 5. Replaced 245 blueberry plants that did not survive the winter. Planted the beets, Swiss chard and spinach. Planted grass in one apple orchard.
- April 17-18, 2015. Planted 48,000 strawberry plants for fruiting in 2016. The first year the blossoms are removed by hand to allow the strawberry plant to grow enough to fill in the row. They are fruited for the next 2 to 3 years and then replaced. Planted the grass around the outside of the strawberry field and down the drive aisles.
- April 16, 2015. Planted the first of four planting of tomatoes. These transplants are on black plastic which is used to warm the soil. Then the plants are covered with a row cover to protect the tender plants from wind and cold temperatures. Without these measures we would not be able to plant tomatoes until mid May. These tomatoes should ripen in mid to late July.
- April 6, 2015. Planted potatoes.
- April 3, 2015. Planted sweet onions.
- March 2015. The spring thaw has begun. We are cleaning up from winter damage and getting ready for the spring planting season. This spring we have many perennial crops to plant: strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, seedless table grapes, apples, peaches, plums, and Asian pears. This is in addition to all the annual vegetable crops we routinely plant: tomatoes, spinach, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Swiss chard, squash, eggplant, peppers, snap beans, lettuce, turnips, cut flowers, and pumpkins. And to protect and build the soil, provide habitat for pollinators, and reduce soil and water erosion, we plant a lot of cover crops: cereal rye, hairy vetch, buckwheat, sunflowers, forage radishes, sudex, millet, spring oats, wheat, etc.
Our family thanks you for picking Larriland Farm!