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Oh Hail No!

Mother Nature-1, LaMora Farms-0

Remember the very first blog post where we optimistically hoped for smooth sailing but realistically expected some kind of unavoidable tragedy this season?  Well, the whole ‘just because the water is calm doesn’t mean there aren’t any alligators’ proverb was realized yet again as we got bit by an alligator 2 weeks ago.  As growers, much of what we do throughout the day is dictated by the weather so when we saw that threatening big red blob on the radar we knew we were in for trouble. Lucky for us our home farm was untouched, unlucky for us one of our satellite farms – and a big chunk of our HoneyCrisp crop- was hit pretty hard with the 4-letter word of farming: h-a-i-l.   And that’s the way it goes…you invest blindly all season in a crop that in an instant becomes worth a mere fraction of what it should have been.  There’s nothing more discouraging or disheartening than knowing you did everything you could to grow a beautiful crop of fresh fruit and by a random act of nature it’s now a scarred up mess which will be dumped into the processing market.  So what now?  Well….nothing.  If farming teaches you nothing else it teaches you resilience. You may hang your head for a minute but the rest of the farm isn’t stopping to mourn so you get back on the horse and move on.  That being said, you can look for more ‘Ugly Honey’s’ back on the Garden Gazebo this fall….if you remember last season’s drought caused a calcium deficiency called bitterpit which left indented discolored ‘pocks’ in the otherwise perfectly delicious fan favorite variety…rather than toss them in the woods we sold these ‘Half-Price Honey’s’  for 1/2 the price of the non-blemished apples- and the conversations this led to actually started the wheels turning on writing this blog in the first place.  Don’t worry- we’ll have PLENTY of beautiful HoneyCrisp for sale this season…but for those who enjoyed saving the ‘Ugly Honey’s,’ we’ll have some of those too which have been ‘kissed by nature.’

Outstanding in our Field.

In other exciting and not so depressing news, we opened the doors to U-Pick Strawberries this week!  Like any other new endeavor we were nervous about how well-received this would be…but the feedback and response from customers has been absolutely amazing!  MANY u-pickers told us not only did we have the best berries they’d seen all season but that we had the best u-picking patch out there!  There is no greater compliment than when a customer is leaving and says, “wow- those are just beautiful, I have to take a picture.”  The photo above was from one of those u-pickers, and it made our day.  And since the patch isn’t right up by the road, it’s been a great opportunity for our customers to get a peek into our farm, many of whom didn’t even realize was back there at all.  So come see us, for $2.50/quart you get beautiful, delicious homegrown berries, fresh air and a glimpse into our world…and just ask our customers, the best berries are the ones U-PICK at LaMora Farms!  🙂

Let’s Eat.

Calling all canners and jammers!  We’ve got billions of berries!  That means we’ve started to generate some extra berries day to day which we sell at a discount for those who want to save some homegrown goodness for later.  Try this Strawberry Jam Recipe which is a long-time favorite.  And for those fresh berries, try our No Bake Strawberry Cream Pie listed on our website…it’s a light, delicious dessert perfect for an after dinner treat.  So whether you eat ’em now or eat ’em later, our berries won’t disappoint.

Next week look for SWEET CHERRIES and RASPBERRIES available at the stand…and as always, thank you for taking the time to ‘Grow With Us!’