All Things New

In June when I walked the brambles, I measured and I counted and I weighed. I estimated that we would harvest about 30% of what we did in 2017 for total poundage. In early July we had about seven days that felt timeless… where pails were streaming into the field and smiles and laughing children …

On the Edge

Last weekend I was trying to get work done in my office. With the blackberry season about to start, creamery construction at full pace, and serving as a formal dining Maître D’ or server on alternating nights, life has been full. To my consternation I was informed that Westar Energy had called and said we …

Creamery Dreams

About ten years ago I was sitting at the table with my father and brother discussing goats. How much milk does a goat produce? How much cheese is that? Are there any advantages to smaller production? The questions swirled, and though much discussion was had, they remained mostly unanswered. Three years ago, the questions started …

A House in the Country

So much is coming down. Gentle leaves drop one by one. Pecans down in the southeast corner of our state are making gentle “plunk, plunk plunk, thud” until the harvester shakes a mighty chorus from the rest. Turnip and beet foliage is drooping towards the earth, a deep green as only foliage touched by cold …

In the Heat of Summer

July 12, 2017 Dawn is breaking on another summer day in Kansas. Wisps of cloud belie the reality that it will reach about 100 degrees later today. The last days have been hot; really beautiful Kansas summer days when it is pleasant until about 10am then the heat starts to hit you. Out in the …

2017 Harvest is Upon Us

Harvest is upon us here at Elderslie. 11 months we have waited for these boisterous plants to prepare themselves again for this rite of summer. We have a good 7-10 more days to wait, but the berries are sizing in the heat and starting to turn from green to red in the first little pockets. …

Winter in the Bramble

The “off-season” is a term I get asked about a lot since we are involved in agriculture. I always say that there really are just different seasons. Our blackberries are under covers and will remain there for another 6-8 weeks. Two or three times a week we walk the perimeter looking for rodent incursions or …

Once More

As the heat of a July day seeps and washes over everything it touches I cannot help thinking of Robert Frost’s lines “Miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.” That is where we are. Harvest is past half way through for 2016 but it is hard to say by how …

When Next Year Comes

With June upon us it won’t be long before we will open our You-Pick again here at Elderslie. We are terribly excited to enter into a berry season again with you all. Signup should begin June 16th with our first anticipated picking being on the 20th. Signup (on the website) is required, pails are provided …