Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Honeycrisp apple is ready!

Finally time for your guy's favorite apple!

Honeycrisp are an excellent eating apple.  Very juicy and sweet.  They are also great for baking and applesauce.  Honeycrisp keep their shape well when baked.

We have 3 rows of Honeycrisp, and an " every other tree is Honeycrisp" row.  As of right now, you will find the ripest Honeycrisp on the most eastern outside row of the 3 Honeycrisp rows,  and on the "every other tree is Honeycrisp" row.  If that is confusing, pretty soon all will be the same and it won't matter :)

honeycrisp 1

Honeycrisp 2

Honeycrisp 3

Some of the Honeycrisp are more red (a tiny bit more ripe), and some are more green colored, like the bottom photo but don't worry, they are all sweet.  The green ones just don't get as much sunshine so don't get a chance to get as red.

Other apples still yummy and available:


Ruby Mac


(Check previous blog posts for information/pictures on each of these varieties)

Bartlett Pears are SOLD OUT.
In awhile we will have D'Anjou pears available.  I'll let you know when!




FYI, We are also on Facebook under Beilke Family Farm if you want another way to hear when your favorite apple is ready.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gala and Smoothies are ready!

For some reason apple season doesn't officially start in my mind until Gala are ready.  
So I guess it is official :)

Galas are one of our sweetest apples. They are great for applesauce, baking and eating.  Lots of these available!

Smoothies are a early ripening variety of Golden Delicious.  They are a sweet apple too that are great for eating and baking.

 They are a little hidden so we have a big white sign guiding you but you have to walk past half a row of seemingly good Golden Delicous (that are NOT ripe) to get to the Smoothies which ARE ripe :)  Trust me they are worth the effort.  They are very tasty!

And still lots of Ruby Mac out there of course.

Still have Bartlett pears available too!

ALSO wanted to let you know that we will have more limited hours on Sundays this year, and will be open 12pm-6pm.

See you in the orchard!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good News or Bad News First?

Don't worry it is nothing life or death.  Let me just say that first!

I always like to get the bad news over with first.....

Bad news:  Gravenstein apples have all been picked.  Do I hear any groans?
I hope everyone that wanted some were able to get some this year!  I think this year was a record for how fast they were picked!  Glad you guys are enjoying them!

GOOD NEWS:  We do have another apple ripe!  Ruby Mac apples are ready now.
Ruby Mac are a great eating apple and for applesauce.  You can use them in pies too but is best to mix with another apple since Ruby Mac break down easily when cooked.

Ruby Mac 1ruby mac 3

(The Ruby Mac picture on the left has been shined up on my pant leg :) The left picture is straight from the tree.

We also have Bartlett pears pre-picked available to you.  $5 for a small bucket, $11 for a 5 gallon bucket.

bartlett  pears

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Apple Season is here! Gravenstein apples are starting us off.

Everyone keeps asking if the Gravensteins are ready.  It is finally time!

Come pick starting tomorrow! (Monday), 8am-dusk.

(Gravenstein are the only apple ready now!  Ruby Mac and Gala will be coming next but NOT ripe yet).

Gravenstein apples are an old time favorite.  They are excellent for baking and applesauce, probably one of the best, in many people's opinion.  Sweet-tart flavor with an excellent crunch.

Many people I know, will let the apples sit for awhile before they use them for their pies, almost until they are getting a few days from throwing out, but not too soft that you can't use one of those apple/peeler/corer "machines."   They make a really good pie filling that breaks down some, instead of staying in stiff slices.
We have half a row of Gravenstein so if they are a must for you, don't waste time in coming.  They usually go pretty fast.

The closest way to find the Gravenstein apples, and the least far to carry the buckets are if you park up by the office/shop instead of out back like you would later in the season.  Follow the signs that are to the south of the shop and they will take you out to the Gravensteins.

It will be a bit self-serve for Gravenstein, but once we get going with Ruby Mac and Gala, we will have people working to help you more out in the orchard.  In the meantime, I hope the signs will guide you to where you want to go!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Honeycrisp Trees are in the Ground!

Small Updates First:  

We will be having We-Pick/U-Pick Blueberries this Saturday, 9am-4pm but Saturday may be the last day.  Possibly next Thursday thru Saturday we may be open depending on how the fruit looks.  But after that we say good-bye to blueberries for another year.

But the good news is that U-Pick apples are right around the corner.  We keep checking our Gravensteins.  Still a bit too green but will keep checking and I will post on here when they are ready. 

Farm Happenings:

Skid steer with auger = good!  Shovel = No good!
I am so thankful for advances in technology.   Using the auger to dig the tree holes was great.  We even had a smaller one for the post holes.  Of course, I AM thankful for shovels too because they do fill the holes in.
Doug digging holes
Digging apple tree holes with an auger.

trees before planted
Grandpa supervising the planting.
We strung a line to keep the row straight, then started planting.

If you look closely, you can see the tree is grafted.  I think I talked about this in a previous post a bit but a little recap.  It is impossible to get Honeycrisp trees right now ordered in so we took some cuttings and grafted them onto  Golden Delicious trees.  Eventually we will cut the Golden Delicious tree off as the Honeycrisp graft takes off. (And actually ALL apple trees are grafted....the bottom rootstock decides how big the tree will grow, and the top graft decides what kind of fruit the tree will bear.)
completed apple orchard
And there they be!  All planted and ready to grow.
Next things to check off are to get some sprinkler heads attached to the underground irrigation and plant some grass rows.  Oh and of course continue putting the posts up (working on that now) and stringing some wire to help train the trees to grow straight.

And something just for fun.....
We are hoping this keeps the birds from stealing our blueberries.
All Birds Do not Go Beyond This FenceBurma Shave style  :)
Hope you are all are surviving the heat!  I'm sure some of you LOVE it!  And others, like me, are just trying to survive it :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Opening for U-Pick/We-Pick Blueberries Thurs, July 17th


We want to open our blueberry field up for you to enjoy!

7 Acres loaded with berries.

Bluecrop variety is nice and sweet.  Our favorite variety to eat!


Open 9am - 4pm Thursday thru Saturdays.

Starting July 17th thru mid August.

 U-Pick     $1.20/ lb
We-Pick $ 2.00/lb
(To order email us at, or call 503-393-1077 (leaving a message) one day ahead and we can have them ready for pick up the next day between Thursday and Saturdays..
You can find us just a few blocks east of our U-Pick apple location.
The address is 5371 Brooklake Rd, Downtown Brooks OR 97305.

From I-5, Take exit 263 (Brooks).  Turn to the East off the exit ramp.  Continue east through the only traffic light in Brooks.  After several houses, our field is on the left.  The field is hard to miss because it is covered with tall netting.  Turn in the driveway BEFORE the netting, not after.
If you get lost but are familiar with our U-Pick apple location, come there and we can help you.
Field rules:
For food safety reasons, all who enter MUST wash their hands.
No animals please.
We have containers to pick into, but bring your own to take the berries home.

plain blueberries

bb row

Can't wait to see you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blueberry season begins!

It's blueberry time around here.  My son is enjoying the abundance :)  He says, "Mmm these are good."

Our blueberries are packed into clam shells and shipped all over the West Coast and Japan.  We grow 3 different varieties that are early, mid and late season ripening so we are busy from late June to mid August.  Some fields we have to pick two times and some with 4 pickings because each variety ripens differently.  Between each picking, we have to wait about 13 days.  Some fields we pick by hand and some by machine.  Keeps us on our toes.  Our oldest field we planted in 1995 and our latest in 2012.


blueberry plants

This could be a whole another post (which it might be!), but we take lots of efforts to deter the birds from eating our blueberries!  When you work all year keeping the berries maintained and growing healthy, and the birds take the berries right when they are ready to harvest, it is painful to watch!!!  One deterrent is putting net over 12 of our 35 acres of berries.  The picture below is of us putting a net over 12 acres of our blueberries.  The net stays up year round, except we unroll the different sections in the spring.  It usually takes 2 weeks to put it up and 1 week to take it down.

putting up net, cart
We have also finished up thinning our apples.
Doug apple thinning
Now we are working on putting in 3 new rows of Honeycrisp.  That includes getting the ground worked up and smooth, a soil test to see if the soil needs amended.  Plus rows spaced and staked, trenching for the irrigation pipe, ordering and installation of the underground irrigation, digging of post and tree holes, and finally planting of the trees! And even with all that, I am sure I am forgetting something!
The trenching machine for underground irrigation. Better than a shovel!
Noe apple irrigation
Gluing the PVC pipe
Next week we are hoping to start planting the apple trees depending on the weather and how busy we are with blueberries.
On another subject, it has been rainy around here.  We were checking on our wheat and plenty has laid down.  It will make it harder to harvest because the wheat header has a harder time cutting it when it is down, but we'll make it.

Erin wheat
Checking out the wheat stand.
Hose reel stuck Sometimes it feels like nothing can be easy around here :)  This is the hose reel that waters our corn and it got stuck pretty bad!  We got it out though with 3 chains end to end and a big tractor.  The picture below is the sprinkler on the end of the big coiled up black hose on the hose reel.
hose reel gun
Hose reel sprinkler cart
You hook the sprinkler to the back of a small tractor and pull it out how far you want it in the field.  Once it is all set up, you start the hose reel and it slowly pulls the sprinkler cart in depending on the amount of water you want to put on the field.
radish wheellineOther crops we are growing are, radish seed (white flowers) and dwarf chinese cabbage (yellow flowers).  After bloom then we let them dry up before they are harvested.
Well I am off to go pick up a truckload of blueberry crates.  Have a great rest of the day!