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The Drought and The Mayhaw Berries

Written by: Bobbie
April 16, 2012

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Dry Mayhaw Berry Tree Stand   |    The trees are green and we did have a nice rain a few weeks ago, but I’ll tell you it has been really dry since then. David Ward, our local Mayhaw expert, and I went out to check the crop earlier this week. Fred went out just a day or two ago. We are all concerned that the berries will not be as plentiful as in the past. We need rain badly but it is too late for the berry crop this year. Our big tree is producing and a few others show signs. We did gather two gallons yesterday. This is pretty early for them to be ripe. I think the unusually warm winter and then one late cold spell affected the setting of blossoms.

A recent article in our local paper stated “61% of lower 48 is abnormally dry.” It has cost Texas millions of dollars and our experience here in Jefferson County is that we often follow that weather pattern. However, the humidity factor here in the southeast may save us from the worst of it. I’m watching the morning weather as I type this and see predictions of smatterings of rain later in the week. We’re expecting a large group of folks here this weekend for the sheep producers conference and I can assure you they will welcome any rain. You know it is bad when even the weeds are stressed.

However, the Mayhaw Berry Harvest Festival will happen. There is still jelly, just not many fresh berries. We will have seedlings this year for sale and there are vendors with local crops and crafts. The hayrides and all the other fun things will happen. So far, the chickens are producing lots of eggs and folks are always looking for them. There will be food and drinks for picnicking or bring your own if you want.

I’m even thinking of having a big dog washing demonstration and maybe you can help. Ben and Woody sure need it. They are really dusty. Wear you grubby clothes and sturdy shoes. Remember this is a ranch with free-range chickens, guineas, dogs and cats and there is always lots of stuff to step in.

I get a kick out of the folks that come in flip-flops and sandals. Our chickens think painted toenails are strawberries and good to eat. Our new pullets (baby hens) should be here. They arrive by mail and are scheduled for delivery the Monday before the festival. And don’t forget the petting place. Stevie, our little blind goat, is looking forward to lots of loving and attention.