After a good start with the first picking around mid- june, we are now seeing the full effect of the Tarnished Plant Bug (TPB) infestation in our fields. The second picking was already only a fraction of what it could have been, and the remaining berries look like this:
They taste good, but really cannot be sold other than for juicing them.
Unfortunately the same fate awaits our late strawberries, which are still a couple of weeks out. No hope right now of any decent harvest for those as well.
Therefore we currently have closed our farm store, but people, who want to pick the unsprayed strawberries as is, are welcome to contact us (PYO pricing is $1/pound). Still a great option for juicing.
We are now thinking about strategies how to avoid this problem for next year , while keeping the strawberries still untreated by any pesticides – the way to go seems to be better weeding and trap crops nearby (maybe Alfalfa). Need to get more input from the experts and google.