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What’s up with Papa Hank? Well, on most days when the weather’s good, you’ll find him working somewhere out amongst the blueberries. At this time of year, it’s easy to spot him between the leafless rows. If all else fails, you can search for that green hat he always wears, or you can give a shout out, or ask our mascot, Jasmine, to lead the way.
Today I found him pruning a few blueberry plants. We spoke about the goji berries and all the new blueberry plants he will be planting. Soon, he’ll have the raspberry plants to sell.
Here are the prices and sizes for his organic plants:
$12.50 small blueberry plant, 2.8 gallon pot
$16.75 large blueberry plant 2.8 gallon pot
$6.50 golden raspberry plants, 2.8 gallon pot
Papa Hank also wants folks to know he will be selling vegetable plants from the farm.
CSA boxes will be available once again: $22/box. The box contains a variety of in-season produce. Hurry to sign up as inventory gets low.
Those coming out to the farm, Jasmine wants you to know she likes Milk Bone Dog Biscuits. I gave her several today. She either eats them on the spot, or runs away and hides them. Greeting visitors is the highlight of her day.
In the spring of 2011, the Co-op Reporter did a story on Skyridge Farm and its owner, Hank Canclini. For those who missed it, here are some highlights.
Hank purchased his land in 1979, a 10.8-acre parcel on Skyridge Rd. With the help of family, they began clearing the land and began selling vegetables at a local farmers market. Hank began looking for a crop to plant that would bring in more money and not be in competition with the produce other vendors had for sale. So, off he went to a U-pick blueberry farm, where he and his family picked 35 pounds of berries. They repackaged them and sold every one. They continued this throughout the summer. For the next two years, Hank brought in loads of compost and roto-tillered till late at night to prepare the soil for planting. Two years later, he ordered and planted 600 blueberry plants. He continued planting over the next five years. He credits his family for the success of the farm.
On Sunday, Aug 28th, Skyridge Farm will be selling its blueberries and produce at El Dorado Hills (Town Center, El Dorado Hills Blvd at Highway 50); 8AM to 1PM.
On our farm we grow a variety of fruits and vegetables: apricots, apples, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, figs, summer squash, kale, chard, egg-plant, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, peaches, strawberries, plums and blueberries.
Our earliest blueberry to ripen is the Duke; the latest are the Elliots and Powder Blues. Depending on Mother Nature, our blueberries can be expected to arrive in the following order: Duke, Spartan, BlueGold and Nui, BlueCrop and Nelson, Misty and Legacy, Chandler, Darrow, Tiff Blue and Elliots, Rahi and Powder Blue.
One of the berries picked early this morning at Skyridge Farm was the Rahi (pronounced rawhi). Picking began at 6 AM. A picker might bring in 12 lbs or more after an hour and a half in the field.
Rahi is a very pretty berry with a light powder. It grows in loose clusters and is a very firm berry. Clusters can consist of 20 or more berries. This is one of our early late season varieties. Customers can begin finding it in our farmers markets this week.