the rains from friday and saturday stopped just in time for the brazos locavores‘ monthly field trip to king’s orchard, a 28 acre u-pick berry farm located in todd mission, tx, just south of plantersville. king’s orchard has been in business for 28 years and is named after king george, the proprietor of the texas renaissance festival that is held every year on adjacent property. the orchard offers a variety of fruits, berries, vegetables and cut flowers for retail picking.
while it’s far from ren fair season, strawberry season is upon us, and that was the primary reason for our visit. according to their website, king’s orchard has six acres of strawberries in production – approximately 105,000 plants conveniently arranged in (96) five hundred foot rows… that’s nine miles of berries to choose from! new strawberries are planted every october in extra high raised beds (approximately 18 inches high x 3 feet wide) and covered with black plastic mulch, allowing these plants to produce approximately 50,000 pounds of fruit seasonally (february-may).
karen, our tour hostess, told us that strawberry plants have five rounds of blooms per season. as we picked, you saw everything from bloom to fruit, with a variety of ripeness in-between. the recent rains made the ripe fruit a bit soft, but we were able to come away with several pounds of the finest berries we could find.
i’ve already got about 2/3 of our harvest rinsed, de-stemmed and in the freezer. so stop on by, and i’ll make you a fine strawberry dacquiri – what more reason do you need for a road trip…?!