Get up that dreel!


That’s us into full raspberry harvest time. It has to be because it’s raining! “Mouldy Weather” as my faither always said. So far we’ve been lucky as there’s been a dry day every time we pick the berries.

Helped out by friends and family of course. A big thank you to everybody who has been picking. My old friend’s over from Holland for her summer hols and has been a GREAT picker, going to miss her when she and the family go on Sunday!

My dad always had ‘good’ berries! We’ve to make sure we keep up the quality he was renowned for. No pressure then. The sample has been good though. To keep that quality up makes a lot of pulp. I think I underestimated how much pulp there would be as I have far less trays of braw berries than I expected. About a ton less! It’s definitely caught up on me not looking after them as well as I should. So on my list to do is: Mulch them with manure in Autumn, feed them a good fertilizer in Spring and don’t FORGET to top them in time!

We’re managing to get by picking 2 or 3 days a week. I’m not sure what I’ll do now all my friends are going back to their school jobs next week. I pick all the ‘Specials’ myself and these have gone to local eateries: The Dome,  The Lairds House and The Dalmore. The rest is frozen by David Rendall or pulped! I’m sure the pulp goes for flavourings or colourings.

We had the kids from the Coupar Angus Youth Group out this week to pick berries to make Jam for the Jampionships. There was a winner amongst them last year. So good luck to them this year. I’m looking forward to local group ‘Wisecraft’ coming to pick on Friday morning. They’re also going to make Jam at The Walled Garden in Perth for the Jampionships.

It hasn’t all been work at The Sholach though. With having such great weather we organised a BBQ, Blether and dook down at the Loch. It was a great day and we hope to make it an annual event! Our wee Jack Russell  Dexie also had pups! She’s a proud mum and we’re proud grandparents ;)!

After our hens got munched we got new (old) ones from a hen rehoming group. They took a while to settle in but they’re laying fine now and loving living on the farm. Getting used to the Boaby too!

It’s Berry Time!


Well before I knew it, it was berry time! It always sneaks up on you. We got that fabulous hot spell just as they were ripening. Fantastic to ripen the fruit but we have no irrigation system. Frustrating when your right next to a loch.

So Craig worked out a system. Our neighbour Mike very kindly lent us a pump in return for some berries for Jam. Craig managed to Doctor the Xmas tree boom sprayer and pumped water from the loch into the sprayer tank, attached a hose and watered the berries. It only took about 10hrs to water them all!! This isn’t something you take into account when budgeting for the year.
So the berries were happier…………….Well most of them were, unfortunately the first 6 dreels are nackered with root rot (This isn’t good, it’s a soil born virus that kills the canes) I’ll need to put the cane chopper through them when I’ve got a minute! There’s root rot in the other ones as well but not near as rife. It does mean I can’t plant berries in that area again after the life of these ones.
So Craig also strimmered around the raspberry stools and I tidied them up with the cane chopper. I also managed to embarrass myself with dodgy tractor driving skills in front of my neighbours. 1st couldn’t get it started because I left it in gear, then once it was started it was in the wrong gear then when I changed gear it was too fast. Michty Me. Trying to turn into the top of dreels is a bit of comedy too. Och well, practise makes perfect.
Up until about 10 days ago I thought I was going to have to pulp all the berries again which makes it all a labour of love really! The price isn’t great and they go for dye or flavouring. I have my local folks and cafes/restaurants who buy my fruit but not 1.5 tonnes unfortunately!! l David from local business Rendall’s Frozen (  fruit got in touch and he would like to buy bulk. All good! Thanks David! So my fruit will be frozen and put into catering packs.  It has to be dry to pick for frozen. The fruit is frozen in the punnet and will come out like an ice lolly if the berries have been wet! So please only rain when I’m NOT picking.
So finally we got to berry time and thanks to friends and family we have started picking the first few dreels. Slow but sure but the next couple of dreels are ripening as I type. 
Anyway best get on with my day job just now. I only have until 2pm today as I need to pick up my baby, go get the weekly shop, get my son trainers and sort out pickers for tomorrow.
It’s raining today so please be nice tomorrow.

first berries

Why We Chose Kelly And Her Berries


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Here’s what you may not know. The Jampionships were born out of a desire to keep alive the heritage of The Great Berry Fields O’ Blair.  Famed the world over for their perfect berry growing soil and climate this magnificent … Continue reading