Organic farming is super tough, there is no doubt about that. And lately with the continuous heat wave we've been having we've been seeing a big impact on the strawberries from Frecker Farms. The berries have been super sweet, but also super perishable with occasional puncture marks in them that often lead to fruit collapse. We have received quite a few messages from you guys asking what was up, and since we didn't know exactly what was going on, we went out to his field to see what is happening to this end of season delight.
The answer was super surprising. Bees! Who would have thought that would be it, but it was. Bees are sucking the nectar from his berries. Alex says that since it is late summer, and the native flowers and fruiting trees have all finished in their flowering cycles, there isn't much food available for the native bees. They are resorting to his strawberry field. To distract the bees, he has been leaving behind damaged fruit in the walking paths for them to eat. Hopefully, this will give us a few more weeks of summer berries.
On a side note, little answers like this really open my mind up to the importance of Organics. Especially when I drive past the all-encompassing strawberry fields of Ventura county and visualize the number of bees that are being killed. It makes me really stoked to be a part of this, and super appreciative that you guys are down for perishable berries, the organic struggle, and making a ton of strawberry smoothies to round out these hot summer days.
A field strawberry that has been punctured by a bee.
When Alex and his small crew of guys are harvesting, they do their best to sort out berries that have already been punctured by the bees. These berries end up on the ground and provide a food source for the bees searching for nectar. It was crazy to see them feeding like this. Alex hopes that this practice keeps the bees from puncturing the fruit on the plants.
This is Antonio, one of the sweetest men I've ever met! He used to work for Katie’s father, Tom Shepherd but now works in Carpinteria with Alex Frecker. When we got to the farm last night Antonio was clipping runners off the new strawberry plants planted six weeks ago.
Hey guys, Bodhi wants to know if he has any dirt on his face or if his white shirt is looking clean for the picture.
Also, Alex may crush it at farming but we're unsure about his scare crow. Surprisingly, it's working and keeping the birds away!