Saturday, December 3, 2011

Strawberry Pickin'

While Country Boy and I were having our morning coffee this morning, we saw an article in our weekly local paper about a hydroponics farm, The X-Farms, that is open to the public and is not too far from the house.  The article mentioned that you could pick your own strawberries and you could do it standing up!  Sounded good to us so we decided to check it out today!

As wanna-be farmers, we were also curious about growing produce the hydroponics way.  We were amazed by the quantity and size of the strawberries per plant!

Country Boy donned the glove he was given and started pickin' away while I was snappin' photos.

Now, for all you photographers out there, you know how we can get a little carried away taking photos, right?!

Well, as long as I was snappin', Country Boy was pickin'!

We ended up with 4 1/2 pounds of strawberries even with him sampling a few to make sure they were good!  (It's OK, we were told we could sample them!)  Looks like there will be some strawberry jelly in our pantry soon, mmmm!

There was one strawberry that, luckily, no one has picked yet.  It's their trophy berry...

Get a load of that strawberry... it's HUGE!  It almost looks like a Christmas wreath.

They were also growing several varieties of produce.

You can get a lot more produce in less square footage this way.


Squash blossom
Squash blossoms are edible.  You can go online and find several different recipes to try.  I haven't tried them yet but if I ever get a good crop, you can betcha' I will!

Squash blossom
Squash blossom macro
Tomatoes galore!
Can you believe how many tomatoes are on one plant?  We were blown away!

Here's Country Boy's gloved hand showing the size of these tomatoes...

The green peppers are in the top pots with the tomatoes cascading down the rest of the tiers.

We were told that they have to trim them back otherwise they would be in the aisles.  Incredible!

They had several varieties of tomatoes.

We came home with a bag full of perfectly good but not-so-pretty tomatoes.  Since they sell their produce at farmer's markets and the general public likes their produce to look good, they were selling these fairly cheap.  I'm going to make and can some tomato sauce with them.

Huge green peppers!

Yummy, good for you broccoli!

Broccoli macro
Needless to say, Country Boy and I were quite impressed!  We've been trying for several years now to get a decent yield from the various crops that we've planted but we haven't had  much luck.  Our soil is very sandy and does not have a lot of nutrients in it for vegetable gardening.  We're definitely going to be checking into this hydroponics thing!

They sell a kit to get you started.  It comes with two complete tiers, the food and the coconut fiber the plants are planted in and instructions.  You just have to supply the water and the plants.

Are you hungry now after looking at all that yumminess?!  I'm hungry and jealous!  Some day we'll get a decent crop!  Fingers crossed!

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Till next time,


Country Gal said...

Wonderful photos ! Oh it all looks soo YUMMY ! Yup us photographers are snap happy thats for sure ! Have a wonderful day !

TexWisGirl said...

looks like quite the place with quite the operation! those strawberries look so good! your photos were great!

Debbie Linkous said...

That is SO cool!! Email me the link so I can check out the information on the kits. That would be perfect for our backyard! :) I have wanted a garden with tomatos, cucumbers and squash forever. Strawberries would be great too, but I'd be willing to be the birds would get most of them. :P

Dottie said...

The minute I started reading I knew what you were going to do down the line. :)

Andrea said...

I just followed your comment from a site. That farm looks like it is very successful, though after sometime it will decline too when the pests get in. That is normally the waterloo of hydroponics farm. But i really like the idea of having stacks of pots giving space for plants at the corners and saving the leachates for others at the bottom. I've been fascinated by hydroponics too, but those farms i've seen yet have different systems than that one. In Thailand they do it with orchids and have large areas for them.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh yum, Fresh fruits and veggies, and this time of year too!

I hope your strawberry jelly does better than ours did. Ours never set up - we tried two different batches last spring. The syrup is still good on ice cream and oatmeal though, so at least it's not going to waste.

Mary said...

As I sit here looking out the window at snow and cold, your post is just downright tantalizing! Great information and amazing photos. :)

Eat To Live said...

I would love going to a place like this.. What fun you must of had!

We go stawberry picking once a year, but we have to pick low to the ground. Kind of back breaking.

Bee Haven Bev said...

Wow, what a great find. Those strawberries look delectable!! Oh how I wish we had access to fresh local produce. Sadly, we will have to wait for next summer. You are very lucky!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Looks too good to be true. i guess the plant food has lot of nutrients and fertiliser. Would be wonderful to be able to grow plants like that and with not digging or bending.

So did yo buy a kit to have a go yourselves?

Your photos are great too! That huge strawberry - amazing!

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