Welcome Winter! Within the last six weeks, the orchard has gone from trees laden with fruit to be harvested to the first appreciable accumulation of snow today. Winter has arrived in the Midwest and a bit earlier than we would have liked. However, the first lesson learned in the orchard business is to accept the things that can’t be changed and weather is at the top of this list.
The year’s harvest has been complete for some time. The ladders, crates and picking bags have all been packed away for next year. While some may look at this as time to take a vacation, November for us, although slower paced, is actually an opportunity to review, assess and plan for the next growing season. We appreciate customer input and our markets are a great place to gather opinions and listen to concerns. We don’t profess to doing everything right, but we are genuine in our efforts to understand our customers and what we can do to make our product better. So this is the time we take all those suggestions and ideas and try to expand on them and improve.
This next few months we will be attending trade shows in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Indianapolis, Indiana to gain insight into new varieties of apples and peaches. These shows also offer presentations by speakers from state universities, farm/field agents, commercial growers and representatives from the companies making technologic advances in the fruit industry. Both of these vegetable/fruit expositions have vendors that present on site displays and representatives that readily answer questions.
Vegetable/fruit expositions are excellent and necessary opportunities to stay abreast of latest technology and advances in the “growing” industry. We are able to meet with other growers and exchange ideas and solutions to common problems. Meeting with nursery companies is always a little exciting as we always like to see what’s out there for us to further develop and expand the orchard. Really don’t know if an orchardist can have too many trees!
Next month as we start thinking about pruning, we will touch on that subject and possibly get some recipes that should be of interest. So, wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. May all those tasty pies enjoyed at your dinner table be made from the wonderful apples grown at the local orchards.