It was somewhat hectic here at the orchard during the months of late August through early October. Trying to deal with the heavy showers of rain and days with high humidity and excessive heat made harvest a real challenge. This was the first harvest season that I can remember that apples were picked by the workers walking in ankle deep mud in mid September. However, harvest is winding down now and life has become less hurried.
The heat and humidity didn’t do any of us produce growers any favors. We spent the latter part of the summer and early fall dealing with summer diseases that adversely affected the fruit. Certain varieties were more prone to problems than others. Making notes regarding these issues and already planning changes for next year. In this business one must always remain positive and think ahead for next year.
Most of the weekly Farmers’ Markets are winding down for the season. We have reconnected with many friends and have acquainted ourselves with new shoppers at the markets. Customers like the transparency of the markets. It is always interesting to deal with individuals and answer questions and give suggestions.
Since most of the apples have been sold we are now focusing on getting the orchards back in shape. Grasses and weeds made their assault during harvest and being so busy with it we had to abandon our routine to mow and weed eat. Now we are getting back on the mowers and using weed eaters as well.
The newly planted orchard is progressing well. The abundant rains were great for the new trees. All the trees “took off” and are growing by leaps and bounds. We are making attempts to cultivate these trees before winter sets in.
Overall, this harvest season has been favorable. Not without its problems and challenges but that is just the type of business this is. We can not change Mother Nature. While not always perfect, we are striving to do our best to provide good product to our many good customers. Our sincere thanks to all!