Early March Update: Nearly Wrapped up with Pruning

Photo of the orchard after pruning and stacking brush.

It has been a few weeks and a March update is due. Continued pruning took us through the entire month of February.  The weather was exceptionally good with the month’s temperatures as one of the warmest in local record keeping.  Pruning and cleanup are completed in the apple orchards and all looks good for spring bloom.  While pruning in the peach orchard continues, it is safe to say we are rounding third and heading for home in peach orchard pruning and cleanup.  It is always a great feeling of accomplishment when the pruning equipment is stored away for the season.  Really, looking forward to it.   Continue reading

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Warm Winter Weather and Pruning

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2017 Winter Update

Holiday celebrations are now history, decorations stored away and we are on to another year. Enough “down” time and starting to think about how to make 2017 a better year. We have attended several trade shows and horticultural seminars in the past several months. Continue reading

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End of Season Update

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Peach Harvest is Finished

Peach harvest has been completed.  While we had planned to offer peaches  to our customers for a little while longer, the high humidity, heavy rains and intense summer heat created too many adverse conditions.  Peaches actually rotted on the tree because of summer diseases, especially brown rot.  Not picking peaches now but instead we have moved the picking ladders into the apple orchard. Continue reading

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2016 Season Has Started!

Peaches have been the main focus in the orchard for the past three weeks.  We have finished picking several of the early varieties and now are picking Canadian Harmony and Harold’s Beauty.  Next week the Madison will be picked.  This variety is a favorite for home canning and baking.  The peach has a bright yellow flesh and is a free stone peach.  Free stone meaning the pit is easily removed when canning or baking.  All the varieties of peaches planted in the orchard are free stone peaches but we are finding that the unusually wet conditions that we are experiencing are affecting some of the characteristics of the peaches. Continue reading

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New Orchard Update: Development of Pick Your Own!

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Bees: Our Partners in Pollination

2016-02-09 11.36.11In my prior post I mentioned that this season’s shorter bloom period in the apple orchard necessitated our getting additional hives of honeybees to help pollinate.  Pollination is essential in the production of many fruit, nut and vegetable crops.  Without pollination of these various crops the dinner plates of most of us would lack variety, flavor and nutrition.  As a grower we find it highly important to develop economical strategies to ensure pollination in our orchard.  It is no trade secret that we rely heavily on honeybees.  Other than honeybees, we look to other pollinators to help us out too.  Continue reading

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2016 Bloom

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Pruning is Finished, Waiting on Bloom!

Pruning is now finished for another season.  What a great feeling!  We are now in the last stages of orchard cleanup.  The prunings have all been mulched with the flail mower/mulcher and the grandchildren have done a final sweep to gather anything left in the aisle ways that would hinder spring chemical application or summer mowing.  The milder temperatures of the past week have encouraged bud swell.  Not something we really want to see yet as there is considerable time before we are free from the dangers of frost and freezing.  Overall though, the orchard looks good; pruned, clean and starting to green and awaiting another growing season. Continue reading

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