Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Post

    Today is February 17th.  A bit of new snow blanketed the farm last night, I always like having snow on the ground during the cold months of winter to insulate the ground hugging strawberry plants and the roots of our fruit trees from damaging cold temperatures, it seems to lead to a better nights sleep!

    During the marketing season many customers ask me this question; What do you do all winter?  Sometimes I don't know where to start so my answers may seem a bit fumbled together. Here in this context I can hopefully better organize my thoughts. 

    First and for most the winter season is the rest time for us here at Butternut.  All the employees have gotten their pink slips till spring and my work week comes down to a much more manageable 30-40 hrs.  The family and I may even take some long weekends to adventure north to ski and maybe a whole week to visit relatives in far off places. Once the vacationing has been scheduled we fill work into the remaining gaps.
There is still plenty to do during this "off season" on a fruit farm. Foul weather days are spent in the office analyzing different enterprises so we can make better informed business decisions moving forward. This is also a time when we make signs. All those signs that we have labeling rows of fruit and directing customers around the farm take a lot of time to make and its nice to do it during a low pressure season like winter. In December and January this winter we relocated some of our deer fencing to enclose another field which will be planted to apples and strawberries this spring. Firewood and building maintenance on the farmstand, barn, or house are always on the list of things to do. Then of course we get to pruning the apples. I like to dormant prune the apples starting in february. If all goes well I should finish the apples by mid-march which leaves the rest of march to get the blueberry pruning done. I could go on a bit about pruning apples trees but it would be to much text for this blog. maybe the next blog I will devote to pruning.
Speaking of pruning UNH cooperative extension is sponsoring a pruning demonstration to be held here at Butternut Farm in early april. I will post the exact date on my next blog. We will cover pruning of all the different fruits we grow here.
Thats it for this one! My next publishing should be in early march. Thanks for reading!