Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some kind of spring!!!

Let's recap the weather over the past 4 weeks. Ten days during late march of 70 ish degrees, followed by a low of 18 here at the farm during the first week of april. Then back to warm and now here in mid april a stretch of wet, snowy, cool, sloppy stuff. I think the temperature has been in the 30's for the past 24 hours and there are flowers on the trees. Its kind of odd seeing snow flakes coming down thru the blooming peaches. Our bud development is a solid 2 weeks ahead of schedule which may mean pick your own strawberries will be ready june first and that we will be picking Jersey mac apples in july. but most likely the season will settle out to about normal timing. What this certainly does me though is that things have been hopping around here recently. The boss man has been cracking the whip!!!
So whats the farmer been doing at Butternut since my last blog. Well the apple pruning was finished so then comes the job of clearing all the brush from the orchards. There are options on how to handle the brush removal job. I like to chop the brush in the orchard with a flail mower. Its not only a efficient way to deal with the brush but it is a great way to add valuable organic matter to the soil which activates micro organisms and releases nutrients for the fruit trees to use. Its kind of like completing the cycle for the tree by putting it back to where it came from. The plums and the Cherries have been pruned and again the brush has been chopped just like in the apples (by the way they are both in full bloom). The blueberries are almost done being pruned and the peaches have yet to be started, although it is time to get going on them (they are at about 25% bloom).
Spring is a exciting time on the farm! There is plenty to do and the promise of another season is everywhere you look. New growth on the trees and freshly cultivated fields mean a new season is here and no two seasons ever seem to be the same. This one is definitely proving to be unique.
Still to come this april is peach pruning which usually starts in may, setting up the hydroponic tomatoes and planting them, and one of my favorite things to do... planting new fruit trees. We are setting out about 120 new peach trees and 275 new apple trees this spring. That is a definite sign that spring is here!
That is it for this edition. Thanks for reading and if there is any topics I have missed that you would like to here about post a comment and let me know, it may end up in the next blog.