Despite the lingering cold of winter, the orchard is beginning to awaken with the longer days of sunshine. The past three months have been spent pruning our over 3,600 fruit trees and we are now ready to move to our springtime tasks and a much anticipated new growing season.
In less than a month we could be harvesting our first asparagus spears and watching the first apple blossoms bloom, a welcome sight after a long winter. This year we will harvest the first apples from the high-density apple orchard that was planted two years ago. We will also be working on some new projects, including growing hops as a fundraising crop.
As we wrap up one season and look forward to the next, I can’t help but be thankful for the wonderful and dedicated volunteers I have had helping me with various projects around the farm. The orchard “Tuesday volunteer crew” was instrumental in completing the apple tree pruning as we tacked over 1/3 more trees than last year. And I must say, the trees look great. Dana Noble and Will Thompson, two local high schoolers from Bromfield High School, recently completed forty hours of community service at Prospect Hill Orchard and helped with tasks ranging from installing mouse guards on young trees to pruning and thinning apple trees. And a special thanks to the Harvard Girl Scout Troop 30892 for completing yet another project for CHP. This winter the girls built much needed storage shelving units in our barn and painted a beautiful sign to welcome future volunteers. It has been wonderful to have the support from the community and has gotten our 2018 season off to a great start!