From our Orchard Manager, Susan:
In just a few weeks we will be ending the harvest activities for the 2019 season at the orchard (phew!). It is a great feeling to see almost all of the fruit off the trees and the last boxes of apples from the cooler being shipped out to our partners. While apple harvest is my favorite time of year, I do look forward to the quieter days of November and December and the tasks of putting the farm to bed for the winter months.
Before the temperatures really drop, there are some projects we will be working on to prepare for the winter and also get a jump start on the next growing season. The apple trees will receive their fall application of fertilizer which will get them off to a good start in the coming Spring. Mouse guards, which protect the tree trunks from winter mouse damage, will be installed on all of the young trees whose thin bark is most susceptible to girdling. Additionally, the property will get a final mowing, which also deters rodents from entering the orchard as they become exposed to predators without the tall grass to hide in.
As always, I would like to thank the volunteers that have helped and continue to help us at the orchard this year. Whether you came to volunteer once or weekly, your hard work was much appreciated. This year marked our first peach harvest from trees planted in 2017 with the help of volunteers. We picked 20,000 pounds of apples from our two acre high-density trees, also planted with volunteers in 2016. Every growing season has challenges but I am always uplifted when I see the people of the community working together to help grow healthy food for others in need. Thank you!