The farm is waking up….and with that, we have our own version of March Madness going on as we shift into a higher gear with all that we have to get done. What a difference a few warm days have made, especially in melting the snow piles. And while we enjoy those “no-coat”days as much as the rest of you, we’re frankly a little relieved it has cooled back down. We are scrambling to finish tying the grape vines before they start budding out. We have a crew of seven people moving through the vineyards now that the snow has melted. The UPS man has become a daily regular dropping off seed orders. We are cleaning up orchards and picking up spring start up supplies and needs.
Our orchards are not ready to wake up yet. You may be surprised to learn that fruit trees have a chilling requirement between 500 to 1500 hours depending on the type of tree. The temperature required for them to “chill” has to be above freezing and ideally between 40 and 50 degrees. With the extreme cold in February, surprisingly that didn’t count towards their chilling needs….so these 40-ish degree days have been helping them finish up.
Anyone ready for strawberries yet? Today we did our annual job of getting the straw on the strawberries–which we do because it helps protect the tender little crowns as the cool nights prevail. But as important, it helps keep weeds from growing up right in the way of someone trying to pick berries (how annoying!) and provides a nice clean surface for the berry plants to grow over to keep the berries clean.
One of our new acquisitions for our very small customers is a baby slide. We hope this will help with the problem of those small toddlers who want to go down the really big slide and just aren’t quite ready! We are planning a few more surprises for our small customers, but you’ll have to wait until we finish them.
The greenhouse is absolutely thriving–the plants are loving the sun (and we are loving that the furnaces have not had to run as much!).
From Becca: My hoop house is progressing, but of course I would rather have it finished with lettuce and turnips already planted inside. With everyone else tied up in other projects, I’ve been working alone which has been slow, educational, tiring, and fun! Most of the materials for this project came used from a greenhouse that got taken down a few years ago (the farmers retired, nothing wrong with it structurally) and I’ve literally had no instructions whatsoever to follow.
Luckily I’ve had very good advice/resources, but of course, I ask the same question to five farmers and three greenhouse technicians and get eleven different answers each time. All I really want is for someone to promise the hoop house will not blow away. Which, no one can promise. On that note, perhaps I should go pour more cement… In any case, I should be done this week.
The bakery staff has been busy with planning for some new products which we hope you will love. We are in process of rearranging the bakery to fit in another oven so we can bake more items–especially bread!
Here’s wishing you a happy spring and hoping that your chosen basketball teams are doing well!
-Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards