Winter Happenings at the Orchard

My husband often gets asked what we do around the orchard all winter long. It seems a common misconception is that all fruit growers hibernate with the groundhogs during the winter. Well maybe some do– but not on our orchard! While our working days are shorter due to the climate and brief daylight hours, there is no shortage of activity around our farm market and orchard! Winter provides the perfect time to catch up on repairs on the tractors and other equipment to keep our busy season running smoothly.

Our youngest son runs down the row of peach trees his daddy is pruning.

Our youngest son runs down the row of peach trees his daddy is pruning.

Pruning is also a never ending task in the cold months– preparing the trees to bear the best fruit possible takes quite a bit of tedious time and effort. While out in the orchard this week I got a sneak peak at a small peach blossom beginning to open ever so slightly. We don’t want the blossoms to open just yet! We need some colder weather to get them through to the end of April when they can safely bloom all they want!

A teeny tiny blossom in my hand, if you look closely you can see the pink that will become the flower.

A teeny tiny blossom in my hand, if you look closely you can see the pink that will become the flower.

Late winter and early spring is the time of year when we begin to put the plastic on our high tunnels. I watched the guys pull the plastic on the tunnel one morning last week. It’s quite a job, but they got it done! For now, the strawberry plants continue to hibernate under their blanket of straw but before we know it it will be time to rake off the straw and let the strawberries grow! (My boys and I can’t wait to taste some of those sweet juicy red berries!)

High tunnel over the strawberries and a straw covering the berries outside the tunnel

High tunnel over the strawberries and a straw covering the berries outside the tunnel

It has been a good, busy winter so far and I can’t believe it’s almost over! (I’m personally praying for one more big snowfall before the season ends— then let spring begin!) I think my boys would love to see it snow as well– but they’ll take any amount they can get. Like any fruit grower they make the best of what each season brings– here’s a picture of them taking advantage of the scant snow this winter!

Making the best of a snow-less winter!

Making the best of a snow-less winter!

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