It’s the most gut-wrenching thing an aspiring orchardist has to do every spring: thin the crop. Amidst the flush of life and potential on display in the many subtle hues of green, an orchardist must bring cold-hearted callousness to bear on his or her bearing trees. Fruit abortion. Plucked in their innocence. Too young…far too young.
In a classic case of “if you build it, they will come”, what I considered to be a failed Mason Bee experiment, nature has miraculously turned into a success story.
When nighttime temps are still just below freezing, but daytime temps are rising into the 40s and even 50s, it’s time to get into the orchard and do dormant pruning. Personally, I prefer to dormant prune in the late fall, well after leaf-drop but before the ground is totally frozen, however sometimes life gets in the way of making that happen on time. Early spring dormant pruning is still a good option though. I like to wander down to the […]
Sunny, warm, in the 80s on a Sunday at the end of September – how can you not take a walk in the woods? Gear up and get in the car, kids. I’ve actually been planning this walk for a while. There’s an undeveloped state park near us, that like so many others is centered around one of the many flood-control dams built after the remnants of back-to-back hurricanes in 1955 dumped up to 24″ of rain in a couple […]
“Fruit Trees you have? Spray, you must!” – Yoda (maybe) There’s no escaping the need to spray your fruit trees, but I prefer the biodynamic methods that Michael Phillips puts forth in his book “The Holistic Orchard”, probably *the* bible on beyond-organic orcharding. This video/post is the process I’ve been using for the past few years to put all the ingredients together for a 4 gallon backpack sprayer. I’m not going to go over all the ingredients and why they […]
One of my earliest fears about SHTF was lack of access to vitamin C. As with most medical topics, a little information is a dangerous thing, and I naturally extrapolated what I knew about vitamin C deficiency into a disaster scenario where my kids succumb to scurvy for want of proper nutrition. I thought, “There’s no way to grow citrus in New England! We’re doomed!”