Sunday, August 3, 2014

Out in the orchard and down the hill

There is always something to do on the farm.  Surprisingly enough, most of the tasks are not manual labor but rather planning and evaluating for the future.
The Brookfield Gala and Gold Rush apples are all doing extraordinarily well.  We've been keeping a close watch for trouble this year.  Trees are individually inspected for signs of insect activity as well as any disease such as mildew or fire blight.  It is unfortunate that some people believe that not spraying their trees is healthier than taking preventive measures.  What happens is that their trees become hosts and sources of disease that ends up spreading to their neighbors' trees.  Organic does not mean not spraying.  Organic means using methods that are gentle on the environment and meet the EPA/FDA standards for Organic growing.
There are many excellent resources available for those who wish to follow organic guidelines when taking care of their fruit trees.  One of my favorites is by Cornell University: A Growers Guide to Organic Apples.
Provided that we can keep both the deer and the bunnies at bay, we may have some new varieties of apples this year.  Fingers crossed...

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