SHORT VACATION TO MAINE

We  took advantage of the beautiful weather for the last two weeks of October to do a lot of mowing, take down all our orchard signs, clean up flower beds, put away all the harvest stuff in the barn and put the equipment back in, fix the broken wagons,  etc. etc.

We have had more Facebook messages/comments than I am able to respond to – thank you all for sending them.

We did manage to get away for a short vacation to Maine last week – just after the storm and had great weather – wind created some really big surf.

There appear to be a good number of fruit buds on the trees, so the first of many steps is in place for next years crop – stay tuned.

Maine Oct 30 - Copy

 

 

 

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR

Thanks for helping us have a great season.  We were pleased to have much better weather than forecast for our last weekend.  We took the photo sitting on a bench outside the barn as the sun went down Sunday evening.

Almost all the apples were picked – the nature of a pick your own business is that we never get quite all of the fruit picked.  Some of what is left will go to the food cupboard and for cider vinegar – the rest will go to the wild turkeys.

Hope everyone has a good winter – come see us in July for raspberries.

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LAST WEEKEND

Good MacIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire and Gala are still available.   Cider and Donuts on both Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday October 15 will be our last day.

Help us wind up a good season.  The views are as good as ever.  Photo shows some of those good Macouns, all the way at the bottom of the orchard – worth the walk to get them.

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WINDUP WEEK

This will be our windup week.  We saw hundreds of happy customers this weekend.  We toured the orchard today and there is still good picking for MacIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire and Gala.  Also plenty of drops at half price .

We will be open all week – rain or shine.  Saturday Oct 14 and Sunday Oct 15 will be our last days open.

Come for those last bag(s) of apples.

NINE VARIETIES AVAILABLE FOR PICKING

The late season apples are ready – we have taken down the red tape. There is a small crop of very nice Golden Delicious and Northern Spy on three year old trees.  There  is a somewhat larger crop of bright red Crimson Crisp on three year old and seven year old trees.  These varieties will get picked out quickly.

MacIntosh in the old orchard are plentiful, juicy and full flavored.   Cortland, Macoun, Empire and Gala are all prime as well.  Honeycrisp are scarce, except for drops.

There will be cider and donuts on the weekend.  Donuts run out, so come early.

We will be closed on Monday Oct 9 (Columbus Day) and we will then be open thru the weekend of Saturday Oct 14 and Sunday Oct 15.

Crimson Crisp

Crimson Crisp Oct 5 - Copy

YES – WE STILL HAVE APPLES

Still good MacIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire, Gala and Fuji.  Honeycrisp are mostly picked except for drops.

The late season apples (behind the red tape) will start on Friday (Oct 6)

Frequently asked questions:

1)  Will you be open Columbus Day Weekend?  – Yes on Saturday and Sunday but not Monday.

2)  How late in the month will you be open?  – We expect to be open thru Oct 14 & 15 weekend – possibly a few days more.

3)  Do you still have Honeycrisp? – very few mostly drops.

4)  When is a good time for drops? – NOW – you pick them up – they are half price.

PEAK PICKING THIS WEEKEND

Excellent picking for MacIntosh, Cortland, Empire, Macoun, Gala and Fuji.  There are still good Honeycrisp when you go all the way down the hill – they will be essentially picked out by the end of the weekend.  There are good drops available for most varieties at half price.

Cider and donuts will both be on hand Saturday and Sunday – donuts often run out in the afternoon.

Come enjoy picking now that we have good apple picking weather – high temperature forecast for Saturday is 55 degrees and 63 degrees for Sunday.

EMPIRES ARE RIPE

We will start picking Empires tomorrow (Thursday Sept 28) – there is a good crop – see photo.  Forecast is (finally) for cooler weather – come before the weekend to beat the crowds.

Honeycrisp are best in the bottom block below the three Cortland rows.  Macouns are good at the bottom  rows below the Honeycrisp.  MacIntosh good in several places, especially the old orchard.  Cortlands are good in the bottom three rows and the last row in the old orchard.  Gala and Fuji also have good picking.

 

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STILL HAVE HONEYCRISP PLUS MORE

We will be back open tomorrow after our Monday off.  Still good Honeycrisp –  fewer by the weekend – don’t wait too long.  MacIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Macoun and Fuji continue to be in good supply, but a good many have been picked.

Empires will open on Thursday.  We have two more hot days forecast, so come early.

We expect to be open thru Columbus Day weekend (but not Monday).   There will be fewer apples than we have now.  Come now while the picking is easier.

ALYSSA FOUND THE WOODEN APPLE

Alyssa found the wooden apple Friday to win an iPod and she gets to keep the apple. !!

Lots of good fruit still out there – come early when it is cooler.  Cider and donuts today and tomorrow.

Alyssa - Copy

YES – THERE ARE LOTS OF HONEYCRISP

There are good Honeycrisp – especially if you go farther down the hill.  Plenty of MacIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Macoun and Fuji as well.

Cooler today – still best to come early, especially on the weekend.  Cider and donuts on Saturday and Sunday.

 

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GOOD WEEK TO GET YOUR MACINTOSH, CORTLAND, HONEYCRISP, MACOUN, GALA AND FUJI

It looks like a warm week coming up, so come early when it is cooler.  Picking for all the mid season varieties is excellent this week.  Honeycrisp will be plentiful thru the  coming weekend and we hope they will still be available next weekend as well.  Fruit this week will be more plentiful than later in the season.

The wooden apple is still waiting to be found – win an IPod.  There is plenty of cold cider.  Donuts will be back on Saturday and Sunday.

 

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HONEYCRISP, DONUTS & CIDER

Lots of good Honeycrisp.  Donuts Saturday & Sunday.  More new cider.

The wooden  apple is out in the orchard.  Find it and win an iPod

Sylvia has made an orchard map to help you find where the varieties are located – mounted on the water tank

 

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Map - Copy

 

 

 

 

HONEYCRISP, CORTLAND, MACOUN AND FUJI START ON FRIDAY SEPT 15

We will open Honeycrisp, Cortland, Macoun and  Fuji for picking on Friday Sept 15.  There are plenty of good McIntosh and Gala as well.   The photo shows nice looking Honeycrisp on trees we planted in 2014 – they are off to a good start.

Honeycrisp unlike most apples ripens in stages, so pickers need to choose the reddest apples and leave the others to ripen next week or the week after.  In commercial orchards the Honeycrisp trees are picked three times .

The crop this year (including Honeycrisp) is a good one and we need your help to get it picked.   There will be cider and donuts on Saturday & Sunday – donuts run out, so come early.

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PRIME PICKING FOR MACS & GALAS

Best picking of the year for McIntosh and Gala is early in the season – the orchard is full of beautiful fruit.  Sansa and Ginger Gold are also available, but not as many as last weekend.

I picked up cider this afternoon, so we will have cider all week.  Mrs. Murphy’s  donuts will be here Saturday and Sunday – they run out, so come early.

Picture show McIntosh ready to pick.

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McIntosh & Gala ARE READY

We start our regular season tomorrow Friday September 8 and will now be open daily 9:00 to 5:30,  except closed on Mondays.  McIntosh (ripest  in the old orchard) and Gala are now ready.  We have a very good crop and picking will be prime.

There are still some Sansa and Ginger Gold that were not picked on early apple weekend.  Zestars were essentially all picked , except for a few small ones.  We have 45 more trees grafted last year over to Zestar, so in a couple more years we will have more Zestars.

Come help us kick off a new harvest.  Pictures show McIntosh and Gala near the barn.

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Gala Sept 7 - Copy

EARLY APPLES ARE LOOKING GREAT!!

Saturday and Sunday September 2 and 3 will be our early apple weekend for Zestar, Ginger Gold and Sansa.  Weather on Saturday looks better than Sunday, when we get the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.   The recent moderate sunny weather has helped the fruit  gain size.  See the Zestars in the first picture.  They are our favorite pie apple as well as excellent when eaten fresh.

Starting  Friday September 8 we will be open for our regular season – daily 9 to 5:30 – closed Mondays.  We will have McIntosh and Gala as well as remaining early apples.   Honeycrisp will probably start September 16 weekend

We woke this morning to see a full 180 degree rainbow – we take it as a good omen for the season.   Come help us kick off a new harvest.

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EARLY APPLE WEEKEND – SAT & SUN SEPT 2 & 3

We will open on Saturday & Sunday September 2 & 3 for early apple weekend.  Zestar, Ginger Gold and Sansa will all be available.  Zestars often run out on the first weekend, so come early.

Photo shows some nice Zestars coloring up well from the cool weather.  We make all our pies for the year with Zestar – the flavor is excellent and the apples stay firm.  Freeze them unbaked and bring them out over the winter.

We will be closed Monday Sept 4 thru Thursday Sept 7 and anticipate opening for our regular season with McIntosh and Gala plus remaining early apples on September 8 or 9.  I will post later this week.

The crop this year is very good – much better than last year. Look forward to seeing you.

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RASPBERRY SEASON OVER – APPLES START IN SEPTEMBER

Thanks to everyone for making our raspberry and cherry season a good one.  Lots of good fruit was picked.  We will be busy now with family visitors (17 extra), getting ready for apple harvest, and pruning raspberries.

Apples are growing well and harvest will start in September.  Early apple weekend for Zestar, Sansa and Ginger Gold will probably be Saturday and Sunday Sept 2&3.  Check the web before you come.

Zestars with a month to go

zestar 2017 - Copy

Ginger Golds growing well

ginger gold 2017 - Copy

 

 

LAST TWO DAYS TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY AUG 1&2

Raspberry season is winding down.  You can still find berries if you look inside the bushes and down low.  Better picking in the lower field.  Still good Royalty (purple) berries  in the row closest to the fence – lower part of upper field.

There are also some cherries if you reach up and inside the trees – picking best at the end of the rows.

Last chance to stock your freezer or put up one more batch of jam.

LAST WEEKEND – EXCELLENT RASPBERRY PICKING

Tomorrow Saturday July 29 & Sunday July 30 will be the last weekend for raspberries – picking will be excellent.  We will be closed Monday and probably be open next Tuesday and Wednesday but this is not definite – check the web or Facebook before you come.

The Royalty (purple) berries which are excellent for jam, pies and cobbler, are now in good supply.

There are still some cherries, but you will have to go to the end of the rows and reach up and inside the trees.

Picture shows some berries we picked for ourselves – Sylvia is making jam with them.

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EXCELLENT PICKING THURSDAY JULY 27

Raspberry picking will be excellent tomorrow Thursday July 27.  Closed Friday then back open for our final weekend.

Cherries are there as well – Come see us!

EXCELLENT PICKING ON WEDNESDAY JULY 26 & THURSDAY JULY 27

Raspberry picking will be excellent tomorrow Wednesday July 26 and probably on Thursday July 27 as well – more berries have ripened.

There are still good cherries, but you have to go farther down the row and reach up and inside the trees.   I picked six quarts for us this afternoon in a little over 1/2 hour.

We plan to close on Friday for more berries to ripen and then will be open for the weekend.   We may be open a couple of days next week if the fruit supply holds up.

Stock up your freezer – berries and cherries taste great in the winter.

Picture shows some local folks on their third trip up here this season.  Fruit would not all fit in one flat, which is why we have extra boxes.

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BACK OPEN TUESDAY JULY 25

We will be back open tomorrow Tuesday July 25 and Wednesday July 26.  We expect to be open Thursday, closed Friday and back open for the weekend.

Raspberry picking will be moderate – the cool weather has slowed ripening.   Picking should be better Wednesday and the weather forecast is better as well.

There are still good cherries – go to the end of the rows.

 

MORE EXCELLENT PICKING SUNDAY JULY 23

Picking will be excellent for raspberries and very good for cherries tomorrow Sunday July 23.  Quite a lot of the Royalty (purple) raspberries are also ripe – they make outstanding jam, pie and cobbler.

Berry picking is excellent in both the three Boyne rows close to the raspberry house and towards the end of the three long Nova rows in the lower field.  Look under the leaves and in the center of the rows.  For cherries it is beginning to require more reaching, but there is plenty of fruit further down the rows.

As usual, we open at 9:00 and picking is always best earlier in the day.  We will be closed Monday and plan to be back open Tuesday.  Next week will be the last full week for the season.

Some neighbors got some nice berries and cherries

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PEAK PICKING THIS WEEKEND

The warm weather has ripened LOTS of raspberries and the picking will be excellent tomorrow Saturday July 22.  There are also plenty of cherries.  Come early when it is cooler and picking is best.

We will be open Sunday July 23 as well – picking will be good to excellent.  We currently plan to close next Monday (July 24) and then reopen on Tuesday .

Next week will  be our last full week –  picking this weekend may be better than on later open days.  Royalty purple raspberries (great for jam and cobbler) are beginning to ripen and there will be more by mid week.

The picture shows some fruit we picked  today to freeze for ourselves – we have to make sure we get fruit before it is all picked.

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CHANGES AGAIN – CLOSED THURSDAY JULY 20 -REOPEN FRIDAY JULY 21

The hot weather is ripening the berries faster than we realized, so we will reopen tomorrow Friday July 21 for both raspberries and cherries.

We will be open Saturday July 22 for sure – probably also on Sunday July 23, but that depends on how much is picked Friday & Saturday.  I will post again Saturday PM regarding status for Sunday.

Next week may be our last week for berries and cherries or we might go a few days into the following week – it all depends on the weather and how many pickers come.

OPEN TOMORROW WEDNESDAY JULY 19

Cherry picking will be excellent tomorrow Wednesday July 19.  Raspberry picking will be good in the morning – fair later in the day.

We will be closed Thursday July  20 and Friday July 21 for more berries to ripen – then back open Saturday July 22.

Picking is ALWAYS best in the morning – come when it is cooler.

BACK OPEN TUESDAY JULY 18

We will be back open tomorrow Tuesday July 18.  Cherry picking will be excellent ( see picture) and raspberry picking will be good to very good.

We will be open Wednesday as well and plan to close Thursday for more berries to ripen.  We may also be closed on Friday – I will post.  Definitely open Saturday and plan for Sunday as well.

Weather looks better on Wednesday than Tuesday, but both days will be hot – come in the morning.

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CLOSED MONDAY JULY 15

A lot of good fruit was picked today – we will be closed Monday for more berries to ripen – back open Tuesday.

Next week will be prime picking for cherries and will be good to very good for raspberries.

VERY GOOD PICKING ON SUNDAY JULY 16

There will be very good raspberry and cherry picking tomorrow (Sunday July 16).  Lots of good folks came out today and got some nice fruit (see picture) , but more berries have ripened and the cherries are plentiful as well.

Weather forecast is for a warm and sunny day – come in the morning for best picking.  Come help us harvest the crop. We will be closed Monday as usual.

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BACK OPEN SATURDAY JULY 15

We will be back open tomorrow Saturday July 15.  Picking will be very good at the beginning of the day – later, you will have to look under the leaves and on the lower canes.  Not as many berries ripened as one would expect during the two days we were closed, due to the relatively cool weather.

We will open up cherries for picking, but frankly they will be better in a week when they are bigger and riper.  You will notice a white clay  residue on the cherries from a recent spray for SWD (Spotted Wing Drosophila).   The clay residue is harmless, but we recommend washing the fruit before using.

SWD is an Asian fruit fly that arrived in the US a few years ago and threatens many small fruits.  Unlike the apple insect pests we deal with which have 1 or 2 generations per season, the SWD reproduces in a few days so that multiple generations can expand exponentially.

To control this pest, we have to spray for it weekly.  As a pick your own farm, we only use low impact sprays that can be applied within a day of harvest.  We monitor the fruit for SWD and hope to be able to continue to grow raspberries and cherries.  Fortunately, SWD does not attack apples.  Fruit growing has many challenges and we do everything possible to provide safe quality fruit.

CLOSED THURSDAY JULY 13 & FRIDAY JULY 14 – REOPEN SATURDAY JULY 15

We had a lot of good pickers today so we will be closed tomorrow  (Thursday July 13) and Friday (July 14) for more berries to ripen.  Reopen Saturday (July 15).

With two days for berries to ripen, picking should be good on Saturday for raspberries and we will start picking tart cherries on Saturday.

I will post on picking conditions Friday evening.  Come see us!

 

PICKING UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 12

Picking will be good tomorrow Wednesday July 12.  We expect to also be open on Thursday, unless we have a really big crowd tomorrow.  I will post tomorrow night to advise open/closed status for Thursday.  Weather looks better Wednesday than Thursday.

We plan on being closed Friday so more berries can ripen for the weekend.

Cherries will start on Saturday (the 15’th), but will be riper and bigger later in the week.

PICKING UPDATE FOR TUESDAY JULY 11

Raspberry picking tomorrow Tuesday July 11 will be moderate.  We saw a lot of good folks today – people (like birds) tend to pick on the top of the bushes, so the best berries can be found on the lower part of canes and inside.

If you can wait until Wednesday, picking may be better and the weather forecast is better as well.  I will post again tomorrow with another update.

CHANGE OF PLANS – OPEN MONDAY JULY 10 FOR RASPBERRIES

We found that the berries are ripening faster than we thought – so we will open tomorrow Monday July 10 for raspberry picking.  We still plan to be open at least Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and then close for a day later in the week if needed for more berries to ripen.

Weather looks better Monday than Tuesday, so come see us tomorrow.  Picture shows berries this morning.

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RASPBERRY PICKING STARTS TUESDAY JULY 11

We will open for raspberry picking on Tuesday July 11 – the weather for Tuesday does not look great, but there will be plenty of ripe berries.  We expect to be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well, if ripe berries hold out.  Probably will be closed Friday July 14 for more berries to ripen for the weekend.

Cherries are beginning to ripen but are still small and very tart – expect picking to start on the weekend July 15 & 16.

Picking boxes will be in the small raspberry house – bring your large white box from last year  for a dollar discount.

STILL WAITING

Raspberries and cherries are still not ripe yet.  We need some more warm weather to help the green fruit ripen.

It looks like we will not open before Tuesday July 11 – maybe later.   I will post again as soon as we have more info.

Lots of green berries as of July 3

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RASPBERRIES AND APPLES DOING WELL

The wet weather has been good for both our raspberries and apples and some amazing ferns along the snowmobile trail just below the raspberries.

The picture below shows a lot of green raspberries on the three year old Boyne variety in the upper field.  Depending on how much sunshine and warm weather we get, they will probably be ready for first picking around July 7 or 8 – watch the web.

The cherry crop is moderate this year – more than last year, but not like 2015.  There are MANY cedar wax wings hanging out in the cherry trees waiting for the fruit to ripen, so it may be a challenge to get cherries picked before the birds do.  They will not be ripe for at least a week after raspberries start.

Apples are growing well – picture shows some McIntosh now over an inch in diameter.   The big challenge now is to avoid being hit by hail – so far the storms have gone either south or north of us.

I will post again when we have a better idea of when berries will be ripe.

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APPLES ARE GROWING

We are off to a good start.  There was good weather for a few days during bloom and the bees (both our imported bumble bees and quite few native bees as well) were able to get out and pollinate the flowers.  You can see in the photo small apples that are now 10 mm (3/8 inch) in diameter and there are quite a lot of them.

We are now trying to get a window in the weather when it is not raining and not too windy so we can put down a weak acid thinning spray.  The goal is to remove some (but not too many) of the apples, so that the remaining ones grow larger.  It is a balancing act – if too few come off, then we have a lot of hand thinning – if too many come off the harvest is smaller.

There is a moderate set on the cherries and the raspberries are getting ready to bloom.  Raspberry harvest usually starts first week in July – plus or minus depending on the weather.

10 mm apples

 

APPLE BLOSSOMS ARE OPENING

Bloom looks promising this spring – lots of fruit buds.  we have avoided the  frosts this spring. We had one morning at 31 degrees.   There would only be a 10% loss at 28 degrees – 25 degrees causes a 90% loss when blossoms are open.

So we are good so far.  What we need now is some sunshine so the bumble bees will come out. The one inch of rain last night was gentle and did not wash off the open flowers.  Zestars (as you can see in the photo) are in full bloom – Cortlands are next followed closely by McIntosh, Empire and Honeycrisp are starting.

We have had a busy spring – picking up and chipping all the brush once the snow melted in April,  planting 500 new raspberries and 125 new apple trees (with the help of neighbor Kyle Zecher).

I will post more bloom pictures when we get some sunshine.

 

Zestars in bloom 2017 - Copy no exif

 

WINTER PRUNING UNDERWAY

We are making good headway on our pruning – there plenty of fruit buds, so we have potential for a good crop – we need a cool March to keep trees dormant and to avoid hard freezes in April and May.

Hope everyone is having a good winter.  Look forward to seeing folks in July for raspberries.

 

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