Broad Valley Orchard

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Summer (and signs of a local drought) Coming in with a Blaze

Hello Again,

Well, the Plum Curculio stats have been right on the money. For the ten trees that I ‘shake and trap’ each morning, the number of PCs started at 13, and went up to 19, which was when I put on my first evening pyrethrum/canola oil spray. The next morning the count dropped off to 6, and is slowly re-building. I estimate I will put on my final spray Sunday night. Surprisingly, I have seen no Apple Curculios ( both PCs and ACs prey on apples, as well as plums). Perhaps their May hatch was hit by a freeze??? My estimate of this Spring’s control program, is that we will reduce their damage from the 90% we could naturally expect, to 10%. This is acceptable, because soon we start hand thinning the orchard, right after the “June drop” (which is the trees’ natural jettisoning of blooms which did not take completely). We pick off the ‘PC hit applets.

We had an interesting guest at our CSA Sharing at St. James Church in Gettysburg. Sherry Fergeson, our “Egg Lady”, visited our share holders while she distributed this week’s cacklefruit. These brown eggs are great, with thick shell and rich orange yolk, due to their access to free range. Sherry and Rob, of Ambrosia Farm, are also mead makers. They brought in sample “Short Mead” kits, that they also market. I can report first-hand, that their meads are great. we are making plans for them to come up here and help me press apple cider, which I harden, and they will make apple mead from.

Since we began our CSA, in 1999, we have operated a loose “garden collective” of other small farms and backyard gardens. Since BVO only has 1 3/4 A. cultivated, this collective effort doubles our food production. I have been an advocate of Fresh and Local Food, and Local Economy for the past decade, since I have seen the bulldozers tearing up our rich Adams County farm land, and planting Sprawl. Recently I have heard of a fairly new idea, that I am now looking into.

Solari”, by Catherine Austin Fitts is a mind-blowing way of looking at how to construct a local economy. I have also talked with Paul Glover, who started a Local Currency, at Ithica/Cornell. When I study up more on this, I will post my thoughts on our ‘blog roll’, which I have neglected.

And the corn, the winter squash, melons, and cantaloupes are all sprouting. So far this looks like it could be a good gardening year. Our berry crops also look promising, but the summer red raspberries got hit by the Zero F (16C) night in late February; we’ll still get a fall crop.

Thank You
Thom Marti

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