Broad Valley Orchard

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“Hit or Miss” Drought Pattern

Hello All,

I did not write a journal entry last week, because I was frankly too beat from more long days of fighting this hot dry weather. Since our orchard harvest continues to roll in with the best quality and quantity we have seen in 25 years, I guess we are holding our own. I must admit that when I was putting in even longer drought-fighting days in 1999 (when I was fifty years old) and it seemed a lot easier. The weather factor that is saving our harvest, though, is what is being reported as our “hit or miss” rainfall.

So far we have been lucky to get just enough water, just often enough, and all the compost in our soil holds the moisture in the root zone, In between these weekly rainfalls, the weather has been hot and dry. These drying periods keeps the orchard tops dry, which slows down fungal invasion, and it seems the insect invaders aren’t being too bad either.

So if you live nearby, stop on up to our farm (or visit the Old Pomfret Farmers Market, in Carlisle, Saturday mornings from 8am to noon). We are located in the parking garage under the county human service building. If you would like to pick up a half bushel of apples, please contact us thru this website. We can haul them to Carlisle, or you are welcome to pick them up here at BVO, which is 20 miles south from Carlisle. We are beginning to pick Gold Delicious, Jonagold (our favorite), Winesap, and Yataka (Early Fuji). Our Bosc Pears, and asian Pears are ready, too. The hot weather is advancing our harvest 7-10 days.

I had the pleasure of driving thru Centre County, on my way to the “Pa. Wilds” last week-end. I could see the effects of the “hit or miss drought” everywhere I went. One forested valley would be bone dry, and the next one West would be verdant. I have seen gardens wilting from the heat, and my next stop I would see muddy gardens under fungal attack. There are a lot of folks out there promoting gambling as the cure-all for all of our commonwealth’s financial woes; I’m afraid that farming is all the gambling that my aging nerves can take.

Thank You
Thom Marti

PS: Stay tuned to the weather news = it might be an active late hurricane season. This can really devastate heavily burdened orchards. The rain softens the root’s hold on the ground, and the wet canopy and fruit load can blow over in the winds. Step right up and place your bets……

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