Broad Valley Orchard

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Apple Avalanche !!!

Hello all,

In a few minutes the Mexican apple picking crew will be in our neighbor’s orchard, quick-picking truckload tons of apples to send to the processing plant. They are a lively young crew, singing in Spanish, racing up and down ladders, and filling 25 bushel bins lickety-split quick.

Well, things go a bit slower at BVO. Judy and I pick all our fruit ourselves, and she doesn’t like ladders much. When I was a young buck of a carpenter, painter, and sailor, I used to run up and down ladders, but 58 years, and a couple of falls have slowed me down (and with any luck made me a little bit smarter).

Our harvest continues to amaze us. I am currently slogging thru our twelve Jonagold trees, picking 3 & 1/2 bu from each. I usually keep three 5 gallon buckets with me, one to throw in ‘slop rotters’ , one to throw in ‘ very challenged apples’ and the third bucket for apple cider and apple butter and sauce we make for our own use, including “sound drops” Oh, don’t worry, the cider gets turned into hard cider, and that rogue variety of e. coli does not get past the ‘alcohol barrrier’. The sound drops are also quite safe when cooked. Waste Not, Want Not !

I feed the ‘very challenged’ apples to our goats. In some wet years they get a bucket a day. Yesterday I picked 10 bushels of Winesap and Jonagold, and the goats got only 14 apples. I have never had such quality. Even the ‘top apples’ on the tree are nearly perfect, and they are often bothered by sun burn, bird pecks, and Japanese beetles. The invasive fruit moths seem befuddled by pheremone disruption = when the hes can’t find the shes, there be no baby fruit worms. The apple scab seems to have given up in the drought, and I rarely see even a spot. On the ‘down side’ our supply has exceeded our markets.

So, we arranged with nearby Kimes Cider Mill to custom boil 25 bushels of our smaller apples into 25 cases of our “No Sugar, No Spice, 10 Varieties of Apples, and Asian Pears Apple Butter”. We are also making deliveres of 1/2 bushel boxes of apples to Sonnewald’s Natural Food Store in York County. And if any of you would like to drive up to BVO during this lovely autumn weather, contact us thru this site. You can also arrange to have boxes of apples delivered to Carlisle or Gettysburg. With this bounty pouring into to our cool storage, we are running out of room, and have reduced our prices! I hope to see you soon, but I’ve got to run (slowly) up a ladder and pick more apples…..

Thank You

Thom Marti

PS: Yesterday after I posted this I went out to pick our 8 semi-dwarf Jonagold apple trees. Ten hours later, I had picked 28 bushels of apples; 80% were #1 = nice enough for market or CSA. This is the best harvest we have had since the 1999-2002 drought.
I urge all of you to try planting a few dwarf resistant apple trees!

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