Broad Valley Orchard

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Possibility of Rain – We Need it !!

Hello All,

We have only had 1.2 inches (3 cm) of rain in September. Fortunately there has been a lot of fog, and the hours of daylight are shorter, and there is more shade in the orchard as the noon time sun drops to the Southern horizon after the autumnal equinox. This reduces the heat stress on the plants, but still, yesterday was 90F (31C). I also just harvested a bumper crop of green beans = the latest prime crop we have ever brought in.

I am still trickle irrigating, to keep the tree fruit sizing and building Brix (sugar measure). Unfortunately, we have had to abandon out fall red raspberry crop – with it this hot and dry, the flowers were not setting well, even with irrigation. Fortunately the super dry air continues to supress fungal invasion, and the insects are being controlled by our natural controls. Our three yellow jacket nests seem to have really made a feast of fruit moths, and even the sparrows are eating moths.

Judy and I picked 9 bushels of Yataka (Early Fuji), and 6 bushels of Asian Pears this week. Baldwin and Nittany also look ready = two weeks early! These will grace our market tables at Olde Pomfret Farmers Market in Carlisle, and at Mother Earth’s Harvest Fair at Spoutswood Farm, in York County, this week-end. Next Saturday we will attend the Fall Arts Fair in Carlisle. We will bring our Certified Naturally Grown “No Sugar, No Spice, Apple (8 varieties) & Asian Pear, Apple Butter” to these events. Yesterday I took 25 bushels of smaller, but sound, fruit to Kimes Cider Mill, and tomorrow I will bring home 25 cases of pints. This product is always a favorite at autumn fairs. My favorite use of it is on my morning granola. We save our best apples to sell one at a time, or by the quart box, to hungry fair-goers in search of healthy food.

Last Sunday I attended the Pa Sustainable Energy Fair in Kempton, and was really impressed. I got to meet a lot of small farmers, many who were interested in growing small natural orchard and berry patches. When harvest and marketing die down, I will be going on the road, to speak on this topic. On October 20, 8am-2:30pm, Judy and I will be presenting our fruit growing system to “Rites of Fall”, hosted by Penn State Extension, at the Adams County Ag and Natural Resource Center. I have also agreed to present a pre-conference workshop at the PASA Conference in State College in early February. If you can attend these events, I would be glad to meet you, as I reveal the arcane knowlege of “Gettin’ By”.

Thank You

Thom Marti

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