Broad Valley Orchard

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Spring Still Eludes Us

Hello all,

This lingering grim weather still haunts us. There have been few good soil drying and warming days. The ‘big machine’ farmers are stuck in the mud. We are still able to be out there hand tilling our raised beds, which dry out better. We have been able to get another planting of peas and out first planting of potatoes in. The orchard is only pushing buds in slow motion, but that is better for the crop. If the buds open, the flowers are vulnerable to frost, and if they open too early the pollinators will not be out yet.

The best news is that these cool days have kept our remaining hoop house greens from bolting; we are going to be able to deliver salads this week and perhaps next week = this will make 51 weeks of deliveries in our 2007/2008 season.

Yesterday I had our annual CSA meeting; we had our biggest turn-out ever. We have already sold all our Main Season shares, and some folks are putting money down on our Extended Season shares. I was able to tell them that we would probably be able to deliver Pre-CSA salads within three weeks. Hoop House Magic! We also attended the Dickinson College farmers Market/ Local Foods dinner. Their program began in 1997 when Dan Gennone, a student, discovered us at the town’s street market. He bacame our first intern, and brought other students along. Their energy formed the College Student Garden, which we mentored. Now, the school has founded a Student Farm, and have set their sites on College sustainabilty. We are proud of them.

We have used the most firewood that we have had to since the “Pinotuvo” hard winters of 1994-96. I am taking advantage of the heat to “fire brew” some ale next to the wood stove. I have my first batch bottled, and the second batch a-bubbling. Last fall’s cider turned out quite nicely. The batch of apple cider is up to our standards, and my test batch of apple-grape cider (with no added sugar) is very good.

Well off to bundle up and go out to our new garden plat and dig out the wild garlic, so that I can put down some black plastic to kill off the sod in what will become this years melon patch.

Thank You

Thom Marti

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