Broad Valley Orchard

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May Day Thoughts and Observations

Hello All.

The cool damp weather continues; we have received 19 inches (0.53M) of rain in the last 3 months = 150% of normal precipitation, and the temperature has stayed far below normal. No complaints! This cool weather has worked to our advantage, becuse the greens in the hoop houses are growing well, and not bolting. The fruit trees are blooming early, and while the large orchards are worried because their imported honeybees are staying in their hives, our wild bees begin flying at much cooler temperatures. We are having a ‘snowball bloom’, and should have a good harvest.

The raised beds in our outside gardens are doing well, but I do have one patch of winter rye that needs re-tilled, and is still too boggy to work. Onions, potatoes, peas, and parsnips are already in the ground. We have several patches of plastic-culture that we will soon put into major plantings of winter squash, melons, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes. We just planted the first strawberry planting that we have put in since 2001. We are planning to be occasional guest vendors at the new Carlisle Central Market, to sell some of the surplus production we expect, above and beyond supplying our CSA. This Saturday I will be selling salad and cooking greens, spring onions, and rhubarb. Hope to see you there! We will also be at the Hundred Fold Farm’s Earth Day Fest next Saturday – check out their Website!

We wrapped up the 2007-2008 sales season three weeks ago, and we began our 2008-2009 sales season last week. I urge all small sustainable farms to erect a couple of these “salad houses” to extend your markets! Our plan is to do less gardening in summer, when heat, uncertainty of rainfall, insects pests, and plant diseases all make harvests much more problematic. This strategy will permit us to concentrate on fruit production during the heat. Well, off to plant more strawberries….

Thank You
Thom Marti

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