The weather this year has been so wacky and crazy. Constant rain and cool wet days all summer long have made fruit production difficult and expensive. The rain just kept coming and we have battled the grass and weeds relentlessly. Unbelievable but now into the fall season we are in the middle of a severe heat wave and drought. We have not seen a drop of rain now in weeks, at the time it is needed the most. Mother nature can be cruel as witnessed by many people around the globe who have suffered badly from extremes of severe weather events, storms, and other natural disasters. The hot and dry situation we are facing locally here has made necessary a decision we have never dreamed of in past years, but we feel it is our one and only option. There will NOT be pick-your-own apples here this weekend. At this point all of our early season varieties (Aug-Sept apples) have been harvested. The majority of our crop, the later season varieties that are normally ready in October, are nowhere near maturity. The sugar content is very low. These apple need some cooler nights and some moisture to reach maturity in terms of size and sweetness. We are very sorry to disappoint our loyal customers but please keep in mind we have no control over the weather. Pick your own is expected to resume the following weekend (Sept. 30-Oct 1) Pick your own pumpkins will also begin the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 1 The store remains open daily from 10-6with all varieties of fruit we have harvested to date. These include Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Paula Red, Tydeman Red, Gingergold, Royal Gala and a few Cortland. We also have pears and plums for sale. Hope to see you at the farm!
There is a really nice crop of Honeycrisp Apples this year from our younger trees. This is one variety not available for pick your own. Our pickers are harvesting them now for optimum taste and storability. We are offering 5 lb bags of Honeycrisp now at $10.00.Come and get some as they are super fresh right now. We feel that this is an excellent price point for one of the most desired apple cultivars in the market.
- Paula Red…………………….picked, available in store
- Tydeman Red………………picked, available in store
- Macintosh …………………..picked, available in store
- Royal Gala …………………..picked, available in store
- Gingergold ………………….picked, available in store
- Bartlett Pears ……………..picked, available in store
- Blue Plums …………………..picked, available in store
- Honeycrisp ………………….Now picking, available in store
- All other varieties are yet to harvested. The pick-your-own schedule for this coming weekend (Sept.23rd and 24th) will be posted here on Thursday at noon.
It has been very challenging to grow an abundant crop of apples in 2017. With by the record- setting intense heat and ultra dry summer last year, many fruit tree varieties were stressed and did not set as many fruit buds. We had nearly the complete opposite of that with all the rain that kept coming this spring and summer. We usually spend two days a week cutting the grass in a regular season, but this one had us mowing more like six days a week in between all the precipitation. Excessive rain and periods of wet also increase the incidence of disease so tree management has been very time consuming and expensive for growers like us. Overall the Ontario Apple crop is estimated to be down between 20 and 25% in volume. Our Orchard in particular is very inconsistent in fruit set and yield. Some varieties like Honeycrisp and Northern Spy are abundant while others like Granny Smith and Mutsu did not have a great deal of fruit on them. The outlook for Pick-Your-Own is a crop that is much smaller than other recent years. Our focus is to try and put some of the best fruit on display for our loyal customers and keep the prices to an attractive level (difficult with all the increases in production cost). Crops that are abundant, like Macintosh will be available for PYO. We are trying our best but please do not expect all apple types to be in abundance and if you are coming from a distance it is a wise idea to call ahead to check availability. The pear crop here this year is excellent, for example; however we do not grow thousands of pear trees and therefore do not offer PYO pears to the public generally.
This time of year, there are millions of leaves to be raked up under the trees. – But they are NOT to be burned or disposed of ! Leaves are a valuable source of organic matter to be recycled into the soil, thereby improving the soil structure and providing what plants need for better growth next year.
Leaves are collected into bins for easy transport to the pumpkin patch, where they will be dumped and then tilled into the field. The job of composting will be done by earthworms and soil microorganisms which break down the leaf matter into humus. The enriched soil will benefit from this additional boost of organics- hopefully resulting in lots of big fat pumpkins next fall!
Do not burn or throw out your leaves – this is a waste of valuable organic material which is an overall a negative environmental impact.
Instead, consider composting them, and if you cannot, please bring them to us… – We will happily accept leaves in paper yard waste bags and recycle them for you right here on the farm !