Our chickens love tomatoes, too!

Dave wanted to show you how much fun it is for our boys to feed the chickens.  It is truly the highlight of the day for them!

 

Peach thinning

Dave wanted to make a video of peach thinning to clarify exactly what he’s doing this time of year.  (I hope our four year old terrorizing our one year old in the background isn’t too much of a distraction.  We were considering doing another take, but he probably wouldn’t have behaved the second time either.)

Of spring and the return of tomatoes

DSC_0053Spring is a beautiful time to live on a fruit farm.  After months of trudging through feet of snow, even our dogs are exuberant to welcome spring.  The peaches are about done blooming, and the apples are about to start blooming.  Here is a view of the orchard on Thursday.

 

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DSC_0038We feel fortunate that it looks like the peaches didn’t get frozen.  Dave was just out in the apples, and it appears that some of the apple varieties got thinned pretty hard with frost.  Dave thinks there will still be a full crop, though.  Usually Dave thins many of the apples, so this year he will have to be little more frugal with the thinning.

DSC_0055These are the apples showing their pink tips.  It won’t be long until they are in full bloom as well.

prunersDave just got done pruning the peaches.  He’s never pruned peaches when they were in bloom before, but because of the nature of this cold, cold winter, it just didn’t get done.  There was much celebration when Dave was done pruning.  We took a celebratory trip to the hardware store to buy swings for our tree and out to eat.

 

Dave spent the last two days in the greenhouse which has been neglected because of the push to get pruning done.

Speaking of greenhouses and tomatoes…Dave is planning on coming to Clark Park this Saturday with tomatoes.  Hooray!  Come on out and get yourself the first delicious tomatoes of the year.

Strangers in the Greenhouse

For the first time ever, we have cucumbers growing in our greenhouse.  Dave didn’t actually plan on growing cucumbers.  He opened the seed packet to plant tomatoes and discovered five over-sized seeds that definitely didn’t belong.  He planted them to see what would grow, and behold…our first greenhouse cucumber crop.

close up of cukes

Dave has since been researching cucumbers, and realized that they are very fast growers.  I submit for evidence this picture taken on March 1st, 13 days ago.  Notice the little baby green cucumber above the black clip.

March 1 cuke

This is that same cucumber today.

right before picking

Benny went out to help Dave harvest the two cucumbers that are ready.

Benny and the CukeIt  goes without saying that we will not be coming to market with two cucumbers on Saturday.  Next year Dave is already thinking about planting some cucumbers a few months after the tomatoes to get the timing down so that both cukes and tomatoes get ready at the same time.

Speaking of tomatoes, this is what they look like right now.

tomatoes as of March 13

They are coming along slowly but surely, and before we know it, it’ll be time to start coming to market again.  Spring is coming!

Icy on the outside, green on the inside

Well, this has certainly been a winter to remember, hasn’t it?  While the bitter winds howl, the snow falls, and the forecasters scramble to predict the next big storm, the tomato plants in our greenhouse merrily push out new growth with dreams of red tomatoes dancing in their heads.  Below is a picture of our greenhouse yesterday.

greenhouse outside

The contents of  the greenhouse…

tomatos in greenhouse

It’s amazing how fast plants grow.  Just a month ago, they looked like this.

tomato starts

Dave keeps things heated with a woodstove that sets about 25 feet away from the greenhouse.

heating the greenhouse

     Dave has been desperate to go out to prune the apple and peach trees, but with the low temperatures and the snow, it just isn’t good for the trees.

dog in peaches

Jack standing amongst the very dormant peach trees.

apples

And here are the apple trees.

frosty apple

Stay warm and cozy in this weather.  And know this…the tomatoes cometh….as will the spring.  Let’s go spring!

No baked goods tomorrow

Hello all!

Since the weather is supposed to be messy tomorrow (December 14) we decided not to bake.  I’m sorry if some of you were counting on us!

Dave is tentatively planning on being at market with apples and cider, but if he wakes up and it’s snowing, he might just stay at home.

Today was going to be our last full day of baking, so we are done for the year.  However, if you still want to order something for next week, I will personally get it baked.  If you want to order something, you can call Dave’s cell – (717)314-7264 or e-mail handsontheearth@gmail.com.

To celebrate our being done baking, my sisters came over.  And we baked Christmas cookies.  Dave was a little perplexed at our mode of celebration.

Thank you all for supporting our baked goods this year!

Laura

Crazy times

peach closeup

This is the time of year when fruit farming kicks into high gear.  Peaches are coming fast and furious and apples are waiting impatiently in the wings for their turn to take the spotlight.  It’s the time of year when Dave wishes we would have gotten married and had our sons right out of high school so they would be productive peach pickers by now.  Alas…as you can see, a five year old boy in the orchard just isn’t very helpful quite yet.

five year old boys in the orchard

Currently, Dave is spending most of his time picking peaches, but the peaches are all getting ready very quickly, so we are actually seeing a light at the end of the peach-fuzz tunnel.

skid of peaches

Peaches haven’t been as bountiful as they have been in previous years, but you would never know it from this stack of peaches.

I made my first lattice peach pie today and am hopeful that next year we’ll bring some to market.  It was pretty delicious.  Be very jealous.

peach pie

What we’re really excited about these days is apples.

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You know those chilly August days that felt more like fall than the dead of summer?  Well, those chilly nights paired with a boat-load of rain led to some of the best apples we’ve ever grown.

gala

gala row

It’s always exciting to pick beautiful fruit, and this year’s apples are liable to have Dave grinning to himself as he plucks each one from the tree to the safety of his picking bag.  We hope that seeing our apples affects you in the same way.

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