Archive for June, 2012

Peaches are here.

It’s hard to  believe, but it’s peach season already.  It’s not middle of peach season yet, but the tell-tales signs of Dave coming in and needing a shower to rid himself from pesky peach fuzz before sitting down for a meal are upon us.    Dave and his dad picked a goodly amount of peaches this afternoon to make the trip to Philly, and Rittenhouse Square and Clark Park will once again carry the sweet, heady aroma of peaches ripened in season.

Dave and his dad check every peach for ripeness. If it isn’t soft at all, it stays on the tree to wait for the next time that Dave picks.  Usually the peaches start to ripen at the top or bottom of the peach, so this is where he checks.  Dave will go over the same tree a number of times in the span of a week or two until all of the peaches have ripened.

 

The peaches are then placed in a bread tray lined with bubble wrap and paper.  The single-layer approach, though not as romantic as old crates, keeps the peaches from bruising.

Dave wanted me to take a picture of his cart. Ladies and gentlemen, this cart can not be bought in a store. Dave, his brother and dad all built one of these carts, specially made to carry the peach trays

 

Once the tray is full, it is stacked on top of the other peaches.  The metal dolly on which the peaches are stacked has wheels so the peaches can be wheeled onto the truck and off the truck at market.  The metal dollies were welded by a local company to specially fit the peach trays.

In other news, we also have some sour cherries that we are bringing to market this week.  Really, the trees are pretty young, so they gave a pretty puny crop this year.  Next year should be much better.

Here Dave is showcasing all of the cherries that he picked last Friday. This week’s picking was three times this amount. (Still not anything to write home about, though obviously exciting enough to write on a blog.)

I haven’t shown the Asian pears yet. We only have about half a row of them, but you can definitely expect them to make the journey to market this fall.

The Honeycrisp are continuing their all-important quest to get nice and big so they can be sold at market and consumed.  What a great goal.

 

Peach season…so close we can almost smell it

The peaches…they are a-coming.  Dave was excited to show me the Rich May peaches which are looking like they are almost ready to be plucked from the trees.

We went for a leisurely walk through the orchard on Sunday to see the progress. It’s amazing how this orchard changes from day to day. The dogs, of course, were delighted that we decided to take a walk.

This is one the Rich May peaches. Dave was originally predicting that we would be picking them this week, but the weather is predicted to be fairly cool. That will slow their ripening.

A Rich May tree

Of course, not all the peaches look like the Rich May.  I went to a tree directly across the row from the Rich May and took a picture of a green fuzzy orb patiently waiting for the dead of summer .  Its time will come.  Just not yet.

Here is a little glimpse at the Honeycrisp.

This is a cluster of Honeycrisp.  You can see their little pink cheeks.

Earlier this week, Dave ordered a whole truckload of bark mulch for the blueberry bushes.  He considered putting down plastic like at our other farm, but he was concerned that the voles would find the warm plastic a little too homey and would destroy the blueberry bushes by chewing off all their bark.  This mulch is great for acid-loving plants like blueberries and we hope isn’t as inviting for voles.

Caleb and Benny had a great time playing in the mulch. They dug in it, slid down it, and got terrifically dirty.

Dave commanded the boys to temporarily stand against the greenhouse so they wouldn’t be traipsing through the mulch making a mess while he finished.

There are a few precious blueberries on these young plants. They won’t be coming to market, though. The farthest distance they’ll travel is from the bush directly into our watering mouths.

One last thing…Dave wanted to post a picture of a tomato plant in the greenhouse for those of you confused by the last post.  Each plant is supported by a string.  It is clipped onto that string at approximately 12 inch intervals the whole way up.  This is the string that is lowered and moved, taking the plant with it.