Archive for May, 2013

The long-awaited Spring

Things are starting to look promising around here.  After a cold and cloudy spring, blooms and the promise of the harvest to come makes us hopeful and grateful.  All of these pictures were taken a little more than a week ago, and I’ll to my best to update before the week is out.

cherry trees

If you would come driving up the west side of our orchard, you would see our sour cherry trees.  Last year the young cherry trees didn’t  give a whole lot of fruit, but we’re hopeful that this year’s crop will be much better.

peach blossomThe peach trees, while once clothed in glorious pink blossoms, are starting to lose their petals to reveal the tiny peach fruit beneath.

baby peachOnce the peach is revealed, we wait a couple weeks to make sure that the peach doesn’t drop and then start the long process of hand thinning the peaches.  (More on this once the thinning starts.)

blooms on treeApples bloom later than peaches, so the apples are in full bloom right now.

apple blossomApple blooms, unlike peach blooms, do not leave a baby apple within the blossom.  Instead, the blossom will stay with the apple for the remainder of its life.  The little bump you see behind the blossom will continue swelling and is the actual apple.  If you turn an apple over and look at the bottom, that is the blossom end.

bee hivesApples, unlike peaches, also require pollination to form.  While we probably have enough wild bees buzzing around the orchard for pollination, Dave always likes to ensure that we do have enough of the busy little pollinators.  This year we borrowed our neighbor’s bees.  During pollination we always hope for sunny and warm weather.  Bees are a little like humans in the aspect that cold, cloudy weather makes them want to stay inside the hive.

blueberry bushes

Our blueberry bushes in this picture are just about ready to start blooming.  We only planted these guys last year, but we’re hoping to bring some juicy blue fruit to market this year.

greenhouse aisle

And to the greenhouse.  This perpetually cloudy spring has our tomato plants expending all of their energy desperately stretching towards the sky, searching for sunlight.  At times Dave was pretty depressed at the lack of the color red in our greenhouse, but now…at last…

red tomatoes… some fruit that we can eat!   Happily Dave has collected enough tomatoes to come to market this Saturday.  Hooray!  Wahoo!  The first juicy bite of tomato after a long, dreary winter without them is one of the highlights of our spring.  The plan is that we will come to Rittenhouse with tomatoes this Saturday and then will come to Clark Park with tomatoes the following week.

These tomatoes are worth the trip!