Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Planting and Thinning

Organic vegetable seedlings from Peas and Harmony  are now for sale at the fruit stand.  There are healthy tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings, basil plants and other herbs in 4 inch pots.  We also have oranges, grapefruit, lemons, hoshigaki, eggs and honey at the fruit stand. 

At the orchard, wisteria is blooming and green persimmon flower buds are about to pop open.  Zucchini, summer squash, beans and cucumber are sprouting in the gardens.  We started planting tomato seedlings but are holding off on planting more until the night time temperatures warm up a little.  Cherries and ume Japanese plums are getting big, but the fruits are still green.  On the peach trees we've been pulling off pink lumpy leaves affected by peach leaf curl and hand-thinning the fruit.  Thinning the fruit by leaving only 1 or 2 fruit per small branch allows the tree to put energy into growing less fruits of a bigger size.

If you stop by the fruitstand you may notice a cherry tree by the house by the edge of the parking lot.  In the tree is a vinegar trap Chris made to attract and catch spotted wing drosophila (also called cherry vinegar fruit fly).  She also tied agribon around a few of the branches and fruit to see if it works to protect the fruit that was not yet affected by the fruit fly.  This type of fruit fly is a new pest in Placer County that affected a lot of people's cherry crops for the first time last year.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring at the Orchard

The path leading from the back of the fruit stand to Obaachan's garden.
It seems to have stopped raining for a while, so we've been able to get started thinning the fruit on the trees and planting the vegetable gardens.  Although most years it's safe to plant tomatoes by tax day (April 15th) here, this year it still seems too wet and cold.  Hopefully next week there will be warm sunny weather for the gardens.  

The next delivery date for the Sierra Foothills Meat Buyers Club is Friday, April 22nd from 3:30-5:00.  Through the Meat Buyers Club you can order locally raised, hormone-free meat, eggs and honey online, then pick it up your order at the orchard.  There are other two other delivery sites in Placer County, too, if the orchard isn't convenient.  To order for the April 22nd delivery,  your order must be sent in before 5:00 PM on Monday, April 18th.

At the fruit stand we have oranges, grapefruit, lemons, kiwi, hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon), honey, and eggs. 

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