The time is here and the apples are ready. The orchard will open for the season next Saturday, August 19. Hours will be Saturdays from 10-5 and Sundays from noon-5. First up as always will be State Fair. A very good crisp and somewhat tart apple that goes with just about anything. A week or so behind that will be Zestar. This year the Zestar crop is impressive to say the least. For both of these early varieties, since we have such a good crop, we are going to let you "pick your own" if you like. If you would rather just pick up a bag, thats ok too! The bees have also had a good summer and within the next couple of weeks, we will be extracting honey. So if you would like some really good local honey, it wont be far off. See you next weekend!
Mark your calendar, the time is almost here. We have about 4 weeks or so until the first apples will be ready. The heavy favorites this year look to be State Fair, Zestar, Sweet Sixteen and Snow Sweet. There will be others mixed in there as well, but those 4 will be the big producers this year. The summer has been dry the last month or so and that slows everything down. Even though we can irrigate when needed, a good rain now and then makes a huge difference. Also, last summers storms continue to make themselves known on some of the trees. We lost alot of trees because of those storms and some are still stressed out this summer. The lack of production of those trees is evident. But overall, it still looks to be a good fall and we will have lots of apples for you to try. The bees are also doing great and with alittle luck, we will have a good supply of honey. Keep an eye here and I'll let you know when the first weekend will be!
The fruit set is underway! Right now the apples are between the size of a pea and the size of a nickel. The weather has been favorable but we need rain, badly. The orchard is irrigated but rain is always a better option. Pests have been light to this stage and thats a good thing too. Some of our biggest pests are caterpillars and birds. Both of which can be a real pain to deal with. Scab, which is a fungal disease, has been light to this point also. Untreated scab can wipe out an orchard in a few years if left uncontrolled. Several times a week during the summer, these are just a few of the things that I need to be on the lookout for. But as long as none of these issues get out of control, we will have another decent crop in just a few months. The bees are also doing good. Happy bees are another barometer of how things are going in the orchard. Stay tuned!
One of my favorite times of the year is here, the bloom!. Every spring, when everything comes together for about 2 weeks, we get to watch one of natures miracles happen. Right now, about 80 % of the orchard is in full bloom. After surviving another winter, the bees are busy at work making sure that all the flowers get pollinated. When you think about it, thats thousands and thousands of flowers that need attention. Between the apples and the dandelions (which they love and make great honey) I think thats where the term "busy as bees" comes from. As long as the weather stays in the present pattern, things should be fine. Its the sudden drop into the twenties that scares me and for some reason, its seems to happen more often then I would like. Must be Minnesota! Heres a few picture for you to enjoy.
The orchard has come to the end of another season and we would like to thank all of you who came out this fall and picked apples. It seems like we just started picking a few weeks ago but in fact, we started the 2nd week of August. Time flies! Its time to put the orchard to bed for the winter and we will hit it hard again next spring when we start pruning which is usually in March. Enjoy the winter and thanks again for coming out!
This Saturday, October 15, will be the last day of the season. Come on out one last time and have a hot cup of cider and a bag of apples. This weekend, we will have both Snow Sweet and Haralson. Lexi will be waiting patiently on her bale of straw, so come on out and say Hi. Its been a busy season and seems hard to believe that we have already been open for over 2 months. See you this Saturday!!
We are coming down the home stretch and you have only 2 weekends left to come out and try some fresh Minnesota grown apples! We have had an excellent season so far and the last 2 weekend will be just as good. This weekend we will have Snow Sweet and Haralson. Haralson just happens to be one of Minnesotas most popular apples. It is an excellent apple for baking and has a bit of tart to it. With a chance of frost for the weekend, the Haralson might just sweeten up a little as well. The Snow Sweet is also a delicious apple with a crunchy texture and a almost buttery flavor. Come on out this weekend and try one. You wont be disappointed.
October is here and with it comes one of the most popular apples there is.....Haralson! We will start picking both Haralson and Haralred this weekend and the supply should hold out for a few weeks. Along with those 2, we will also have Sweet Sixteen, Snow Sweet and Honey Crisp. With 5 different varieties for you to try, I'm sure we can find one that you will like. This is the time of year that everyone waits for and its finally here, so enjoy the month of October and come out to the orchard and find your new favorite.