The month of May is a busy time at Mt. View Orchards. We have started to thin off the extra bartlett pears, red d'anjou pears, all 50 varieties of apples and 12 varieties of peaches. We are so grateful that we had such an abundant crop set this year on our faithful trees. Let's hear it for the Bees!
Thinning is an expensive but necessary task because if we left all the baby fruitlets on the tree they would be small, flavorless, there would be broken limbs in the fall and this would stress our trees in the long run. We take great care of our 100 year old trees so they can be healthy and sustainable each and every year. This is the earliest we have every thinned in 41 years because the season is running about 3 weeks early because of our mild winter. Thinning is the 2nd most costly farming task we do one the farm besides harvesting our fruit so this month is going to be very tight tight tight! Farming is not for the faint of heart or for those who love to have ample savings accounts Deep breath...... For farming is a profession of HOPE and I come from a long legacy of HOPERS!
We have started irrigating our trees this month because it has been so dry and when we check our 3 tensiometers (they measure soil moisture) around the farm our soil is running quite unusually dry this month. Last year we started watering our trees in July! In June there is a natural "June drop" where the trees drop some of their extra fruitlets but if the tree is at all thirsty or water stressed it could drop ALL its fruitlets on the ground to save itself from becoming overwhelmed. We are again so very grateful that we live at the base of Mt. Hood and belong to Middle Fork and we always have ample water every single year. This I know is a gift and I am the most grateful farmer.
I visited friends in Southern California a few weekends back and they are in a huge water drought and this has been extremely hard on farms and farming families. California grows a lot of our nations fresh produce so this is everyone's problem. To learn more about it google "California Drought" to find out more about this is shutting down farms left and right in America's Bread Basket. I know having ample water is rare and we strive at our farm to be mindful of this and only water the recommended amounts and conserve this valuable resource. Rain is really is a necessary gift and my heart always wells up with so much thanksgiving now when the rain begins. Endless sunny days are beautiful but out of balance and we need the rain as well or we cannot grow food in our country. So everyone be praying for the rain here, there and everywhere.
With the 70 degree temperatures the soil has been warm enough to plant our pumpkin patch and sweet corn for the Fall of 2015! We have always had pumpkins at our orchard but this year we have kicked it up a few notches and have expanded the patch significantly. We have moved the pumpkin patch closer to the farm stand where they have ample sun exposure so they can grow large and orange(fingers crossed). We have over 5 kinds of pumpkins and over 7 kinds of corn we are germinating this year on our farm. The weather has been cooperating with us quite well because we had hot sun in the beginning of the week and last night we had some generous rain fall. Fortunately without any hail.
Hail has been an expensive problems for some of our farming friends in Hood River this year and we are again grateful so far to be spared from this total crop nightmare. There are so many weather related threats that we are constantly trying to escape as farmers. You really have to have a lot of passion and faith to be in this profession because one day of unexpected hail could cost you your entire crop and you could lose your land all together. This has always been part of the gig but it still makes you feel rather vulnerable, especially when you are in your very first year.
My amazing mother(Ruthie) went a little overboard and bought over 600 different kinds of dahlia tubers this year and the good news is that they all planted in the ground. We also planted sunflowers and hollyhocks all over the entrance of our farm and we hope to be more colorful and fragrant when you come to enjoy the farm this harvest. Our farm truly is your farm and I cannot wait to host you all when cherries are ripe in the middle of summer. xoxo your grateful farmer
PS. The Mt. View Orchards CSA is a GO!!!!! Thank you to all who backed me and to those are are still wanting to join. Thank you to all who have sent their 100 dollar deposit and for those who have paid in FULL already. Your checks that have come to me during this time of the year have been SO SO helpful and I am using 100% of this income all over the farm to plant our veggies for the Fall. I sincerely wasn't sure if there would be enough interest in our CSA and my heart is FULL that all of you responded to the cause to Save our Farm! Thank you, thank you, thank you! email me any questions at email@example.com