A Note from Josh: Year-End on the Farm
Hello folks, just thought we'd share a bit about what's happening on the farm at this time of year for those who are interested. At a time when many are ramping up for the holidays, things are slowing down here for us.
We’re busy hand pruning Fuji trees at the moment but will be taking off 12/21-1/3 for Christmas. We’ve made some real good progress on pruning which is nice as January is a very unpredictable month for weather. If it’s below 20 degree we avoid pruning due to concerns over damaging the trees. We have also been using a hedger with saw blades on it this offseason to see if we can limit our labor due to its high cost. We are also trucking apples from our Controlled Atmosphere Cold Storage to Pine Canyon, our packing shed, to have them packed. This is the time of year we pack apples to ship oversees for Chinese New Year. Lastly, we are removing some golden and red delicious trees to be replaced with Premier and Firestorm Honeycrisp this spring.
It's pretty quiet in the vineyard at the moment. We do have a small crew going through some blocks selecting new shoots to leave as spurs when we get to pruning. After six or seven years we have to start looking at replacing existing spurs with new ones. Seeing we can’t replace all of them at once with out hurting yield we choose to replace one per side (there are four spurs on each side of the cordon on 4-foot spaced plants) to help increase the longevity and viability of each vine.
We just finished combining corn last Friday and now we are into our maintenance program on equipment in the shop as well as doing repairs on certain outbuilding around the farm. This is the time of the year to get everything ready for the next season. The farm crew raises crops but also acts as a support system for the orchard and vineyard as they have the shop as well as the operators for our construction equipment for roads and removing orchard.
As we get ready to celebrate the holidays, we are grateful for a bit of a break that comes with the closing of one year and beginning of the next. Cheers to you and yours this holiday season.
'Til next year!