It is shaping up to be a banner year. Our biggest acreage, Montmorency tart cherries appears to have a very nice crop coming. This is so important for us because we send most of our Montmorencies to be made into concentrate and concentrate has been in very short supply.
The sweet cherries are popping out of the husks and it appears there will be a very nice crop of sweets. The sweet cherry trees have been trimmed aggressively to keep the fruiting wood vigorous and close to the ground for easy u-pick and hand picking. I am guessing we will have u-pick sweets in mid July and lots of them!
Apricot trees have a full load. To insure that we get good size on apricots we hand thin every tree. This week our highly skilled field workers were busy going over every branch on every apricot tree picking off apricots to allow the remaining cots to grow large and sweet.
The peach, plum, and nectarine crop all looks very strong right now. We will begin thinning peaches and nectarines in about 2 weeks when we are more certain which blossoms have actually set fruit, and are growing.
Apples had a spectacular bloom throughout and we are getting ready to hand thin apples where necessary. It will take several weeks to get over each of the 39,000 (dwarf trees) apple trees, but hand thinning is how we keep the tree vigorous and bearing every year, and it insures larger better colored fruit. If we don’t thin the fruit in a year with tons of bloom then the following year we might not have any bloom.
I am cautiously optimistic that we have a very nice Balaton Cherry crop too. The Balatons are a nice fruit but they don’t bear very well for us. They seem to have lots of blossoms every year but then they don’t set fruit and drop off. Jim and I tease each other as we have numerous time predicted a big crop from a nice bloom only to come up short. However, this year it appears (right now anyway) that the Balaton cherries are coming out of the husks and a big crop of Balatons may be coming.
Today we are finally getting many of the vegetable planted. This year Rose spent some time in the seed catalogs and came up with a few more fun veggies to add to our usual planting. We are going to try beets, kale, some other leafy greens, peas, and beans, in addition to the summer squash, zucchini, winter squash, pumpkins and sweet corn. We even planted rhubarb this year but it takes a year or two to establish a stand.