Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jonagold, Red Delicious, Ruby Jon and Golden Delicious.

All the Jonagolds are open to pick now. 

 Jonagold, in my opinion, is our best all-around apple.  It is a really good eating apple, plus it makes great applesauce and pies.  If you want just one apple that does everything, then get this one!

 Jonagold apple

Some Jonagolds on the bigger trees aren't as red but they are just as sweet.  And even larger than these red ones!  We have Jonagold in 3 different places.

 Lots of Jonagold waiting to be picked!

Ruby Jon are ready too.
They are a variety of Jonathon apple.  Beautiful red apple with a little more tart than sweet flavor.  They are great for applesauce.  A little better for baking than eating.

Red Delicious are ready.  
We have half a row of these on young trees, plus many trees in the older section of the orchard.  The older section of the orchard is the south end where the trees are really big.

Red Delicious are a old classic, eating apple.  You probably had one of these as a kid at school.  Not the best for baking.

Golden Delicious are almost ready.  
You are welcome to pick them now and they are fine.  I think in a week they will be even sweeter.

Golden Delicous are best used for eating and pies.  It holds it shape well when cooked.

We also have plenty Anjou pears available.  Pre-picked.  You will see them when you drive in.

In a week or so, the next apple that looks to be ready is the Melrose.  Will give you more details about them when they are ripe!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just a quick update today:

We have LOTS of Anjou pears (winter pears) that we picked and are ready for you guys to take home! 

We are asking $5 for the smaller bucket size, and $11 for the 5 gallon bucket size. 

Also, the Ruby Macs are all gone for the season.  I think they are a new favorite for you all!

Gala, Honeycrisp, Smoothies (aka Golden Delicious) and Jonagold are all ripe now.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jonagold are ripe now.  
We marked the row that we think is the most ripe.  In a week, you could probably pick off any of the Jonagold rows.  We have Jonagolds in 3 different place (just so you know!)

A small amount of Ruby Mac left but they are soon coming to an end.
Still lots of Honeycrisp, Gala and Smoothies (type of Golden Delicious).

 Example of a Jonagold apple.  (They are huge!!)


 I am totally bias but Jonagold are my absolute favorite.  I think because they make great applesauce and I love just eating them.  Plus they are usually nice and big! 

 We made some "Pick Here" signs this year.  It should make it much easier for you all to find what rows are ripe. 

 Thanks for letting me take your picture!  They picked several different kind of apples!  The apples looked so tasty.

 Getting the combine ready for another flower seed harvest.

 Poppy seed head.

 Dumping the flower seed into a seed box.
 This header is so big we it takes up 2 lanes of traffic.  We have to put it on a trailer to haul it between fields.

 This creature was crawling around on me and I didn't even notice!!  Pretty cool praying mantis.

 That's a long way up! 
 The poppy seed.  Still needs to be cleaned.  Has a lot of trash in it, like small plant stem pieces, etc. 

Today we are working on getting the radish seed harvested! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another apple is ripe!

The Smoothies are ready!
They are a type of Golden Delicious but have a pink huey.  I always look forward to these each year too.  They have a super crunch to them.  Mild but sweet.  They are a great all-purpose apple.
I have also heard them called Supreme Gold.

You will find these a little less than halfway down on the south half of the orchard.  Walk down the row until you see a white sign that says Smoothie.  

Also, we are sold out of pears, but have lots of Gala and Honeycrisp still.

This last weekend we started harvesting our first flower seed crop.  Below is a picture of the Coreopsis head containing the seeds.

And here is the seed out of the head.
And here is looking under the swathed rows looking to see how much has shattered off when we cut it. 

We ended up having to harvest differently than I talked about in a earlier blog post.  Instead of cutting and sending it straight into the back of the combine, we had to swath it, then later go through with the combine.  Even though the seed heads were dry enough, the stems from the plants were still wet enough that they would have wrapped around the "wheat" header and we would have gotten nowhere.   

 It took three days to harvest the Coreopsis.  Longer than we thought but thankfully we got it done before the rain Monday morning.  We had problems with the combine plugging many times so it slowed us down a little.
We also filled the combine bin full of seed and it would not come out the shoot to dump it into a truck!  So we started shoveling it out!  That was a little daunting but it wasn't so bad.  After that we would just harvest 2 rows and then unload the seed.  My dad always says if you don't fail every once in awhile then you aren't trying hard enough!!  We will claim that saying on this experience.  Ha!

A family out and about picking.  The little girls were so cute with their little buckets for apples!

Also want to introduce Laura, one of our newest apple employees!  And her sweet daughter Ruby!  She can help you with anything you need.

We are also getting ready to plant 2.5 acres of blueberries.  Finally finishing the field out.  Right now we are making the beds and adding the sawdust.  Next we put in the overheard sprinklers and then finally plant the plants.   

Well, off to get some more work done!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Honeycrisp are ready!!!

What you all have been waiting for....Honeycrisp are now ready!!!

We thinned hard this spring so all the Honeycrisp are a nice size this year.  You will love them! 
Our newest row of Honeycrisp is extra great.  It has the biggest and most red apples on it.  I'm sure they will be the first to be picked.  They are beautiful!!!

Really all the apples this year are great.  It is a fantastic apple year.  My grandpa did a wonderful job tending to them this year.  He always does, but between him and the weather working together, he did an extra good job. 

As for the rest of the farm, we are still working away on getting our other crops harvested. 

We just finished up blueberries.  We had Salem Harvest come out 2 different days to help clean up two of our fields.  One field they were able to donate over 900# and the other over 300#.  As usual, they did an amazing job of organizing their volunteers and treating our fields with the utmost respect.

Our radish seed, was swathed (cut and laid into rows) over the weekend.  It has to lay to dry out for awhile before we can come through with the combine.  The long bout of dry weather has been great.  Taken stress off by not having to worry about weather issues.

Two of our flower seed fields are being sprayed right now.  It is a strange concept, but after the bloom is mostly gone, you spray over the field with weed killer.  It helps stop the green growth of the plant but doesn't harm the seed heads.  It actually allows us to harvest sooner.  And instead of having to swath it, where we would risk much of the seeds shattering onto the ground when we later come through with the combine, we just come through with our combine with a wheat header.  A wheat header is different because it cuts the crop and picks it up at the same time.  I am not sure if this is making sense.  I don't know about you but I am a visual person.  I hope when we go to harvest the flowers, I will get some pictures for you all.  So stay posted.  There is another way to harvest flowers too but maybe I can get into that another year if we end up trying it!

And the only other crop left to talk about is the corn!  The corn just got topped over the weekend, so it shouldn't be too long until it is harvested.  I haven't actually heard when.

So that is our farm happenings in a nutshell.  Pretty soon it will be time to plan for next year!