Today we mowed and disked the mustard, a variety developed at the University of Idaho called Idagold, we grew as a biofumigant. The mustard, as it breaks down will kill many of the weed seeds and some harmful nematodes and diseases in the soil. After disking the soil, we will let the mustard set for 3-4 weeks and then we will plant some more riple crown blackberries. I have posted some pictures so you can see what we did. The blueberries are about done blooming and the raspberries are blooming now.
It has been quite a while since I posted. This spring has been busy with new plantings, usual spring tasks and challenging because of the cold damp weather. We have had a better chance to assess the effect of the weather on our plants since I last posted. The news is not as encouraging as i would like. Some of the pluot, plum and peach trees were killed and many have damage to their cambium, this is the tissue that carries water and nutrients throughout the tree. This summer we will have to take extra care to help the tree recover. One of the things we will do is spray more foliar nutrients on the tree. these are absorbed through the leaves and don't have to travel up the damaged cambium from the roots. We also are delaying or reducing the fertilizer we put on the ground.
Our blackberries floricanes, the vines that produce this years crop suffered from the cold weather and only 10-15% survived. Fortunately the roots are healthy and should produce a good number of primocanes, these are the vines that will produce next years crop. The duke blueberries seemed to handle the weather fine except they are late. the chandler blueberries suffered mild winter damage and will not produce as much this year. The bright spot this year is our raspberries, they seem to have come through the winter fairly well and we expect a normal crop from them.
the other good news is that the new plantings of raspberries, peaches, pluots and apricots and apriums seem to be off to a good start The mustard we planted to biofumigate the field that we will plant in blackberries this summer is growing well and should bloom in the next 3 weeks or so. The orchard mason bees we got this year to pollinate our fruit are doing well and that is exciting.
Finally, we are always thinking about new ways to offer our fruit to our customers. Last year we started pick-your-own (PYO) fall raspberries and it was well received. I enjoyed offering this because it gives our customers an opportunity to connect in a closer way with the food they eat and we intend to expand this portion of our farm as the demand grows.
The success of the pick-your-own venture has encouraged me to consider a new way to offer our fruit to our customers. I am very excited about this, it is called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). How this operates is that people buy "shares" in the fruit harvest for that year. They receive a box of fruit on a regular basis throughout the harvest year, for us this would be mid-june through early october and would include raspberries,blueberries, blackberries, apricots, peaches, pluots, nectarines and plums. We will keep you updated on the progress of this and will be putting out a survey to see if this is something that might interest you.
Well that is about it for now. If April showers bring May flowers this month should be beautiful, enjoy it..