A Note from Farmer Al: April 30, 2018
Dear CSA members,
The pace is quickening here at Frog Hollow. We're now no longer jogging....we're not sprinting yet, as when the fruit is ripening but the marathon of summer has started.
We have two priorities:
1) Irrigation. Trees are growing, energized by longer daylight. Warmer temperatures, and their own genetic imperatives. So water is the biggest priority. It has taken one week to cover all of our producing orchards (140 acres) and also all of our recently planted new orchards (100 acres). We started last Monday and finished today.
2) Thinning. The crop load must be managed. Usually, mother nature overloads her trees with the imperative to reproduce, meaning w have to remove excess crop by hand if we want big, juicy, sweet fruit. We're actually happy about this, even though it costs us over $1,000 per acre to do it; consider the alternative as happened this year with the apricots (no crop at all on some varieties). This year the peach and nectarine crops are mostly heavy, so workers must remove about 1/2 to 2/3 of every peach from each and every branch of every tree. It's a mind-boggling task. Walking under a just thinned peach tree is dangerous...like walking on a floor covered in marbles. These days I mostly ride on a golf cart to review the work. As I pass the thinners, I'm thrilled by the sounds of those hard green fruit raining and rattling down the steps of the aluminum ladders.
All my best,