Many gardeners will know the dreaded two Spotted mite, more commonly known as Spider Mite, a small arachnid that is a summer foe in our orchard. If you have ever seen an unhealthy looking plant covered in white cobweb-like strings then you too know the spider mite.Read More
At Frog Hollow we strive to employ Integrated Pest Management or IPM to reduce pest pressure before any major damage can be done. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of controls. Controls typically fall under three categories:
1. Cultural Control - these are physical controls like weed whacking the understory of the orchard to bring down problematic mite populations (more on that next week).Read More
You might have noticed we haven't heard much lately from Rachel, Farm Assistant extraordinaire. That's because she has been knee deep in preparing for a major farm audit. We recently caught up with her to find out the why and how of food safety on Frog Hollow Farm.
Since the early 2000s, there has been a lot of focus on Food Safety policy because of dangerous and expensive food recalls from pathogens like E-coli and salmonella. This focus resulted in the Food Safety Modernization Act which was passed in 2011. Although most of the food safety problems have been from large conventional monoculture farms, many produce wholesalers are asking farms like us to have Food Safety Audits by a third party so this year we've made the leap.Read More
As we are all rejoicing over the arrival of our cherries, and though slim, apricots, we are at the same time lamenting about the discovery of extensive damage to our apple trees from fire blight.
Fire blight is the result of an infection caused by the bacterium, Erwinia amylovora which can overwinter on a trees woody portions. If conditions in the spring are warm and moist, as they were in the early spring this year when we were experienced a week of dewy mornings which turned into 80 degree days, the bacterium becomes highly activated and multiplies.Read More
Farmer Al recently made a whirlwind trip to Washington DC to attend a conference hosted by Partnership for a Healthier America. This organization brings together "public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity". They work with the "big guys" like fast food companies and politicians to get major systemic changes around the food industry and the policies governing it.Read More
Each year our stone fruit, apple and pear trees wake up from their winter slumber with a celebration of beautiful flowers that will become summer and fall fruit. Our tree crew is now in their third week of thinning trees, a yearly chore that takes a whole lot of time and skill. Only now is fruit large enough (nickel to quarter sized) for our staff to see their overall quantity and quality.Read More
The orchard is abuzz - not just with bees, but with the steady hum of weed whackers.
As you may have read in previous newsletters, we LOVE our cover crops. Instead of bare ground under our trees, you will find a dense covering of grasses and legumes in the orchard understory.Read More
Catching up with Kelly Knapp of Miss Bee Haven Honey during the busy spring season!Read More
Catching up with Gordon Frankie, of UC Berkeley's Urban Bee Lab, about native pollinators at Frog Hollow Farm.Read More