Posts in Farm Focus
Farm Focus: Our Win-Win Pruning Technique

As you've read in previous newsletters, we've been busy pruning our apricot trees for about the last month. Most pruning happens in the winter but we prune the apricots early when they still have foliage to avoid increasing the risk of brown rot, a fungal disease, which apricots are extremely susceptible to.

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Farm Focus: Holding Our Breath

Due to unfortunate weather events during spring bloom time in 2017 and 2018, we've taken a major hit on our apricot crop harvests. We thought 2017 was bad when we lost about 50% of our crop. This May, those numbers looked cheerful. We lost about 95% of our Goldensweet crop, which is our most important apricot variety. But, we are now looking at what we hope will be a silver lining to this spring's devastating loss.  

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Farm Focus: The Great Plum Mix-Up

In the late spring of 2017, we planted 800 new plum trees to increase our Emerald Beaut production. The Emerald Beauts are a late-season plum that you will all enjoy in the CSA boxes soon. They are a lovely soft shade of green with a firm texture and a crisp almost crunchy mouthfeel.  They are a sweet plum off the tree that continues to sweeten as they age.  The Emerald Beaut is a favorite at our Farmers Markets, with our wholesale accounts, and with many CSA members. 

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Farm Focus: Citrus Update #2

As we mentioned in January, one of this year's big projects was planting mandarins, those sweet little cousins of the orange that are super sweet and packed with flavor. We have planted a few varieties of mandarins including Kishu, Owari and the crowd favorite: the clementine.

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Farm Focus: Warren Pears - Striking a Balance

In the heat of summer with wagons full of peaches coming in from the orchard, it's hard to believe we are already thinking about our Warren Pear harvest, but we are. We are thankful that the harvest for 2018 is looking very good! In 2016 we had a record low harvest of our Warrens and we were more than nervous.  The Warren Pear is our signature fall fruit and important to our financial health.

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Farm Focus: Biological Control of Codling Moth

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).

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Farm Focus: Fire Blight in the Apples

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. 

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Farm Focus: Partnership For A Healthier America

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.

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