Welcome to spring, finally! Wow, what a stretch of weather we are happy to say good bye to. While we had a fantastic bloom on the apples and peaches, most of the weather during pollination was cool, cloudy and/or wet. The bees barely got out of their hives. The silver lining is that the cool weather allowed the flowers to stay viable for days longer than normal, so we are still hopeful that our crop is set. The strawberries, raspberries and blueberries all look fantastic, so that excites us.
The tomato high tunnels are planted and we are expecting the first picking to be sometime early/mid June. The bulk of the vegetable plantings will be done over the next 2 weeks, with succession plantings after that. An example of a succession planting would be for lettuce. We transplant seedlings of lettuce every 7 to 10 days right into September. Last year, we had 14 plantings, and carried our own lettuce through December.
Karen and I, and our whole crew at the farm are quite excited about this season. We all had a good rest this winter where we were able to spend some time thinking creatively and come up with some very interesting new enterprise additions to our already interesting offerings. Karen and I are pleased and proud to announce that our son Chadd is ready to open his new Cider Hill Cellars cidery Friday, May 26, with 2 ciders he has worked very hard to produce over the last 7 months. We will have these in the store for sale starting that day, as well as tastings in the cidery from 2pm to 5pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. These two wonderful ciders are just the beginning of what will soon become a larger family of offerings. We have been planting hard cider variety apple trees for over 5 years in preparation of this new business for Cider Hill Farm, and you will not be disappointed as we begin to use these in our blends and varietals in increasing quantities. Even the cider we have ready for you at our opening next week has a blend of Russets, Ashmeads Kernel, Spitzenberg, Kingston Black, Pippins, Spy and Wickson Crab along with some of our dessert varieties. You will be hearing more about this in weeks to come!
Some of our other new changes you will see as the season progresses, while others we will talk about soon.
Well, it is time to get back to work. Much to do!
As always, thank you being a most important member of our Cider Hill Farm family!