According to my calendar its the first day of spring, but with 21 degree wind chill and still frozen ground it doesn't quite feel like it!
Just wanted to shoot out a note, first to thank everyone that has signed up to participate in our CSA program this season and secondly to give you an update on farm activities over the past couple of months.
Orchard Work - I have spent a large portion of my time over the past couple of months at the old orchard that we leased, pruning 250 trees. Five of the six varieties we have are looking really good, unfortunately the rabbits and mice were very fond of Red Delicious bark, girdling many of these trees over the winter. Here is a picture of two rows of Golden Delicious that will hopefully be contributing fruit to the late September and early October share baskets!
Applesauce -We will be utilizing many of our apples from this fall's harvest to produce our own unique brand of variety specific applesauce. In order to produce the applesauce we need an inspected commercial kitchen and be licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. We found an excellent kitchen in the Goodrich area back in January and completed all our inspections and had our final processing observation yesterday resulting in us now being an officially licensed "Wholesale Food Processor". Look for the different varieties of Grandpa's Grand Applesauce starting in September!
Hoop Houses - We managed to get one of the two hoop house frames up at the end of last year prior to the ground completely freezing, still waiting for that nice warm day with no wind so we can get the plastic on and then for the ground to thaw so we can get hoop house #2 up and "skinned".
Seed Starts - In anticipation of getting plants in the ground in the hoop house by the end of April, we recently started some of our tomatoes and peppers seeds. I’ve included a picture of some of the week-old tomato transplants, they are small and fragile but it’s great to see something green!
More updates and specifics for start dates and pick up times to come as the weather warms.