March 2016

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    Week 13, Orchard Cider Year

    March 31 OUTDOORS:  OK, the day-to-day suspense of too-warm-too-early just started.  Wickson is our herald variety here, always first to crack – and it’s  cracking two weeks earlier than “normal.”  See how the little brown outer plates are parting.  Predicted next week? Cold cold COLD, after two more warmish days.  So the buds may well […]

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    Week 12, Orchard Cider Year

    March 22 OUTDOORS: This is part of our Black Hill cider orchard, planted mostly in the ’90’s. Today Corrie went up in the Brownie lift to snap a small pruner in a big field: another angle on why pruning takes so long. Jacques is faintly circled – can you find Newton? So far things look […]

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    Week 11, Orchard Cider Year

    March 15 OUTDOORS: Steve  cutting scions – pieces of lively first-year wood – from a Brandy perry pear.  They will be top-worked – grafted – onto younger placeholder pear trees (Asian pear trees, actually) which will become Brandy trees.  We want to make more perry, and also find more perry varieties that grow really well […]

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    Charity Brag

    Willing Hands is a brilliant & efficient food-distributing non-profit near here. Everyone should contribute, OK?  If you’re local, you too can help with food or labor. Now, per our New Year’s rez to brag more, here’s a surprise fact we just saw in the tax info mail: Willing Hands took in over 9200 lbs of […]

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    Week 10, Orchard Cider Year

    March 8 INDOORS: Assorted equipment: our vintage counter-pressure filler and a newer, temporary item, maybe counter-pressure in another way. The filler will move in a couple of hours when we set up to bottle. The bag will move right out when harvest starts and every inch counts. Nobody’s here right now, because Steve borrowed a […]

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    Week 9, Orchard Cider Year

    March 1 OUTDOORS: No new snow. Fitz & Jacques are nearly through pruning our old trial orchard, planted in 1961 but now sporting scores of obscure varieties grafted on during the ’80’s. The tryout years are long past, so this orchard now opens for pick-your-own each fall. Those blue signs guide the public: numbers key […]