Friday, February 14, 2014

Trees in bloom

Jack is looking at tiny bees (Mason bees) work on an apricot tree.  When we became farmers, we really started worrying about the weather.  The weather has been so wonderful lately - warm & dry - that all the fruit trees are starting to bloom early by 3 to 4 weeks.  This will be great if the weather stays nice, but if we get a cold freeze we could lose all the stone fruit like we did 3 years ago.  As long as the temps stay in the 30's we are ok.  But there is 2 1/2 months to go before the threat is over.  Yes, we can get freezes in late April.  Here's hoping for the best & a good summer crop.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Snow on the Mountains

Lots of winter snow on the mountains.  Right now, we're in Rose Parade weather, but we've had two very cold spells - just before Thanksgiving & in early December.  We really enjoy the warm weather, but the trees want cold.  The more cold in winter, the better the summer crop.  There should be a few more cold spells before the thermometer starts easing up in February.  No snow for us yet, but looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ribbons from the Fair

We just returned from the Antelope Valley Fair and boy are we pleased.  We entered 12 different fruits and 10 received ribbons - 4 firsts, 1 second, and 5 thirds.  Both our Asian pears took ribbons as well as both peaches submitted and all the apples.  Here's the breakdown:
First Place - Forty-niner peaches; Braeburn, Fuji, & Gala apples
Second Place - Shinko Asian pears
Third Place - 20th Century Asian pear; Golden Supreme apple; Rosi-Red Bartlett pear; Flavortop nectarine; Paradise peach

Friday, June 28, 2013

This is the craziest thing yet!

Several weeks ago we were visited by a pair of White Egrets.  I think that they found it hard to fly because it was blowing very badly.  This is not the first time we have been visited by egrets or their cousins the Great Blue Herons.  Like all previous visits, they ate all the goldfish in our pond.  They couldn't leave yet, so they ate apricots lying on the ground!  That is the craziest thing yet!  After several days, they flew off.  They must have been hungry after a diet of apricots.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fruit is getting ripe!

Jack picked a small selection of two varieties of peaches & two of nectarines.  They are all about halfway to picking.  They all look great - no bugs, no bird pecks, no dings from rubbing against the branches.  We can hardly wait.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Well, well, well

On Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, Jack noticed that one of our water tanks was not filling.  A short investigation led to well #1 where the pump had stopped working.  Jack called our well man, Don Vickery, immediately.  Don's crew came out Monday afternoon to pull the pump.  It's 270 feet down & is attached to 20' lengths of pipe.  It takes a crane to pull it up.  The picture is of the wires that go down into the well & communicate with the pump.  Don's crew took only 3 hours to pull up the pump.  After 5 years of use, it had just had enough work.  It was a good thing this happened in March & not July when the trees need the maximum amount of water.  A new pump was ordered on Tuesday morning & installed on Thursday morning.  By lunchtime it was all over.  Jack & I went to Rick's Cafe to celebrate! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Planting new trees

My own personal Johnny Appleseed, my husband Jack Brian, is planting the last of 32 new trees.  We have peaches, nectarines, pears, & apples.  We used a new supplier for the apples & the trees look terrific.  The only problem is waiting.  It will be 3-4 years before we harvest any fruit from these trees.  No instant gratification for the orchardist!