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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
We have removed 30 old trees that aren't producing well any more. Replacement trees will be arriving in a week or two. Here Chocolate is inspecting the holes awaiting the new trees. Want the old trees for firewood or smoking meat? We will be giving away all the old wood. Call me at (661) 261-3216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I own & operate a u-pick orchard featuring stone & pome fruit. The orchard is located on the airport that we also own & operate in the high desert north of Los Angeles. The orchard & the airport keep us very busy, but they are so much fun. You can reach us at (661) 261-3216 or email@example.com or www.brianranch.com