Updates From The Farm

Thinning Fruit

We cannot overemphasize the importance of thinning the young fruit on your trees. Now is a good time to start thinning. Early thinning can help break the tendency of biennial (every other year) bearing that is common in some apple and pear varieties, and ensuring you...

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Winter Damaged Plants

With the wild weather of February and early March behind us, and the return to more normal spring weather, we're starting to see winter damage on many plants, especially broadleafed evergreens. Even 'hardy' evergreens and some conifers that experienced the sustained...

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Welcome our 2019 Interns!

Every winter we welcome a new group of interns for a season of working and learning on the farm. The first week of March we welcomed eight new people to the team, each person bringing a unique set of skills and experiences. Over the course of the next eight months we...

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Multi-Variety Trees & Watching for Bud Stages

Last month, we wrote about root stocks, and how they influence the way a fruit tree grows. Why don't you graft several varieties onto the same root stock and save space? It sounds great, doesn’t it? 4 or 5 varieties of apple, all on one tree! Both pie and sweet...

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Food to Bank On Program

One of the many programs that help train new farmers in our community is Food to Bank On, part of Sustainable Connections' Food and Farming Program. Food to Bank On is a 3-year business training program for aspiring farmers. Farmers learn business skills through a...

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Rootstock, defined

"What the heck is a rootstock? " It is not uncommon for us to hear this from our customers buying fruit trees. Deciding which rootstock to use is one of the complexities of planting fruit trees. In simple terms, fruit trees are produced by joining the wood of a...

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Peach Leaf Curl

Peach Leaf curl is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. The spores of the fungus lodge in the bud scales of peach and nectarine trees in the summer, overwintering there until the tree begins to break dormancy. At that time, the new leaf tissues are infected,...

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Winter Scouting Fruit Trees

Scouting, or looking for pest and disease problems on plants, is an important part of good orchard management. Winter is a good time to look at your fruit trees without their leafy clothing hiding problems. In our rainy climate, all manner of fungal and bacterial...

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Winter Garden Joy

We have been blessed in Whatcom County this fall and early winter with more sunshine and less rain than normal. But even in the dreariest November and Decembers, you can find hummingbirds warring over winter blooming plants. Plant that bloom in the fall and winter do...

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Harvest is upon us

With the warm, dry summer we've had, fruit is ripening up to three weeks ahead of "normal". For the last three years, our accumulated heat units are well above the historical average. Since many fruits ripen when they've experienced the right amount of heat, it is to...

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Permaculture Plants

“Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems” -Bill Mollison The permaculture concept has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years. From...

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