Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery

Certified Organic Hard Ciders and Apples

Long wait for blossom

Due to cool temperatures, blossoms have taken an unprecedented length of time opening. Some varieties, like Williams Pride, golden russet, and the lower elevation Libertys had about half their blossoms open, but most of the trees will be at peak blossom this week. Luckily, this will coincide with ideal weather for pollinators - dry and warmer than it has been so we predict good fruit set this year. Certainly the trees have huge numbers of blossoms! We may have to spend a fair amount of time thinning…

We had snow this morning, but fruit trees can handle that kind of cold even with their blossoms open. The ample rain this spring is a welcome relief after the dry season last year.

A new season begins...

As farmers, hope springs eternal (if it doesn't, time to do something else!). So far this spring all signs point to a good year. Fruit buds are plentiful and healthy looking, no frost advisories on the horizon, so we remain hopeful for a good crop this year. We bought a new airblast sprayer, which should do a much better job than the pak tank with hand-spraying wand without crippling the operator. We are looking forward to producing high quality apples with this tool. Thanks goes to the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, for helping us with this investment. They have truly made a difference to our viability as a business with their generosity.

Blossom season is just beginning, with one variety of plum blooming today. Soon the peaches will blossom, followed by waves of apples as each variety unfurls their petals. Steve got the new sprayer going just in time to spray sulfur on our scab-susceptible trees, and will follow with entomopathogenic nematodes to combat borers, apple maggot fly, and perhaps codling moth. These nematodes parasitize pest species larvae that are in the ground under the trees, or on/in the trunk, thereby reducing pest pressure for this and future seasons. May they live long and prosper, eating our pests!
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