Spring Update at More Than Delicious Orchard
This is the last week of spring, a good time for an orchard update.
We have come through the risk of early spring
frosts in fairly good shape. We suspect, however, that on at least one of the days that we had frost warnings, some of our blossoms
got nipped. It appears to us that our fruit set is less than we would have expected from the size of the bloom. We knew
that after last year's huge crop, this year's crop would be smaller. The bad news is that we are estimating 30% to 50% fewer
apples than last year. The good news is that the apples this year will be larger and more flavorful. As apple growers
we look forward to a much easier job thinning the apples in late June.
The early-season apples, such as Wealthy, Paula Red, Gravenstein,
and Early Blaze, are non-existent this year. Empire, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Lustre Elstar, Jonathan, Gala, and McIntosh
appear to have a substantial crop. As the summer progresses, we will send another update, and also a preview of our picking
schedule for Fall 2010.
Have a great summer!
April 9, 2010
Those of you who visited our orchard last fall may
have realized that you were looking at one of the best apple crops in history in northern Illinois. It was certainly our most
bountiful crop, and in visiting with other orchardists in the neighborhood, it was a great year for them too. After harvest
we took a couple of months off to enjoy the holidays, then we started pruning the orchard in early January. Dave and Mike just
finished this past week pruning 500 apple and pear trees is a big job and needs to be done every winter.
The exciting news
at the orchard this spring is that we are planting 24 new apple trees. The trees arrived today, and we plan to get them in the
ground in the next two to three days. We are adding some of our customer's favorites: Spitzenburg, Hudson's Golden Gem,
and HoneyCrisp. We are also adding some new varieties such as SnowSweet, Pink Lady, Rebella, and Karmijn de Sonnaville.
We enjoy planting and growing different varieties, and are always thrilled to see our customers experience the taste and pleasure
of a new apple variety.
Early indications are that we will have another good apple and pear crop for Fall 2010. Right now
the blossoms are at a stage called tight cluster. In a week or two we should be in full bloom, the critical time that will either
make or break the season. Keep your fingers crossed that we have good pollination and no freezes during blossom time.
a wonderful summer. We look forward to seeing you during this fall's harvest.
Mike & Velma Downes