Late Winter on the Farm
Farming in the Finger Lakes region of NY means getting through a long winter. The past couple of seasons, we have had unseasonably warm temperatures in February followed by bitter cold. This caused flower buds on our peaches and pears to swell prematurely, and then suffer damage when temperatures plunged into the teens (and even single digits, if I remember correctly).
From left to right in above photo: young peach trees, black raspberries, older peach trees.
This year, we had a brief mid-February warm spell (temps in the 60s), but it didn't seem to last long enough to wake the trees up. Since then, temperatures have been steady around freezing during the day and in the 20s at night. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it remains this way, and slowly warms up over the next couple of months.
Lately, we have been busy pruning the apple trees in our orchard. We are mostly making renewal cuts in places where branches have gotten too large, but we are also doing some corrective pruning, especially on the Northern Spies. They don't like growing on a trellis, and want to just send all of their shoots straight up!
Unruly Northern Spy Tree.
This season, we are looking forward to fencing in another 5 or so acres for future plantings, and growing many new varieties of cut flowers to sell at the Ithaca Farmers Market and other locations around Ithaca, NY.