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It's almost garlic season

  It's mid-June, which means it's garlic scape season and will soon be time to pull in our garlic harvest! The garlic scapes are a curly stalk the plant sends up right before the summer solstice in our area. If you let them grow, they get quite tall and will have miniature little garlic cloves (bulbils) in them when they open up. We remove the scapes so the plants focus their energy on growing the garlic bulb underground.  I love eating the garlic scapes freshly pulverized into a spicy pesto, cooked like green beans, or thrown into a veggie stir fry.  We're excited because we grew enough garlic this year to finally offer it for sale here on our website. We will sell...

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And somehow it's June!?

Wow, what a whirlwind of a spring! It was a relatively cool, wet spring, but a couple of weeks of 80+ degree, sunny days caused the orchard to bloom and the woods to leaf out within days! Our apple trees went from tight cluster to petal fall within a week.  Here is this year's progression of spring aerials: We're currently in the in-between period of time when we are done selling plant starts, and waiting for our crops to ripen. There is plenty to do on the farm, training trees, mulching with wood chips and straw, planting annuals (like 1/4 acre of winter squash and PUMPKINS for our farm stand!), mowing, and so, so much more.  Here are our early peas...

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Growing willow baskets

We grew willow before I ever even considered using it to weave a basket. A handful of years ago, when I spent a summer growing cut flowers in addition to our fruit, we planted decorative willow purchased from  Vermont Willow Nursery. Curly red willow, fasciated willow, a few varieties of very large pussy willow, one variety that grows 10-12 feet each season and can be even used for garden stakes once dried. For a few years, the willow grew on our farm, providing beneficial habitat for birds and insects, and early food for bees, since willow is one of the first plants to flower each spring.  Only after becoming fascinated with willow basketry on Instagram did I realize how useful the willow...

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and that's a wrap!

And that's a wrap! Just like that, it's mid-November, and we have finished harvesting our fruit for the year. We just closed our farm stand, and are grateful for everyone who has supported our farm this season!  We had the best pear crop ever this year, especially our Bosc and Asian Pears. It has been a challenging year due to excess rain, but we made it to the end and can't wait for next season. Follow us on Instagram @underthetreefarms to keep up with our farm work over the winter, and @underthetreeithaca to keep up with our leather/pottery work.   Scott harvesting Olympic Asian Pears this fall on the farm We had a wonderful crop of Crimson Crisp apples this season!...

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Akane apples are ripe!

Another apple season at Under the Tree Farm is underway. We are opening our fruit stand very soon (stay tuned!) and we have apples for sale each weekend at the Ithaca Farmers Market. Right now, we are picking Akane apples, which are a gorgeous and delicious Japanese apple. The Akane is a cross between a Jonathan (American apple) and a Worcester Permain (English apple). They are the perfect mix of sweet/tart and are firm and crunchy.    If you were lucky enough to swing by the Ithaca Farmers Market this season, you probably saw that we had stone fruit this year! Peaches, cherries, plums. It has been a rough season with so much rain that our August peaches are succumbing to brown...

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