Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peaches in Full Bloom











It's a beautiful day here in Crozet, but it was cold last night. The temperature was below freezing for several hours early this morning. The wind machines were in action again. We are hoping that they helped! It takes a few days for any damage to be evident.

Enjoy these pictures of the peach blossoms. If you are in this area, take the drive out through Crozet to see the orchards - it's a sight not to be missed!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Warm Days, Cold Nights









This time of year is always interesting for fruit growers! The warm spring days have been beautiful, and the peach trees are starting to show their glorious bloom. This is the time, however, that our crop is at is most vulnerable. When the blooms are starting to open, the tiny fruit inside is exposed. When the temps get below freezing at night, the risk exists that the fruit will be exposed to too-cold temps for too long. While mother nature is in control of this situation, there are a few things we can do to try to protect our crop. We monitor temperatures in all our orchards, especially those at lower elevations (like Chiles Peach Orchard). If the wind is blowing, it is of great help. If the air is still, we'll lend our hand to Mother Nature. Last night (actually, early this morning), we started up our wind machines. videoThese machines move the air around, and can actually raise the temperature by 2 or 3 degrees - which often is enough to make a difference. We started the machines just before dawn (the coldest time of the night is right as the sun starts to rise) and ran them for a couple of hours.
We'll continue monitoring the temperatures for the next 4-6 weeks, until all chance of frost has passed. Keep following our blog for updates! And, if you see us around town and we look tired, you will know why! You'll see from the pictures of the peach trees that they are in different stages of bloom, depending on the variety.
PS, the strawberries have covers on them, - this is protecting them for the time being.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome!


Welcome to the Chiles Peach Orchard and Farm Market Blog! We are excited to let you know what's happening on the farm. Check back often for updates!
We've had a good winter (steady cold temperatures) and wish we'd had a bit more precipitation. Okay, a LOT more precipitation! The beautiful snow we had earlier this week certainly helped!
We covered our strawberry plants this winter, and hope that means our berries will be ready a little earlier than normal. We are planning to open the market this year on Friday, May 1st, and if all goes well on Mother Nature's end, you'll be picking berries then!
We're still pruning the peach trees, and are now starting to get the market ready for business. The forecast for the coming days is for temperatures much warmer than usual, so we will be monitoring the orchard carefully for signs of peach buds. Then, we will really be paying attention to the temperatures. We'll let you know how it's going!