It's hard to recall a growing season that has been as slow to get going as this one. Three months ago, an early thaw had us thinking we were in for an early bloom. With above average rainfall and unusually cool temperatures, our apple trees have been producing foliage, but the flowers have been slow to emerge. Finally, nearly 10 days later than last year, our orchard is in full bloom.
Our local pollinators have also been a little slower than usual on account of the weather. Most bees and butterflies like warm sunny days to do their work. Although it's been cool, there's no need to worry! Pollinators are so good at what they do, farmers can have a crop set in as little as one day if the conditions are favourable. Thankfully, we have had at least two good pollination days since bloom began. The long-range forecast still looks cooler than we would like but there are signs that warmer weather lies ahead.
As we wait for things to pick up in the orchard, the timing was right to get our Pumpkin Patch planted this week. What used to be the Corn Maze will be home to over 25 varieties of pumpkins, squash, gourds and sunflowers this year. While our visitors may find it strange that we move our Maze and Pumpkin Patch around, rotating fields with different crops is an import technique used to prevent the build up of pesky pests and damaging diseases. We are looking forward to a few more changes at the farm this year. You'll have to visit this fall to find out what we've got in the works!
Andrea and Isaac sit on top of an old corn planter we use for pumpkins!