One goal of our business is to keep our everyday customers updated on what is going on with the Farm. And always a frequent question is what goes on in the winter. A Bahamian vacation perhaps? No such luck, winter is a very busy time for all of us on the farm. “Boy I wish we had more snow this year” said no one who works on this farm. Pruning is the biggest single job we do on the farm, with apples, pears and peaches taking four to five months. Regardless of the weather we are out everyday pruning with very few exceptions. We have had some nice weather this year and pruning is moving along nicely. We use either pole chainsaws or battery powered loppers to get the bulk of the work done.
Many ask what we do with the hay from the fall hay pyramid. We use that hay to cover our Strawberries for the winter. Strawberries are very shallow rooted and the freezing and thawing of winter can cause the plants to work themselves out of the ground. The hay allows for a more consistent environment. To do this we use a “bale mulcher” which is actually a hay processor to feed cattle. It’s a beast. A video can be seen here.
The most critical job we have on the farm, and the one that no one sees, is planning and organizing for the next season. We need to decide what crops (non orchard) we will be planting, how much, and where they will go. From there, seed is ordered as well as anything else we will need for the coming year. The bulk of this is done for our Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA. We have had a CSA program at the farm for eight years now. CSA is a partnership between members and the farm. By purchasing a share in the late winter and spring, the member help offset the expenses of growing crops months before harvest, and in return, members get 20 weeks of super fresh vegetables and fruit.
In today’s world we can get any crop at any time. By joining CSA, you learn the true season of those crops and how much better they are fresh and in season. It’s a great way to get exposed to produce you may not be aware of and certainly a great way to eat healthy. Registration for Bishops CSA Program will begin February 2nd. Space is limited so if you are interested in participating, please click here to register today!