Full bloom in the orchard is a splendid thing - amazingly beautiful. Last weekend full bloom peaked. The home orchard had the most blooms it has ever had; we are excited because it looks like we'll be able to taste of some of the old heirloom varieties we are growing, for the first time!
|Just before bloom, this stage is called "open cluster."|
|Young orchard trees. 'Smokehouse' is all blooming this year!|
The Lake Crystal orchard blooms over the sloping hillside, full of promise for a great season. This site adds a couple new varieties of apples for us, including Fireside.
|Farm dog Hazel, following along.|
Just a Friday night out at the orchard, running the pups, mowing, picking up wood, enjoying the outdoors and potential of the beautiful trees.
|Farm dog Odin helping out.|
The New Ulm orchard, our first site we began with, is the most splendid we have ever seen it. The trees were loaded with blooms!
Being loaded with blooms is a grand thing, but that is only part of the process! Good pollination is a MUST to get that fruit hanging on these trees. We wander the orchards, observing for pollinator activity - native, honey and bumble bees. Two sites are close to woods and many native bees are out and about. While we weren't seeing as much pollinator activity at the home orchard, closer inspection, as petals began dropping, shows good results. There are many tasks between now and harvest, but I am looking forward to August and ripe apples!!