Sunday, February 11, 2018

Orchard Update 2.10.18

Big Changes

Late last season we decided to make some big changes on the farm, what does that mean for our orchards? Well, for one thing, orchard management becomes top priority for us, as we strive for the increased quality for our delicious fruit and for our customers. We have leaned up our farm systems so we can put more focus into the orchard.

What does this mean for you?
More apples! More nutritious fruit, as we focus even more in depth on tree health.
More locations! You'll be able to find our organic, and transitional organic, apples at both the New Ulm and Mankato farmers' markets this season.
More fruit! Time after time folks request more fruit. We have over 20 varieties of apples to offer and our first apricot crop is just around the bend.

The Universe Listens

With the hard decision, a weight lifted and we could feel it was the right decision. And the universe responded, with opportunity. Did I mention "More Fruit!"? Our orchard is ever expanding. Our core orchard - that lit John's orcharding inspirations - just outside New Ulm continues to produce great organic apples; from our first crop, until now, 18 varieties thrive there. At our home orchard, over 300 young trees continue to mature, with a few of the oldest trees beginning to give us modest harvests; when these trees all mature we'll have over 50 varieties to temp your tastebuds. Lastly, the opportunity, our new orchard location, just outside of Lake Crystal, increases our diversity and gives us the ability to transition more land into organic production; having another location also make us more resilient, in case of events such as hail, wind, or frost. It's going to be an exciting year!

Right Now, In the Orchard

John has been busy the last month with pruning. There is some catch-up maintenance work to do in the new orchard. Pruning is so very important for the health and vigor of a tree, and for organic management. John will be leading a Fruit Tree Pruning Class on March 3, to share these important skills.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

Behind Our Name and Logo

Deciding on our farm name and creating this logo was an exciting, and memorable, time for John and I as we began farming. I represents how, in our farming adventure, that we want to do things different (alternative), while staying connected to the Earth (the tree, the roots).
After a billion different name ideas John and I were able to agree on Alternative Roots Farm. Love A.R.F. so much still. I think John's favorite alternative, way back when, was Prairie Smoke Farm (a hail to the native prairies and our garage, which is the old Hanska fire hall).
The logo began as a family contest, us all drawing out ideas and then developing it from there. Johnny was the main artist, while I penned the name. It's been a delightful representation of our vision, but it's time to retire it.