Farmer Review of our Bountiful Summer

Top: Maggie. Bottom left to right: Tim, Kevin and Charlie.

Top: Maggie. Bottom left to right: Tim, Kevin and Charlie.

Over the past few months our farm crew has been working away to make Rose Hill Farm as beautiful, productive, and delicious as possible for our 2017 season. Joining our farm manager Tim, we have expanded our farm crew in order to keep up with fruit production.

Maggie is a Hudson Valley transplant from Wilton, New Hampshire and a rising senior in poetry and philosophy at Bard College.

Kevin recently moved to the Hudson Valley from Gainesville, Florida and, despite the frequent 85 degree days,  maintains that this is the coldest summer he has ever witnessed.

Charlie hails from Hyde Park, New York and is a rising Junior political studies major at Yale University.

Most recently, these four have been working on beautifying the fields for an easy you-pick experience, mostly by hand weeding both the blueberry patch and our young apple trees, as well as mowing, weed-whacking, and gently-pruning the fruit trees.

They have also been picking copious amounts of delectable fruit, which we sell in our farm-stand and freeze for jams, pies, and preserves. These frozen fruits will be available in the coming in our farm-stand this summer and fall.

Caring for our livestock is an essential part of the daily work of the farm crew. Our five younger pigs were recently moved to a new pasture which is wooded and provides shade, as well as plenty of interesting undergrowth within which they can forage for insects and edible plants.

Our heritage laying hens have also been moved to a new pasture where they will receive plenty of sunlight and fresh grass. They are laying between twenty and thirty eggs per day, which we sell fresh in our farm-stand.

Over the past two years we have planted over 1,400 new apple trees, and this summer we have been working on helping them grow into strong fruit producers. The crew has recently painted the bottoms of each tree with whitewash to prevent any injuries that could incur from pest damage. They then wrapped the bottom of the tree in a sturdy, black mesh to ensure no pests can access the roots or lowest leaves of the tree. Additionally, they staked long metal poles next to the base of each tree to guide the plant into an upright growing position. All of these measures combine to maintain the health and quality of our new apple trees, which will hopefully bear fruit in the coming seasons!

We have been excited to see the peaches this summer, as it is our first season with stone fruit! The past month has been an education in varieties of peaches and an array of ripening windows. Typically we consider August to be peach season in the Hudson Valley but the cool and rainy spring delayed their ripening.  This year we expect to offer globe-peaches until mid September which will coincide with the peak of apple season.

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