What's happening today - 2018 edition


We will see how it goes and we’ll hope it’s a good plum.


A quick stroll through bluebrries, apples and pears today. Very dry ground here but thankfully still coolish. The lack of water will be a problem if we don’t get some in the next few weeks.

Pears are doing terrific this year. Tons of new growth, healthy dark green leaves and lots of pears developing…




Standard Honeycisp apple trees on Antonovka rootstock are looking healthy but some trees have sparse fruit bud development. These trees were whips & are entering 8th season in ground.

Cortland are full of flowers this season…

Blueberries are absolutely loaded. I didn’t have the time to prune this season so we’ll see how fruit develops…


Is this a pick your own? Its beautiful!


Yes, it is. Thank-you!




Poor Pollination can be a blessing???

My small dwarf orchard was in full bloom during many days of rain/sprinkles and cool weather. I would go out every day and see a few but concerning low number of bees.

Anyway it turns out that I have much less fruit set than last year. But I have several trees that just the king blossom got pollinated and it looks just about right with little/no thinning.


Because of moving issues, I’ve left my potted trees at my dad’s place, and discovered today to my consternation that my Tomcots and my one JuneGold peach were already overripe! A month ahead of the DWN calendar or so. Way before I was anticipating, because I’d been planning to come by and move them to a more ideal location. Unfortunately they were in significant shade while they ripened, so they were far from as sweet as they could be. The Tomcots were especially mushy but there was at least good flavor on one, and I managed to save all three seeds. The JuneGold was just ripe, and I could tell it had potential though it was not great (and infected by insects–though I managed to cut off some relatively clean slices). I did get to move my other two trees with fruit (Strawberry Free and O’Henry) into much better sun, and there should be at least a couple of weeks until SF starts ripening, and O’Henry is after that, so at least there’s that.

My living situation is still very up in the air, so my dad and I have been making plans for what’s going to happen to my trees if/when I leave the area and can’t take them with me. He doesn’t want to take care of trees in pots but we’ve agreed to try to plant them in-ground on his property. We identified a space where they’re planning to take out shrubs later in the year. To conserve space I’ll probably try to multigraft. At least I’ll have a source of scionwood!


Saturn peach, shiro, Santa Rosa, ozark primer, AU Homeside and AU Rubrum, Dorset Golden apples all harvested today. I can create a fruit salad I guess. Everything is early this year. Seeing some rot on the saturns this year (perhaps due to all the rain during ripening).


MainOrchard, Your orchard is beautiful!! You have a lovely looking property. What all do you grow?


Thanks! We grow blueberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, apples & pears. Most of our income is generated from U-Pick blueberries & pre-picked peaches. Hopefully, apples & raspberries will soon add to our bottom line.


Wow. Very impressed. Is that mulch in between your blueberries or is that sprayed to keep weeds down?


Wow! That’s great variety. I wish we were a little closer. :blush:


So who thinks this is a artichoke seed that got away from my garden, and who thinks it is some kind of common thistle? I tried planting artichokes up hill from this spot about two years ago.


Unseasonal heatwave wreaking destruction on plants - fruit trees leaves yellowing and falling like it’s October.

Hosta leaves sunburned.

Lettuce bolting to high heaven.

Am highly suspicious of broccoli and cauliflower, altho cabbages look fine. But you don’t want cabbages to make heads.


I thought it was Mary Jane. :crazy_face:.


How profitable is a u pick orchard? We are thinking about opening one when we retire. Do your customers have to sign a waiver before wandering the property? Your orchard looks AMAZING!


It is mulch. We purchased a truck load of hemlock bark mulch last season. We are still working on spreading what is left. The 4 rows that we did last season did very well with it…but honestly all of our blueberries look good this year.


No waivers, but I would suggest carrying appropriate liability insurance. The State of Maine also helped out about 5 years ago when they came up with a sign to help agricultural businesses that have visitors on property. It doesn’t absolve you of liability but it does warn visitors that they are assuming a risk for uncontrollable elements (bees, weather, etc).

It can be a great “retirement”/ additional income. We have increased revenue every year for the past 5 years as stuff gets more mature. Beware however that it takes money to make money…machinery, insurance, insecticides, fertilizer, business expenses. We don’t have employees or PT help…but I am maxed out at what I can handle so what we have now is probably going to be it. Know your land & what you can successfully produce from year to year…and know your local customer…what they want & what they are willing to pay.


Thanks fir the feedback. How many blueberry bushes do you have? How do you deal with squirrels, birds, deer, etc? I’m able to net the 14 bushes at our house. Not sure that’s possible at your scale. Next summer we may need to take a trip north to pick blueberries at your farm. Looks amazing.


After rainstorm yesterday,my peony bloomed.IMG_20180531_092746666