Oct 12, 2010
Talkin’ Shop: Harvest

In this issue of Talkin' Shop we asked readers: What’s your harvest been like this year?

This year was light to average for crop yield. Price was good – same as last year. No real problems to speak of. Our highbush blueberry plants are still coming back from the winter of ’08-09, when we had minus 49˚ F. Other than that, it was a bit dry, so we had to pump water for three weeks or so. All in all, it was a fair year.
Sam Blackstone
Circle B Farms
Caribou, Maine

We were hit with four heavy frosts in the spring after our apple trees were in bloom. What would have been a record harvest turned into a 90-percent loss. Not a good year here.
Doris Witzgall
Witzgall Orchards
Bay City, Mich.

All our crops are down due to a cold winter and a long, wet, cold spring. Berries, apples and hazelnuts.
M. Haury
Haury Farms
Salem, Ore.

This season’s harvest has been frustrating due to the weather. The early weather in the spring progressed the maturity of the apples ahead 10 days or so. The problem is getting cool nights to bring out the color. Fruit size is coming along greatly. We expect to harvest a full crop, if not the largest crop in history.
It’s been a challenge, but we are farmers and we know how to overcome them.
Helene Dembroski
Dembroski Orchards
Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Our best year ever!
Walker Miller
The Happy Berry
Six Mile, S.C.

This year has been topsy-turvy, weather wise. Our fruit trees were done blooming and the trees we were planting hadn’t bloomed yet. Two blooming times. It’s a first for me. We were picking raspberries and blueberries in June. It has been a labor of love for a few years now, but we are now on our way to a small-size orchard. Our peach harvest was decent. Many of our trees are not of bearing age yet. We have planted mostly Flamin’ Furys, and this spring more Stellars. Planted are PF1s thru PF 27s. We were impressed with the size of the Coral Stars, PF 13s and the 25s and 27s – our first harvest of same. This season, we are having our first small crop of apples: Zestar, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Haralson, Lucky Jon, Snowsweet. We have many other varieties planted, but still not of bearing age. We also grow a variety of small fruits and vegetables, which we sell at the farm market here in town.
Tom Kolasa
K’s Acres
Hillsdale, Mich.

Tomato harvest was about 75 percent of normal for me. Heirloom beans for fresh use and for seed distribution were about 10 percent of normal because of torrential rains and flooding, interspersed with too many 95-plus degree days. Blueberries were 100 percent.
Bill Best
Best Family Farm
Berea, Ky.

Harvest has been terrible. Grapes are being harvested at normal times, but yields are way off. Crop is about 50-60 percent of normal so far. Bunch weights are light. Crop is off 20-30 percent of harvest expectations, even with bunch counts just before harvest.
Andrew Johas

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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