Friday Field Update No. 11

Happy Friday! The end to another week and the beginning to a beautiful, SUNNY weekend! 

I would like to start off by apologizing for skipping last week. It was a very difficult and busy Thursday/Friday. And those happen to be the days that I write this blog post. I prefer to write it at the end of the week, so the information I share with you is as up to date as possible.


So, back to my excuse. Here is a little peak into an apple growers life in the spring. There is a fungus called scab. It creates a horrible “scab” on the leaves and fruit of apple trees. It is made up of pure evil. If you have apples, you will have scab, if you don’t protect them. It is everywhere. You cannot escape. Luckily, resistance is not futile! As long as you give up on having a social life, you are good to go. Scab works like many other fungi: spores. In the spring it exists as a structure called an ascocarp. These ascocarp grow ascospores and when they are wetted(mostly rain), release the spores to infect green apple tissue(leaves or fruit). In order for us to avoid an infection, we need to have a spray on the trees that creates a protective barrier so when the spores land, they are killed and have no chance to cause an infection. However, when it rains it also washes off the protective barrier. So when the next rain event happens, we need to have our trees covered again. So goes the almost endless cycle of scab spraying. Right up until around this time of year. Last Thursday and Friday we needed to cover the apples for the rain event Saturday night, but it was windy both days. That means we put in a normal work day, and then when the wind finally died down in the late evening, after dinnertime, sprayed the apples. There. That’s my excuse. I’m sorry I chose apples over this.

On to less depressing and stressful topics! We picked the first strawberries of the year Wednesday! When it finally stopped drizzling… These are some of the most beautiful berries you will see during the season because they are mostly what I call the “king berry.” In the field, the berries grow in a cluster, starting as blossoms. The king blossom is always first, and when it matures is always the biggest berry out of the cluster. Therefore, I call it a king berry! They are big, beautiful and so refreshing after a winter without homegrown fruit. Harvesting may be a difficult and sweaty job, but at the same time it eases the mind, and makes all that hard work of growing the crop feel like it was worth something.


Other good news, the raspberries are sprouting lots of beautiful leaves, they seem very happy. Just like I promised, what appeared to be lifeless twigs are now bursting with fresh, green leaf tissue! Yesterday we added mulch at the base of each plant to prevent the weeds from going crazy.


The string beans we seeded on the plastic have popped up and spread their wings to take flight. What I love about watching seedlings germinate is what happens to the seed itself. If you look closely you can see that the lowest pair of bright green leaves are actually what used to be the seed. I don’t understand exactly what has happened, but maybe it has actually turned into leaves; growing chloroplasts and digesting that beautiful sunshine.


Can anyone guess what this beautiful, green, leafy veggie is in the picture above? The first one to comment and get it right on Facebook or the blog gets a gold star!

Well, thanks for reading! I hope your week is as sweet as these strawberries! See you back here next Friday!

Bonus picture below: Pickle transplants making a pickle forest!