The Farm Blog
A CSA full of summer goodnessby Steve Preli on 03/11/17
CSA's are becoming more and more a part of summer. I started my CSA with my daughter after having tried it late in the summer of 2010. The following spring we decided to offer full and 1/2 shares the whole summer long and into the fall.
Having received some really good feedback and hearing from customers about other CSA's, I decided to start my CSA later in June. The reason for that was important. Starting the CSA later meant that it wasn't just a bunch of greens or a half filled box. By starting later I can make sure that my customers receive a fuller box with more vegetables. By the third week we usually begin including our fruit. The response has been great and appreciative.
We all know kids don't always like their vegetables...right? I include our tree fruit, peaches, nectarines and plums all summer right into September. By then I am fully into the apple harvesting season and I include many varieties that you wouldn't otherwise find at a supermarket.
The last week of the CSA is usually the last weekend of September or the first week of October. Right at the height of apple picking.
Let me know what your favorite locally grown fruit or vegetable is in the comments. I'd love to know.
Your farmer, Steve
How to prune your dwarf apple treesby Steve Preli on 02/23/17
During the summer I get loads of questions about how to prune apple trees and how come I always have such good looking trees with lots of fruit. Well, I'm going to help you get that great looking apple tree with lots of apples.
First, I find that February & March is a great time to prune trees because the daylight is getting longer.
Dwarf apple trees should be kept to about 10-12' in height and there should be 3-4 strong horizontal branches at the lower part of the trunk and 2-3 more a couple of feet higher. The top should have 1 or 2 short branches. Kind of like the perfect pine tree!
Apples bear fruit buds on two year old branches so I keep the younger branches growing and you should too. You don't want to cut those flower buds off.
Get into your tree with your eyes. Cut out branches that cross each other, broken branches and suckers, those branches that grow long and fast and straight up.
Keep your eyes in your tree. The last thing is to make room for sunlight and air. The sun will help give your apples the great color they deserve. Prune complete branches off. Avoid having to cut a branch part way. Try to cut it off at the next biggest branch.
With these simple directions you should be able to begin pruning your own apple trees. Good luck and don't worry about cutting too much off. Your tree will be better off the next year.
Let me know how it went. Leave me your comments or questions.
Your Farmer, Steve