The orchard is opening its first blossoms here at Leafhopper Farm. Other trees that will fruit later in the season are putting out leaves. It’s a sure sign that Spring is here in Western Washington. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have a good fruit year- it’s warm, there is good sun, and pollinators are out in force, looking for those flowers to dust. Sometimes the flowers come out before the bugs, and we miss getting a good pollination. Other times a late frost will take out many of the buds
The older apple trees pictures here are part of the original homestead. We’ve been taking back the growth of a decade from these awesome old producers. Our apple output has been in decline as these ancient verities begin to age out. But thanks to some grafting earlier this winter, we hope to get new trees from the old to keep our native stock alive. Those new grafts are in with Mom’s Orchard.
The frost peach is blossoming out nicely too- and it looks like a good year for fruit! This tree is still not espaliered yet, and it might be a little late, but maybe next year. Right now, happening flowers are out on the branches, and to prevent any damage to our crop, we won’t fiddle with this stone fruit any more through fruiting. 🙂 Well. we will apply a nettle spray to the leaves in hope of deterring a number of pests and fungi.
Leafhopper Farm will continue to cultivate fruit trees. We’re sure they are a great fit for hill farming, and offer such sweet rewards when the season is optimal. We also understand that the climate is challenging, so our harvest can be very unpredictable too. Our fruit easily goes into cans and the freezer, so we can process the fruit in whatever condition it ends up. Ideally, we get a bumper crop and have enough for a local you pick. Right now, we have enough to sell a few on, but most goes into apple sauce, dried fruit for oatmeal, and frozen for use in baking.