Happy Spring – it’s Planting Time!

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Finally, spring has arrived at Parlee Farms! We are so excited to be getting ready for our 31st season of growing. Our field crew did a phenomenal job this winter hand pruning 18 acres of apples, 10 acres of blueberries, and 3 acres of peaches & cherries. Pruning is critical to having healthy trees that can produce a good crop. It seems like the crop is being reduced by pruning off so many branches, but in pruning a tree or bush correctly, you allow more sunlight and air circulation into the tree. Good pruning also results in larger fruit this year and a good return crop for next year.

Once the weather cooperated in late April, Farmer Mark and the crew began planting 20,000 strawberry plants. About half of these plants will produce fruit later this summer for our fall crop of strawberries. The remainder of the strawberries are “June bearers” which will be ready for picking in June 2019. As for the strawberries for picking this June, the hay was removed from them in late March and they came through the winter looking great. We estimate that they will be ready for picking in mid-June.   We will keep you posted!

The next major planting was 1,800 apple trees, including more Honey Crisp and an early strain of Pink Lady, a new variety for us.   After the trees are in the ground, then the trellising system of posts and wires is built to support and guide their growth. These apple trees were ordered two years ago, it will be two more years before we begin to allow fruit to be set on them, and three more years after that until we consider them to be in full production. It takes planning and patience to produce those delicious apples!

By the time we open in mid-June, we will have also planted 10 acres of sweet corn, 15 acres of pumpkins and two acres of flowers. Spring is a busy time of year at the farm!

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This post was written by Parlee Farms