So, What’s Happening In The Orchard?
Here it is, June at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard and what a June it has been. With record high temperatures reaching near 100 degrees and below normal rainfall we have been busy making sure our crops have plenty of water to thrive. The newly planted strawberries are looking great and will be producing beautiful berries next year. The Montmorency cherries that we planted in April are looking healthy and already have 6 to 8 inches of new lush growth. The High-Density Honeycrisp apples that we planted in 2017 are doing absolutely fantastic and have up to 24 inches of new growth already this year with more to come.
We attribute some of the success of the new Honeycrisp planting to the implementation of a product called the Tree-T-Pee. The Tree-T-Pee was invented by Johnny George for use in the citrus industry. This product was featured on the show Shark Tank where Johnny successfully promoted the product to the shows investors.
The Tree-T-Pee is a water containment system. It looks like a plastic T-Pee that protects the base of the tree. The Tree-T-Pee is used in conjunction with drip irrigation which places the water near the base of the tree. The Tree-T-Pee develops an environment over the soil and around the base of the tree that promotes water use efficiency. A micro-environment is created. The soil is shaded reducing the loss of moisture through evaporation allowing more moisture to penetrate the soil profile and be available to the plant for growth.
The Tree-T-Pee also works as a cold temperature protectant and helps reduce weed competition by excluding sunlight from the area around the base of the tree. We are very excited about this innovative tool and hope that you will come out to see this simple but effective product in action.
Late June at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard means it is Cherry time. The Montmorency cherry trees are loaded with bright red, tart cherries ready for picking. The weekend of June 23rd will be our Cherry Festival and there are plenty of cherries ready for you to come and U-Pick. The day will include hayrack rides through the orchard, live music, fresh cherry and apple cider and our famous apple donuts. Plan to spend some time exploring the Nature Trail and let your kids play on the Pollinator Playground where they can learn and play at the same time. If nothing else come out and enjoy a relaxing day in the shade of our pavilion where the view of the orchard is absolutely beautiful.
So, once again I would also like to take this opportunity to invite everyone out to visit Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard. We strive to make it a new experience each time you visit us. We guarantee that there is always something new to learn or see at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard.
Vaughn Hammond –Orchard Operations and Education Team Leader
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