So, What’s Happening In The Orchard?

Well, the first day of spring is soon upon us and guess what—there snow on the ground as I write this. I am not complaining too much about the snow because we can use the moisture. I know spring really is just around the corner because the Red Winged Blackbirds have arrived, and the Robins and Bluebirds are busy in the orchard.

We are still busy pruning here at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard. The apple trees will soon be done, and then we will move into the grapes and cherry trees. We will hold off on pruning the peach trees until the very last minute. We wait on the peaches because the peaches tend to be very early bloomers which make the peach flowers susceptible to damage from later Spring frosts. By holding off pruning to just before bud break we can slow bud break a little bit as the peach tree adjusts to it new pruned form and possibly avoid damage to the flowers.

With April just around the corner we will have to start gearing up for planting. It really doesn’t seem possible that it is that time of year already, but it is. We have been anticipating this since last year as it takes a great deal of planning to be able to get the plants that you want, have them arrive in a timely fashion and then get them into the ground and growing.

Since we are talking about Spring can anyone tell me what the first crop is that we harvest at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard? Well, it is asparagus. Asparagus is somewhat unique in the world of vegetables in that it is one of the few perennial vegetable crops meaning that it comes back year after year without replanting. We should start to see spears of asparagus poking their heads out of the soil sometime in April depending on how fast the soil warms up. Keep watching our Facebook page and you will be the first to know when it is ready.

I want to remind everybody about our educational workshop centered around growing grapes. If you want to learn more about growing grapes we invite you to join us at our next training session on Saturday March 24, 2018 which will be covering all aspects of grape production. We will go over vineyard placement, choosing varieties, planting, trellising, pest control and harvest. More information about this workshop can be found on our Facebook page and website or feel free to call at 402-256-5032.

So, I would also like to take this opportunity to invite everyone out to visit Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard. The whole orchard has so much to offer. There is the amazing Pollinator Playground where your children can learn while they play. You can walk the Kimmel Nature Trail which gives you a glimpse of the flora and fauna of the Missouri River Valley. Inside the Kimmel Apple Barn you can learn about the history of Kimmel Orchard through historical pictures that are displayed and the educational kiosks that have many of the stories that make Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard the unique destination that it is.

Vaughn Hammond –Orchard Operations and Education Team Leader

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