Spring is our favorite season here at Branstool Orchards. We are humbly reminded that without the cold and sometimes cruel winter, we would have no daffodils, tulips, or even apple blossoms. Mother Nature is amazing and we are lucky to be able to work with her here at the orchard.
As some of you may have already learned, the 2019 peach crop was frozen out on January 20th. It normally takes -8 degree weather to kill peach buds but this year the weather fluctuated from 60 degrees less than two weeks before to -6 here in Utica and that killed the buds which would have turned into yummy, juicy peaches. There may be a peach here or there in the orchard but there definitely will not be a crop. We are pretty disappointed but Marshall says ‘if growing peaches in Ohio were easy then everyone would be doing it’ and we have all adopted that positive mantra. Of course we will bring in some good peaches from other reputable orchards to sell here in our market but there will be no CSA this year and no Branstool peaches at the farmers markets.
Some good news we can share is that the apple crop looks amazing and we have planted more than a thousand new trees this spring, peach and apple. We will plant a ‘new to us’ apple variety called Ambrosia next week as well. It takes about three years for a crop but it’s something to look forward to.
We also have expanded our parking area to fit more than double the amount of cars than last year. We will be serving donuts and peach and apple slushies this year along with a few other treats that make an orchard visit even more special. We plan to have our first ever Sunflower Festival the first two weekends in August complete with yoga, live music, and a sunflower painting party.
We are planting an enormous pollinator garden beside the path to the orchard in a few weeks and we can’t wait to see the butterflies and bees hanging out there. And if we can fit it all in, we hope to create a few things for kids to do while visiting the orchard. It’s a very busy and beautiful time. Soon the apple trees will blossom and we will share photos for you to see.
Thanks for being a customer of Branstool Orchards. We look forward to you visiting us here in Utica this year!