Saturday, April 18, 2009

We are Open!

Carter Mountain Orchard is now open for the season! What a beautiful weekend for our spring debut! The apple trees are in bloom, the wine shop is open, we've had good crowds, and everyone is enjoying spending some time in the orchard this spring!

We're offering apples for sale, the Country Store is open, we're baking up pies, cookies, and donuts, and the view is spectacular.

Come see us on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10-5. Enjoy these photos of our preparations, the bloom, and the donuts! Hope to see you soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

The first apples are blooming on Carter Mountain! Some of the early varieties are starting to show pink, and a few have actually opened up in the past couple of days. Another sure sign of spring!

We've put bee hives in the orchard so that the apples can pollinate. There aren't enough natural bees here, so we have to rent the bees! The bees will stay in the orchard for about 10 days to 2 weeks, and hopefully they will do their job and a good crop of apples will set.

We are busy getting the Country Store, Wine Shop, and Bakery ready for business. We're cleaning, painting, and re-stocking! Don't forget, we will be open on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) beginning NEXT Friday, April 17th! We'll be open from 10-5, so come by to see the apples in bloom, taste the Carter Mountain Wine, browse in Country Store, and grab a pie and some donuts!

Happy Easter~

Monday, April 6, 2009

Have you been to Spring Valley Orchard yet?

Some of you may remember that we opened a new location for Pick Your Own Sweet Cherries last summer. Spring Valley Orchard, in Afton VA, is located about 30 minutes from Carter Mountain. Here we grow a wonderful selection of sweet cherries. Our picking season was about 40 days last summer (early June through mid-July) and we are hoping for the same or longer this year.

The cherries are in full bloom right now, and we the bees are busy "working" the blooms. We have to bring in hives of bees each season to assist with pollination, as there are not enough natural bees in this area anymore to succesfully pollinate our crops. (The lack of honeybees, and colony collapse disease, is a big problem nationwide - if you're interested, here is a report from Penn State University

We are also grafting some cherry trees to change over some varieties that don't grow as well in our area. These pictures show the new bud wood grafted onto these trees which are about 7-8 years old.

We have below freezing temperatures expected in the next 2-3 nights, and we are hopeful that Mother Nature will see fit to leave our cherries alone! We'll keep you posted!