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 http://aginfo.psu.edu/news/2007/1/HoneyBees.htm).
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!