This one speaks for itself. The cherries are about 10 days away from being ready to harvest. They are now turning from green to a white-pink colour. This tells us to get the yellow balloons and the bird squawkers out to keep the birds from eating all the cherries before we get to pick them. It also give us a little time to get our picking and sorting supplies ready for the year. This is my favourite time of year to work out in the orchard. When you can pass by a tree and grab a handful fresh fruit as a snack while you work, it is the best place in the world to work! It reminds me of why I love living and working on a farm. Keep an eye on our website Hipplefarms.ca so you can be up-to-date on when we will have cherries for sale. Cherry harvest usually corresponds with the opening on our road side fruit stand. Have a great fruit eating season!
Saturday, June 15th will be remembered as one of the best parties I have been to in a long time. I celebrated the oldest Co-operative in Ontario's 100th anniversary with over 1000 people, including the Premier of Ontario. From live bands to an amazing dinner to the most incredible fireworks display I have ever seen. Capping the night off with a slider trio and two ice cream trucks was the icing on the cake. Speaking of the cake, a 6 foot by 8 foot cake was enjoyed by all.
Vineland Growers' Cooperative was started on the 12th of September 1913, when four prominent Niagara Peninsula fruit growers met at the home of Mr. Alonzo H. Culp to discuss the formation of a co-operative fruit company. Since then the Co-operative has grown to over 300 members, covering over 5000 acres, selling over 1,000,000 cases of tender fruit each year. Hipple Farms has been a member of Vineland Growers' Cooperative for the last 95 years, and has had a member of the Hipple family on the board for 46 of those years, this include 2 Hipple's being elected president of the Cooperative.
This year while you are shopping for the best fresh fruit in your local grocery store, support the Co-operative by buying Vineland Growers produce.
Usually, this time of year, we wish the rain would go away so we can get some work done, but this year we are very dry already and this rain is very much needed. The rain currently is the prefect type for a deep watering of plants. A nice slow steady rain will not run off and will absorb into the ground so the plants can have a good drink. We just finished planting 2100 Roma tomatoes, 700 Beefsteak tomatoes and 4000 Baco Noir Grapes that will love to have a good drink. Lets hope it rains all day for sake of the new plant.
I wish I could post the smell of being surrounded by billions of tiny flowers! This is the time of year where most fruit farms look like they grow flowers not great tasting fruit. The bloom set looks great and we expect a normal yield this year. With the trees being well rested, after last years small crop, they should be ready to produce great quality fruit. Our fingers are crossed that the forecasted low temperature this weekend does not dip below freezing.
We have recently discovered a nest where two Great Horned Owl have made their home. There looks like there are 2 owlets. Look here for more information on Great Horned Owls. We will be keeping a close eye on these wonderful creatures.
Last year was not a normal year at all for us. With record breaking March temperatures, the trees woke from their winter slumber with a great show of colour and our apricots were in full bloom by March 28th 2012. Normal apricot bloom should be in early - mid May. We were 5 weeks early at Easter in 2012. This was the earliest bloom in our records. This year, is looking like more of a normal year for temperatures, the trees are still in their winter dormant state and we are starting with our spring pruning and preparation for this upcoming season. Happy Easter!