Tuesday, May 8, 2012

White Orchard

This is the time of year were the orchard looks very unnatural with all the apple trees having a white haze.  The white haze is multiple layers of kaolin clay.  Kaolin clay is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in prepared foods, toothpaste, baby power and is were "kao"pectate derives its name.  The orchard formulation of kaolin clay is called Surround.  Surround was the final piece of the puzzle in making organic apple growing appear economically feasible in the Northeast.  Surround works by being an irritant to insects and creates an unnatural environment.  Surround applications are the only practical method of controlling the insect Plum Curculio (PC).  Surround is placed on the trees at petal fall in three separate sprays to create a layering effect and reapplied after rains until the PC mating/egg laying season is over, estimated at early June this year.  It need not be said but, Disclaimer: If you use Surround always follow the label, not my musings.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Two years ago we planted two very late ripening peach varieties between our asian pears.  The thought was that we would replant a new area with pears and mange them organically and expand our nectarine and peach orchard by combining two adjacent fields. As the peaches grew we would cut down the asian pears and rely on the new pear orchard.  The peaches are doing really well as can be seen in the image.   The pears not so well.  The peaches are Flaming Fury Big George and Autumnstark and if all goes well we should be picking them during apple season.