2016 is such an exciting year for Redpath Orchard! I have worked so hard over the last year to increase my fruit tree management knowledge and fully immerse myself in the world or organic and holistic orchard practices. I was accepted into the Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener MOFGA Journeyperson Program for 2016/2017. The Journeyperson program provides education and mentorship for upcoming farmers. This program has opened so many doors for me and has provided a solid base to grow Redpath Orchard. I am so grateful to be in this program. I also got accepted into the UMAINE cooperative extension Master Preserver 2016 program. This is a preservation volunteer training program that focuses on putting foods by via canning, drying, fermentation and freezing. These two programs are keeping me busy. I also work at Deri Farm in North Yarmouth where I am learning about organic diversified vegetable farming which is an ongoing dream of mine.
There are TWO VERY EXCITING things I would like to share about 2016….
In August, Redpath Orchard enters our 5th year using organic orcharding practices. I have applied to be MOFGA CERTIFIED ORGANIC!! It brings me great joy to boast the certified seal!!! I have gone though the application and inspection processes and hope to have a certificate in hand any day.
The second exciting bit is our new FARMSTAND! My stepfather has been working away on a sweet little self-serve stand! I am so grateful for his hard work! We will use this as our primary sales venue for 2016.
The apples are swelling every day. This spring brought some tough times with temperatures dropping below 25 degrees after fragile blossoms had set. We lost some of our fruit to frost. Also, we had some serious damage from winter moth and tent caterpillars. The 2016 harvest will not be huge but many trees are still loaded with apples and I am excited to provide our community with clean, chemical free fruit.
As always, I am filled with gratitude. I can not thank MOFGA and their staff enough, especially CJ Walke, their organic orchardist. He has talked me off a few bridges and is always wiling to share his abundant orchard knowledge with me. I also am grateful for my two mentors David Homa of Post Carbon Design and Justin Deri at Deri Farm. Micheal Phillips also continues to blow my mind with his continued research on holistic orchard management. Also to my family, I’m so grateful for their support.
cheers to an abundant fall harvest, Val