Winter Farming: Tunnels (and Cherries!)

Kevin of Quarter Branch Farm

There is something almost magical about a farm in the winter–so much is going on below the surface if you know what to look for. Though we haven’t had many breaks from the wintery weather in the last few weeks, Tony and our produce buyer Mila have been hitting the roads visiting our network of organic growers to discuss plans for the spring. So far a major trend in protecting dormant plants has been a variety of tunnel systems, which our growers hope will allow them to start harvesting earlier, with higher-quality yields.

cherry.farm.1Tony & Mila stopped to meet with a new-to-us cherry grower, Joshua Dauman of Cherry Tree Lane Farm in Chambersburg. Originally from Washington State where cherries flourish, Joshua has been perfecting his techniques for producing this extremely hard-to-grow fruit here in our region. By using a high, open-sided tunnel, he is able to protect the growing cherries from excess rain on the fruit (which can cause splitting) but still maintain maximum sweetness.

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Cherry bud chock full of tiny cherries.

So far his buds have remained healthy despite the long cold winter, so we are hoping that his diligence will allow us to offer a variety of local cherries throughout the harvesting season. pic5

Joshua also had an abundance of beautiful storage onions that he was able to supply us with–you’ll recognize them if you received onions in your order this week.

IMG_4309This week in Virginia, Tony & Mila visited our friends Kevin of Quarter Branch Farm, and David Guisti of Second Spring Farm. Kevin was busy working through the snow to show us some amazing pac choi that he’s been growing under cover in his greenhouse. Seeing the fresh green with snow all around was amazing, and we’re so excited to share it with you. IMG_4307

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to visit our farmer friends and plan for spring offerings, as well as updates from our own new Hometown Harvest Farm. A little snow and ice can’t slow us down! 🙂

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