Our Orchardist, Scott Miller, shares what his past week has been like here on top of the hill:
The seasons march forward, although it’s hard to believe on some of these cold, windy March days. Pruning continues as the wind chill allows. Windchills in the single digits doesn’t make for productive pruning conditions and it’s not terribly good for the trees either. One silver lining to the windy weather this winter is: the wind has packed the snow surface sufficiently to make for excellent snowshoeing. Standing on top of two feet of snow does allow for easier access pruning cuts in the top of the tree. Snow cover insulates tree roots from critical cold temperatures; so, it's not just good for skis and snowshoes.
A good snow cover gives an insight as to what wildlife is up to. Lots of coyote and fox tracks are a welcome sight. They provide a great service reducing the rodent population in and around the orchard. Pheasant, turkey and their tracks are a common sight while pruning. Thanks to the modern wonder of having a pretty good camera in our phones, we can capture some the pretty neat things we see during our day. I’ve had the good fortune see pheasant tracks change to wing beat imprints, and on the other end see turkey tracks and tail feather imprints appear out of nowhere 30 feet in from the deer fence.