(Left) An apple tree with a mice fence and drip irrigation.
(Right) One of our honeybee hives. Honeybees are critical to the success of the crop.
Drip Irrigation Saves Water
Perforated pipes are laid on the ground and run down the rows of trees and plants. When we pump water through this system the holes in the pipes release the water directly on to the plants’ roots. This reduces evaporation and run-off.
Deer and Mice Fences Prevent Damage
Deer love apples just as much as we do! For this reason, all of our orchards are surrounded by a tall deer fence to prevent damage to the fruits and trees.
Each young tree is also surrounded by a shorter fence to prevent mice from eating through the vulnerable trunks. These are simple and non-confrontational ways of reducing these pests in the orchard.
Pruning Trees Reduces Disease
When we prune our apple trees it opens up the foliage and fruits to more sunlight and air circulation. This helps the leaves dry out to prevent fungal diseases, like apple scab.
Fostering a Healthy Population of Honeybees and Native Bees
Honeybees are essential to the production of apples. Honeybees pollinate the flowers to produce the fruits.
To ensure pollination, we keep bee hives which we care for ourselves near the orchards. Honeybees also support biodiversity in the area by pollinating other nearby plant species. We also maintain an area which supports native bees.
Use of Cover Crops
Soil with no nutrients or beneficial fungi will grow fewer and smaller fruits. To ensure our soil is fertile, we plant crops such as rapeseed, buckwheat, and rye in places that need rebuilding. These crops replenish the soil with nutrients while providing habitat for birds, other mammals, and insects.