Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Fruits of Labor on the Reberts Farm

Matt Rebert gives us insight into the "Off" season on the family Farm: "Our winter was also very snowy. I'll give you a brief idea of what happens on our farm in the "off" season. In October, we begin to mow over the vegetable fields. We seed the fields with a cover crop, either rye or winter wheat. In November (always Thanksgiving weekend), we begin to mulch the strawberries with oat straw. December means time to start trimming apple trees. All the apples get trimmed before we move on to the next fruit. In February and March, we begin to trim the stone fruits. My brother Mark finished up peaches on Friday, March 26, and moved to the cherries the next day -- Saturday. Our dad fertilized the raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries the last week of March. On Friday dad began to mulch the apple brush. In April, as soon as the ground dries, we will begin to plow under the cover crop and get the fields ready for planting vegetables. We also plant our new trees and strawberries in April. We are replacing some old apricots and apples with new trees this spring. The strawberries we plant this spring won't be ready to pick until next year. After the first full moon in May, we remove the straw from our existing strawberry patches, and let the berries go into bloom. We had more snow this winter than we have had in the past few years. Besides keeping us out of the orchards for a long time the snow actually has some benefits. The snow helps to restore the ground water, hopefully meaning it won't be too dry this summer. Snow also acts as a protective barrier to the cover crops, protecting them from the harsh winter temperatures. We had 28 inches of snow on Feb 6th and 42 inches on Feb 10th. Up until last week there was still places you could see snow. I hope this gives an idea as to what we do over late fall and winter." --- MATT REBERT

1 comment:

DancerInDC said...

This is not only interesting, but helpful to know that Reberts Farm is using good sustainable practices.

We have such great vendors at the Cheverly Market. Can't wait until the first one of the season!