Showing posts from July, 2018

Surviving July is all in how you view it

Oh, July! Hot, productive, busy, overwhelming July! Hottest month of the year. Picking raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, peaches, plums, first of the summer apples, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, cantaloupes, watermelon, corn….all of the summer bounty rushes to ripen and is ready for harvest. The days are packed. July is the fruition of a lot of planning and planting.

Oh yes, and generally the weeds have gone totally crazy by July.

It’s always funny when people ask if we are closed for July 4 (unless it falls on a Sunday, the answer is no). The plants do not take a holiday in July. We have Sundays off (always), but we would be light years behind if we took another day off in July. This year, July 4 is hovering at a balmy 91 degrees after 5 straight days in the 90s—you can practically see the berries ripening in front of your eyes.We close a few hours early to give our employees a chance to spend some time with their families. For family members,…

Farewell to Schuylkill River Park

It seems very strange to say farewell to Schuylkill River Park. We have been there since the first farmers market started in 2005. We have seen vendors come and go, we have endured construction around the park, and in the park, and next to the park, and we have gotten to know many wonderful people in the community who come out and support our farm through their purchases at the market.
The park is beautiful now, with its renovated pathways, dog park, and plantings. The community garden is full with creative plots. Why would we want to leave?
A simple question with a complicated answer. We are fortunate that our business has grown dramatically over the past decade. We have more CSAs, more restaurants placing orders, more companies wanting to provide produce for their employees, and more business at our home market on the farm.
We have finite resources.
I have rolled this around in my head for quite a while now. My decision affects all of our employees, our customers, and our revenue.…

Peak Bloom Time!

Meander down to visit the chickens and ducks and look past the pen. You’ll see our flower field filled to the brim and buzzing with beautiful life. 

At the Delaware Beekeeper Association, I asked the other beekeepers if they planted flowers every year where they keep bees. It turns out that Highland Orchards is pretty unique. On our farm we have so many fruit trees and shrubs, flowering vegetable plants, and we grow so many cut flowers that we have an overwhelming abundance of pollen and nectar to go around. 
So, here’s the beautiful diversity we encourage with our field-grown cut flowers.  The best part? We cover all the stops. You can buy bunches for bouquets, or buy the plants yourself to grow your own! That way you can enjoy these pollinators visiting your garden!

Our mix of flowers brings in our incredible mix of pollinators:  Small native bees: melittid, megachilid, and others including mason bees Larger carpenter and bumble bees in the Bombidae family Our classic European hone…