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A Late Spring Orchard Update – June 2017

We’re now fully subscribed for 2017 and thrilled to welcome all our returning members (and a couple of new ones, too)!

Farmers Al and Mary have written the following late spring update letter:

Summerland, BC, June 15, 2017
A MOST UNUSUAL SPRING

Greetings to all members from the Happy Farmers Al and Mary.
In our 40 years of living in Summerland we have not had a spring like this year’s, wet and cold. The blossom season arrived exactly 3 weeks later than last year (which was about one week earlier than normal), which still leaves us about two weeks behind. Likewise, the fruit sizing is about 2-3 weeks behind last year’s. Mother Nature will catch up though, the lag will slowly decrease and by the end of October we will have caught up completely.
There are, however, some unwelcome consequences to this unusual weather. Some fruit varieties were in full bloom right in the middle of the heavy rains. The pollinating insects did not get out, the pollination was inadequate and the result is a very light set. Most seriously affected fruits are pears and Italian plums. There will be a very light crop. Other plum varieties and apples were affected to a much lesser degree and barring some unforeseen calamity the crop should be at least average.
There is a distinct possibility that we will have difficulties to meet our obligations to deliver the quantities and varieties our members ordered, in spite of the fact that we have decreased the membership number by a quarter. Should that happen, there will be a proportional refund coming your way at the end of the fruit season. In the meantime let’s stay hopeful.
There are some aspects of life which are completely beyond our control. We have to accept them and live with the consequences. We are trying to make the most of what we have and enjoy life in spite of all difficulties.
Wishing you all the best and looking forward to seeing you at the first delivery, sometime in early to mid August.
Al and Mary

Nonetheless, we remain optimistic and excited for the first delivery in August!  Below are some photos of the fruit, sizing up on the trees.

2017 Season Shares Now Available!

Happy Spring!  After a long winter, we are thrilled to see the insects buzzing in the orchard, and the spring flowers (purple violets) leaping up from the ground.  Like most places around the Province this year, the orchard is late awakening from its winter slumber.  The buds aren’t even open yet, but we’re ready to start accepting members for the 2017 season of the Tinka Orchard CSA.

As we attempt to increase safety for all of us working in the orchard, we have had to lower many of the trees to prevent ladder falls.  In the long run, this will make the orchard safer and easier to work as fruit will be lower and more easily accessible.  As a result though, this year the yield from the orchard will be lower, and we have reduced the number of shares we will be offering in the CSA to 30 (down from 40 last year).  As usual, returning members will have first opportunity to purchase shares.  Anyone still interested after shares are allocated will be added to a list of folks to be notified if we have additional fruit available for purchase.  Sign up early to guarantee your spot!

As far as shares go, we are adding an “apple lovers” share this year, consisting of 25 lbs plums, and 75 lbs of mixed apples and pears.

Details are on the How Does It Work? page.  Returning members from last season will have priority until June 1, 2017

Once you’re ready to sign up, you can do so here.

To secure your share, please send payment as detailed at the completion of the form. Once we receive and process your payment, we will send you an email confirmation.

Thank you and we look forward to having you on board for the 2017 season!

-Farmer Al, Kristi, and Jana

 

Mid July Orchard Update

Our family was in the Okanagan a week or so ago, and paid a nice visit to Farmer Al and Mary at the orchard.  While it was unseasonably cool and overcast, the orchard was lush and green, and the fruit was coming along nicely – all the trees happy and healthy.

While we do our best to project delivery dates in advance, it really depends on the weather and on how the fruit is ripening.  We can typically only know about a week in advance at most, when the pickup dates will be.  We appreciate you patience as we work with mother nature to bring you the freshest fruit possible!

At this point, Farmer Al predicts that the first delivery will be sometime in the last week of July, and we’ll update you as we know more!

Here are some shots of the orchard from a week or so ago.

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Happy Farmer Al!

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Final pruning in the orchard

Farmer Al wanted to share these before and after photos of his hard work pruning in the orchard, helping the trees to produce the sweetest, largest and most numerous fruit for us this season! Al has close to 100 trees so he works steadily, pruning a tree a day as soon as the leaves are off to get the job done.

Tree before pruning:

Note the many vertical (non-fruiting) branches.

Note the many vertical (non-fruiting) branches.

…and after pruning

Mostly fruiting (horizontal) branches remain

Mostly fruiting (horizontal) branches remain

2016 Shares now available!

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Hello everyone – we hope that you’re enjoying the first blooms of spring!  We’re happy to announce that we’re once again welcoming members to our CSA for the 2016 growing season.  The details are the same as last year.

Details are on the How Does It Work? page.  Share types and prices are the same as last year.  Returning members from last season will have priority until June 1, 2016

Once you’re ready to sign up, you can do so here.

To secure your share, please send payment as detailed at the completion of the form. Once we receive and process your payment, we will send you an email confirmation.

Thank you and we look forward to having you on board for the 2016 season!

-Farmer Al, Kristi, and Jana

Late apples for sale! – Sold Out!

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Update as of 9/30 – Sold Out!  Thanks for your interest and stay tuned for next year!

The Tinka Orchard CSA  still has quite a few late varieties of spray-free, “cleaner than organic” Okanagan apples available for order, so long as there is sufficient interest to warrant a trip down.

Varieties available include Jonagold, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Newtowns, Ambrosia, Granny Smith, Cox Orange, Gold Blush.

As Farmer Al doesn’t have large quantitities of single varieties, he’d prefer if folks order mixed apples so that he can give you a sampling of different varieties.

If you’re interested in ordering extra apples, they’re $2/lb.  Please fill out the form here to sumbit your interest by Saturday, October 3rd, and if there is sufficient interest, we’ll confirm the details with you.  Please share with friends and families if you like!
ORDER HERE

Tentative delivery date is October 7th for pickup in East Vancouver

Thank you for supporting our small orchard! 

2015 Shares Now Available!

We apologize for the delay in getting our CSA up and running this year – we’ve had a new addition to our CSA family – Kristi’s baby boy Gavin was born May 15th, so that threw a wrench in season opening preparations.  We’re back on track now though, and happy to announce that shares are available!

Details are on the How Does It Work? page.  Share types and prices are the same as last year.  Returning members from last season will have priority until July 15th, 2015.

Once you’re ready to sign up, you can do so here.

To secure your share, please send payment as detailed at the completion of the form. Once we receive and process your payment, we will send you an email confirmation.

Thank you and we look forward to having you on board for the 2015 season!

-Farmer Al, Kristi, and Jana