WINTER 2012/2013 NEWSLETTER

          We would like to thank everyone who purchased our fruit in 2012.  By all accounts, this year was an extraordinary one for successful orchard crops in the Fallon area.

          This winter, we are preparing the orchard heaters for anticipated late frosts in spring 2013. 

           In 2012, we planted 100 2-yr old grape vines; 60% Red Flame and 40% Neptune, the largest white seedless grape.  We grow 14 varieties of table grapes (176 vines total), all of which do very well in our soil and climate.  The most popular at farmers’ markets were Red Flame, Jupiter, Glenora, and Black Monukka. 

        We also planted thirty-five new trees in April 2012; 20 Bing cherry, 10 Rainier cherry, 3 Van cherry and 2 Red Globe peach trees.  In Spring 2013, we’ll be adding 6 more Elberta peach trees, 4 Harglow and Wilson Delicious apricots, and two Red Heart plums for totals of 121 cherry, 25 apple, 16 peach, 12 plum, and 4 apricot trees. 

        The winter of 2011/2012 required heavier than normal pruning but this winter it’s a typical pruning and we expect very good crops if we can successfully challenge the frost and wind!

         Irrigation is a constant challenge.  All the grapes and trees are on a drip system which requires constant cleaning.  We added a sand filter on the river pump which has greatly reduced the amount of silt entering the system.  Our water allocation was reduced by 10% in 2012 due to low water levels at Lahontan reservoir.  So far, the snow pack looks good for 2013.

         We expect to have fruit (and some heirloom vegetables) at the Market at the Slanted Porch (Fallon) and farmers’ markets in either Carson City or Reno.  Please watch our web site (sweetfarmfallon.com) and Facebook page for times and locations.

         By request, we started offering preserves, jams, apple butter, jelly and marmalade which we process at a commercial kitchen in Fallon.  They are available at Franz’s Backstube bakery (Reno), Flower Tree Nursery (Fallon), and Red Zinnia (Fallon), or directly from the farm.

         We still have Granny Smith apples in the cooler that are wonderful for cooking at 50 cents/lb.

         We look forward to seeing you all at the markets this year and the farm is always open by appointment.

Best regards, Terri & John Sweet

SWEET FARM
Sweet Cherries, fresh Grapes, and Apples from the Oasis of Nevada
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July 2012 Newsletter

SWEET FARM

Thanks to everyone who bought our cherries this year; you’ll be first on the list for our next crop.

CHERRIES: We had a very small crop this year (see June 2012 Newsletter), fewer than 100lbs or only about 10% of normal.  The quality, however, was superb and we sampled cherries at 30 Brix (percentage of sugar content measured by a refractometer) and tasted them to ascertain the prime harvest period which turned out to be June 29 to July 3 (5 days). 

We were able to offer several pounds at the July 3 Market at the  Slanted Porch, our local farmers’ market.  After all the work in the orchard, it comes down to the anxious waiting period between when the cherries reach good size and color, and when they are actually sweet enough to pick. 

This year we will be installing orchard heaters; gas in the front orchard and propane in the riverside orchard.  As locals know, we frequently have late frosts here in Fallon so we are hoping that the orchard heaters will enhance our chances for a successful harvest in 2013.

The 20 Rainier, 10 Bing, and 3 Van cherry trees that we planted this Spring look very healthy and are growing rapidly.  It will be another few years before they will produce.

APPLES: The 7 kinds of apples continue to increase in size and color.  We have sprayed 4 times for codling moth using Spinoza (a microbial spray approved for organic orchards) and only 10 apples of the 25-trees had to be pulled.  All varieties are bountiful and beautiful and there is no other evidence of pests (there is one Lesser Goldfinch nest in one of the trees)!  Harvest is expected in September.

GRAPES: The grapes continue to grow in size.  Most of the trimming and support has been done in preparation for bird netting which will occur next week.  For table grape lovers, delicious varieties grown in Fallon’s hot sun with plenty of water are indescribably delicious – firm, crisp and sweet.  We have 14 varieties and will post the harvest times on our Facebook page.  The Glenoras should start ripening in late July/early Aug and we’ll have grapes through September.  My favorite are the red, seedless Red Flames and the white Neptunes (of which we have planted 100 more vines this Spring).  The seeded Concords’ flavor is exceptional and we will have over 100lbs of them available.

PEACHES AND PLUMS: We will have a small volume of these and will try to give buyers of cherries, grapes and apples, some of them.

MELONS:  We have planted an heirloom cantaloupe from California, as well as several varieties of watermelon and other cantaloupes, including Sugar Baby watermelon and Pixie cantaloupes (single serving size).  We will post availability on our Facebook page.

If you would like to visit the Farm, please call 775-423-2032 for an appointment. 
Thank you, again, for your support.  Terri & John Sweet

terrisweet@charter.net

June 2012 Newsletter

Greetings from Sweet Farm, Fallon, Nevada. Thank you for requesting our newsletter; should you ever wish to unsubscribe, please send an email to terrisweet@charter.net with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

SWEET CHERRIES: Due to heavy pruning this winter and possibly wind and temps down to 28 for a few days after bloom, we have only eleven trees worthy of bird netting which is happening today. There will not be sufficient volume for the farmers’ market or CSAs; however, we will offer what we can to those of you on the list. We have a total of 121 sweet cherry trees of varying ages, with about 80% Rainier and 20% Bing.

APPLES: We expect a fine crop of apples from 25 trees including Red & Golden Delicious, Red Rome, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Macintosh & Braeburn. The fruit thinning, and second codling moth spray is complete with fewer than 10 stings visible in the entire orchard. We use Spinosad, a microbial spray approved for organic orchards. They should ripen in September.

GRAPES: Again, we expect an excellent table grape crop this year from established vines and we just planted 52 Red Flame and 52 Neptune vines. Producing vines include Red Flame, Concord Himrod, Neptune, Glenora, Thompson, Reliance, Ruby Red, Black Manuka, Jupiter, Lakemont, and Mars. All are seedless except some of the Concords. They will ripen between July and September.

PEACHES: We have only eight peach trees including Elberta, Rising Star, and Red Haven. They are producing more peaches than expected.

PLUMS: We have a small amount of Italian prune, Friar and Santa Rosa plum trees of varying ages. There will be a small production this year.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO COME OUT FOR GRAPES AND APPLES, WE WILL TRY TO INCORPORATE SOME PEACHES AND PLUMS WITH YOUR ORDER.

MELONS: We have planted several varieties of watermelon and cantaloupe as well as vegetables.

If you wish to visit the farm, please call 775-443-7552 for an appointment.

                                     SWEET FARM
                   3200 Alcorn Road - Fallon, NV 89406
                                775-443-7552
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