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this is how apple growers are faring.
Posted: April 5 2012
The huge outpouring of concern for our orchard trees being hammered by this Canadian/Arctic front was very warming! Last night at least 13 people over and above the usual farm crew came out through the night to keep fires burning, drifting smoke through the trees for hours until the sun came up. The result so far is that the temperatures never went below 23-4 degrees even though it was 20 in Philmont. So community warmth is worth at least 3-4 degrees!
These few degrees make a huge difference: at the stage of our apple and pear buds ("tight cluster"), it can mean the difference between slight damage and a total crop loss. We think that there is a good chance that our work last night has been effective in minimizing damage. (Later on, at full bloom, 28º F means 10% loss, while 25º F means 90% loss, a difference of only three degrees). A few hours earlier, around 9 pm we sprayed our biodynamic valerian preparation, which has saved our crop from damage many times in the past. And we will be out there again tonight, spraying valerian at sunset, and then burning fires from about 2 am through daylight. Should you be moved to come and help, please know that these are the hours when your presence would be needed, to tend the fires as we bring supplies of fuel, and to bring that all important community warmth to our farm.
If these are the days when unexpected weather events threaten our sense of the normal, then the response and concern we have felt is surely the way to go; you have shown us what it means when people think and act from the heart, just because somebody else's fruit trees and crops are at risk. You warmed up the world last night. Other friends took care of our kids. We can't thank you enough for your visible and invisible help, the warming thoughts and prayers you sent to us last night.
Hugh & Hanna