Month: November 2022

Fall is a wonderful time at the orchard.

Fall is a wonderful time at Churchill Orchard.

Summer is over – summer’s a hard time at the orchard, hot and kinda dull, with lots of repetitive walking of irrigation lines and checking on gopher traps.

In the fall, after the heat breaks, all kinds of things start happening.

* We got 1.7″ of rain the day before Election Day and on Election Day itself – sweet, slow, gentle rain that soaked in and didn’t cause any damage. And there’s still 4-5 months to go during which we might get more storms, so this rain not only makes me happy it also makes me hopeful.

* the Kishus are beginning to turn color – meaning it’s time to estimate the crop size and start measuring the sugar. We are expecting a decent harvest of kishus, so there should be an adequate supply for mail order and wholesale both.

* Also as the fruit starts to turn color, Kishu Pilferers show up. I post signs. Kishu Pilferers bring out my churlish side – churlish Churchill, that’s me.

* We ran an experiment to see if we could substitute grazing sheep for flail mowing and weedeating to control weeds.

Sheep Trials at Churchill Orchard video

* Maybe 6-7 years ago, Mrs. Mercer took out 40 acres of old valencia orange trees. She had them all piled up in enormous piles and was going to burn them. Mike got the bright idea that we should buy them, grind them up, and haul them to our orchard for mulch, and that’s what we did.

The transaction took place in late summer, and the mulch was due to be spread before Christmas of that year. Hah! But lo, a spreader has materialized over by the stacks and stacks of mulch, so maybe before Christmas of this year. It could happen.