The Fraser Fir coning project is well under way, and a few of our summer interns have been spending their mornings out in the fields this past week tending to the trees. Every few years, Fraser Firs begin producing large amounts of cones (this process is often triggered by environmental stress, like last summer’s drought). Although not every Fraser produced cones this year, some can be weighted down with over 500 cones on a single tree! To make sure that our trees devote their energy to growing properly instead of producing cones, our farmers must handpick the cones from the trees’ upper branches. We have spent many hours this week manuevering ladders through tall grass and hilly fields to rid our trees of their cones. We’ve made good progress, but there will be more work to do next week!
In the afternoons our new batch of summer interns has been soaking up as much knowledge as they can about strawberry recipes, sustainable farming, and Jones family history in preparation for the start of strawberry season. We’re getting ready to welcome guests into the strawberry fields, as some of our early varieties begin to ripen. We’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces and welcoming new pickers for the 2011 season!