Jones' Farmer Blog

Behind the scenes and lessons at Jones Family Farms in Shelton, CT

The “Quiet” Season

Leave a comment

The question often arises – What happens after Christmas Tree season is over?  Simply put – A LOT!!

We remained open for the week between Christmas and New Years for those looking to purchase some wine for holiday parties, and to conduct Wine Tastings for guests wanting to learn more about the breadth of our wine list.
img_20160914_122339126
Now that our Tasting Room is closed (re-opens on Friday March 3rd), you can obtain our wines at a variety of Wine Stores in Connecticut. (link to a listing of the wine stores on our website)
The Christmas Tree fields are evaluated, going through all of them post-harvest.  Where a tree has been harvested, we cut the “whorl” of branches remaining on the stump.  The stump is also cut again as close to the ground as possible with a special chainsaw where the blade will not dull if it touches the soil.  A record is made of how many trees are needed to replant in each block of trees, and then added together by variety across all 200 acres of trees to gauge the amount of nursery and transplant work to come in the spring.
img_20150120_084241872

The stumps from a prior year’s harvest are visible next to the replacement planted in the adjacent spot.  The two trees in the foreground are nearly 4-5 years old.

 If there is no snow and the weather is mild (as it has been), we can get to work on pruning in the blueberry bushes.  By removing the older canes, it allows the plants to put more energy into the growing parts of the plant where fruit will develop
winter-projects-0051

Pruning blueberries before the spring’s new growth helps the plants produce more berries while staying in line.  These plants show straw at their base to suppress grass growth.

In some fields we will add straw at the base to suppress grass growth.  In some of our fields we will instead add composting wood chips, as this additionally helps to retain moisture in the root zone – a growing challenge in our summers.

img_20150114_153755390

Young blueberry bushes receive a layer of composting wood chips to suppress grass and retain moisture at the plants root zone.

Some of our buildings receive their warmth from wood stoves or fireplaces, and we split that firewood from selective tree felling activity during the winter time.
img_20161230_135925339
We keep an eye on all our strawberry fields to ensure that the blanket of straw remains on top of the plants to protect it from the harsh cold of winter.
IMG_20151205_083957943
There is annual maintenance to do, such as refinishing the Tasting Room floors after being emptied of all furniture and products prior to opening in the spring.
FBCover02g-IMG_20150131_145154762
All the saws from Christmas time are gone thru, with sap-gum removed from their blades and reviewed for sharpness before being put away till next year.

img_20141224_142255202

Over at the Winery, there are preparations for the coming year’s vintage to be bottled.

img_1530

The Harvest Kitchen Cooking Studio is experimenting with different recipes to offer during our cooking classes.  (Here is a link to the Preview of 2017 Spring Classes)

img_20170110_104508664

We are creating some delicious dishes during these winter days with our vegetables and squash from last fall.

img_20170120_121924695

That just scratches the surface.  If you want to see some of what goes on across the year, take a look at our Farmer Friday videos on YouTube.

Registration for Harvest Kitchen Cooking Classes begins on Groundhog Day (Feb2) online via our website – www.JonesFamilyFarms.com

The Winery’s Tasting Room opens for the 2017 season on Friday March 3rd.  The Spring Season Hours will be Fri/Sat/Sun 11a-5p.

.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s