March 03, 2015 at 2:30 PM
Pioneers to the Wenatchee Valley, the Nicholson family operate their fruit stand in Peshastin. Dennis, top row left, is a third generation orchardist. He knows what it takes to prepare the land for a fruitful, delicious harvest. Learn about the month of March in Dennis' own words.
"What's going on in the orchard? Pruning is the main activity, this month but there is more! Some growers are cutting out and preparing to replant with newer, hopefully more profitable varieties of fruit trees. March, a shoulder month, is also a great time to tune up the tractor, repair the Rears (calibrate the sprayer) and bring out the brush cutter to keep the orchard environment clean.
Meanwhile the farmer has to stay on top of rule changes, learn to keep pesticide usage records on the computer, review how your company is doing on Food Safety Modernization Act compliance. Take a class or two to earn credits toward re-certifying your pesticide applicators license. Take a first aid/CPR class to be sure you and your workers are up to speed and ready to address emergencies in and around the orchard. Prepare a series of orchard safety classes to remind workers to work safely when using orchard equipment, ladders, tractors, ATV’s, and how to be prepared to avoid cold injury, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Review paper work to be sure that workers emergency information is up to date. Review your bulletin boards to see if you have the latest edition of Washington State’s Labor and Industry posters and that all other posted information is up to date and current.
And, under all of this activity warehouse workers are still busy sorting, storing, selling, packing, and shipping the greatest apples and pears in the world all around the world, (when the Ports are open). And in my spare time I can look at seed catalogs and dream of the fresh ripe fruits and vegetables we’ll be enjoying this coming summer and fall.".
A note from Dennis:
"Hello Fruit and Farm Lovers:
Our fruit stand is open from cherry season, which starts about the middle of June, to the end of apple season, which usually ends with the threat of snow. We sell organic dried fruit, jams, jelly's and fruit preserves. We proudly offeer our own label which is certified organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)! We also carry products from two other growers that are also WSDA certified organic, so everything is locally grown and/or locally processed.
Hope to see you soon!"
Sincerely, Dennis Nicholson