Early Spring In the Orchard

Well it took about a week and the snow is gone, the ground is thawing and I think it won’t be long for the trees to start their budding processEarly Spring Orchard 2015.

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Orchard in Late Winter

A view from the top of the orchard on March 7, 2015.  Pruning is complete.Orchard in Winter March 2015

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Conservation Practice

Sweet Rose Farm is enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program and one of our practices is moving animal feeders on a monthly basis to avoid compaction and to spread animal manure to different areas of the farm.  Here Tea is helping me relocate the feeder and Rose has supervised the placement at the new site.Rose ad FeederTea and Feeder

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For The Birds

Every year we have been adding birdhouses to our pest management and conservation efforts.  We have 12 swallow boxes and 4 kestrel boxes currently and will be making more this winter.  Last week I cleaned out most of the boxes to get them ready for the spring.  All boxes that I cleaned had nests from the last year.Kestel Box Kestrel Box Side Kestrel Box Cleaning Swallow Box

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Collecting Scions For Grafting

Rose and I are out collecting scions from plum, Asian pear and peach trees.  We will try our first attempt at grafting in the spring.  I have a few trees that failed to take and only the rootstock is flourishing.  Here one of my few plum trees that made it will supply the plum scions.  You ever notice how shy Rose is when the camera is on her?  Here are a few more shots of her posing demurely.Rose and Blue Scion CollectionRose Raspberries

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Mid Winter Raspberry Pruning

Completed our first year winter pruning of our new fall raspberries. Hard to imagine raspberries will be here in 6 months when it is 15 degrees and 25 mph winds.  There was not much growth this year so only cutting out 12-16 inch canes.

Fall Raspberries Under Snow

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St Mark Fall Festival

Sweet Rose Farm LLC is  proud to announce that we will be supplying the ground beef for the hamburgers at St Mark Catholic Church Fall Festival in Vienna this Sunday, September 25, 2011 from 1 to4 pm.  Stop by  if you have some time and try a nice grass fed burger.  I’ll be there to answer any questions you might have and I will be assisting the St Mark SMAC team in making the burgers.

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Grass Fed Beef On Sale Now

I have just loaded up our freezers with some of the best grass fed beef Highland County can produce.  Processed by Blue Ridge Meats, the fine cuts have been wrapped in paper and the hamburger vacuum packed.  These cuts are very lean and have been aged 22 days.  I have simplified our pricing structure in the hopes of moving a lot of beef now in order to restock the freezers in another month.

We are now offering a one and one sale.  For every pound of steak purchased we will add in a pound of ground beef  for $7 per pound.  So to 4 lbs of New York Strip, we add 4 pounds of hamburger for a total of 8 pounds costing $56.  A real deal when you look at the individual cost for cuts such as New York Strip.

If you want to increase your savings, purchase 60 -120 pounds for $6.50 a pound.  And for purchases over 120 pounds, the charge is $6.00 per pound.

And best of all you will get free delivery on all beef ordered.  Also if you have some special needs, give me a call or send an email and we will try to work up what you need.

Here is a listing of the cuts I have available today.  Some cuts are limited so order early for the best selection.  Call me or send an email with your order and I will deliver!

1/2 lb packages


New York Strips

Rib steaks

Flat Iron



Hanging Tender

1 lb packages

London Broil


Sirloin Tip

Stew Meat


2+ lbs packages


 3+ lb packages

Soup bones

Marrow Bones




Ox Tail



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Tomatoes in the Tunnel

I was able to set 96 tomato plants in the high tunnel this week.  I purchased some Tuscarora Farms organic plants through Maple Avenue Market and got them planted in four rows.   The plants were large enough to get them clipped to their support string.

I have been having a hard time judging how much water I should be dripping through the irrigation lines.  I have dialed back how long the water stays on and hopefully I will keep from flooding the new plants.  In the tunnel, the temps rise to about 85 during the day, with the doors open and sides rolled up foot or so.  I hope to keep the temps below 90 this year in an effort to provide a better growing climate.  Last year I let the tunnel get too hot and the watering was uneven and done by overhead sprinkler.

The varieties are Brandywine, Big Boy, Moscow heirloom, Green Zebra, Purple, cherry and grape.  I may add a few more to fill in the rows.

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Trellis Up

I was able to do a trellis test section a couple weeks back. On the end and center brace posts I mounted a five foot oak 3×3 with 10 inch J bolts to extend the post between 9 and 10 feet.  I braced the end and center posts and installed a high tensile wire a 3 and 5 feet.  Eventually I will double back and put wires at 7 and 9 feet as well.

In between the brace posts I hand drove oak 5 foot  3×3’s at 30 foot intervals and attached a ten foot steel post using 4 inch bolts.  I used the center brace posts to start a new section of wire to the end posts, so each wire was a total of 150 feet long.  After putting a strainer on  each wire, the trellis was nice and tight with just a little bit of give to it, but not so much that it strained  the hand driven posts.  Here is a picture of my help, working hard to stay warm.


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