1431 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803

Open Tue-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5

sun, strawberries, and cherries

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I hope you got through yesterday’s peek into future summer heat.

I gotta say, it took me by surprise. I was in full denial mode and managed to completely skip over that day’s temperature prediction every time I opened the weather apps this week.

FYI: denial didn’t work. It was hot anyway.

Most of the crops came through without issue. The Swiss chard is the only one that really got any sunburn.

Ignore the insect damage. And the weeds.

And we got the shade cloth up on the hydro house last month (or maybe it was the end of April… I don’t remember), so no burned seedlings!

The shade cloth we use on the tunnels is actually knitted white aluminum. The white reflects the light away, keeping the plants about 10 degrees cooler. Whereas a black shade cloth can actually make it warmer underneath, making black better suited for heat-loving plants rather than the greens that normally occupy the hydro house.

But of course, now that the shade cloth is on… we’re going to take it off.

And not just the shade cloth. We’re taking everything off the hydro-house.

It’ll be fitted with new plastic, roll-up sides (this will greatly increase airflow, making it much easier to keep pests under control!), and bird netting (darn sparrows LOVE bibb lettuce).

We may even even out the high and low spots in the ground, stopping the water from dripping out of the channels. Although propping the channels up with random pieces of stuff works ok so that’s lower on the to-do list.

Plus leveling and tamping ground is bor-ing (in my humble but completely right opinion).

Water runs from the tank down the medium white tube, through the small white tubes into the channels where the plants grow. The water then runs through the plant roots and out the other end of the channel and heads back to the tank to get reused. Propping the channels up keeps the water flowing in the right direction instead of onto the ground.

We started picking sour cherries this week. The crew wanted to make sure I took a picture and showed you. So here is the very first (half) quart of sour cherries of 2023.

We are in a bit of an in-between time for fruit. Strawberries are coming to an end and raspberries and cherries are just starting.

We’ve yet to determine if yesterday’s burst of heat will have finished the strawberries off or not. They really don’t like 90+ degree weather (I’m right there with them on that opinion), but it was only one day so we may get lucky and have strawberries through next week. Or the strawberries may decide they’re done, in which case today was it. Time will tell.

Some seasonal inspiration:

Open Tue-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5. 

Closed Sunday & Monday.

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About Highland Orchards

Completely surrounded by suburbia, our small farm has been growing beyond expectations since 1832, just north of Wilmington, Delaware.

Growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, Highland Orchards provides true “farm fresh” for the community all year. If you want to shake the hand of the farmer who grows for you, here is the farm! With plants in the ground or under cover in tunnels, we grow for every season. A family farm, we have three different generations involved in running the farm right now.

Come see us to eat fresh, eat local, and eat well!