The winter has been long, and I think most people up here are ready for the temperatures to break 32 degrees (although, there are those ice-fishers...) With all of that said, I can't forget the importance of winter. As much as I have the urge to complain, there is something special that seems to happen during the winter months in our acres of orchards. Everything is quiet. Everything slows down. When stepping into our snowy orchards, there is a tangible peacefulness that can only be felt in winter. Our sleeping apple blossom buds have not yet awakened; and our trees seem content to be quietly waiting out the rest of the winter with us, standing still and tall. We are all anxious for Spring weather, but the peacefulness of winter gives us and our trees the time we all need to prepare for a new growing season. This seems like a good thing to remember when you are living in the North North Country. So, you wonder, what is our winter news at the Bayfield Apple Company, how have we kept busy...all in all, what are the winter haps at the BAC? Keep reading to find out...
- Staff Changes
I bring this point up first, because I am the key "staff change." I have been working at the BAC for the past two fall harvest seasons, and was thrilled to accept a full time position in mid-February. I join the rest of the on-site staff (John, Thomas and Jules) who have been running the orchard together for the past year. So that is some big news. The staff of three, has changed to four.
- Pruning, Pruning, Pruning
This is one of the most important tasks we complete during the winter months, pruning our apple trees. If we left our trees unpruned, they would be a big ol' mess by summertime. When we prune, we get rid of all of the branches that are no longer "working" for the tree. They could be dead, they could be shielded by more vigorous branches (and fighting for sunlight)...or we just may need to eliminate some branches to allow a healthy amount of air to flow through the branches of the tree. We spend much of the winter pruning our trees, and are rewarded with healthy trees, come harvest season.
- Never-Ending Office Work (including a website overhaul)
Even though our trees take a rest during the winter, our office doesn't. In our orchards, you can be surrounded by silence, but in the office, there is always the hum of the computer, the much louder hum of the propane heater, and on some days...some not so nice words for our technological devices. We receive mail orders for our products year-round, and sell our products in many fine nearby establishments. We are also preparing for the busier months with new job and intern opportunities...and much more. While our fruit harvests are seasonal, our office work is not. It is a year-round dance of paperwork and e-mails. Recently, we have begun a website overhaul (if you are reading this, you are experiencing the fruits of our labor, our new website). I was the project manager on this one, so I hope you like!
- Jam Making
Another aspect of our business that doesn't get a break is our jam processing. Jules, our chief jam-maker, slaves away in our processing room until all of our orders for jam, jelly and mustard have been filled. Just because it is winter, doesn't mean people don't want their delish Bayfield Apple Company goodies. So in the words of Mr. Marley, "stir it up..." And don't stop until that wholesale order is filled.
If you have read all of this, wow, congratulations! And thanks for your interest in our orchard. That just about sums up our winter happenings at the Bayfield Apple Company. Spring is right around the corner, but while we are all waiting, don't forget to enjoy the peacefulness that winter brings. And stop by and see us. Our Orchard Store is open year-round, and is stocked with our delicious products...available for your enjoyment in all seasons! Peruse our store, and step outside to wander through our orchards, while they are still quiet and snow-covered. Enjoy the silence of the orchard. And don't forget your long underwear.