It’s the start of 2019 and Dave Gleason and the orchard teams at Domex Superfresh Growers are already laying the groundwork for fall harvest. In the company's most recent Orchard Update, Gleason discusses managing the upcoming crop and how they prune each tree to make sure they get the most of even sunlight. Superfresh calls it “farming the light.”
The Superfresh team members are examining the winter-dormant trees with a mind on setting a strong apple crop. Gleason says they’re always trying to balance the light. Each bud has the potential to become an apple, so it’s important that tree quality is the same from top to bottom, he said.
At times the limbs break or they’re not as strong and the tree wants to fill in those spaces. They do this by putting up new shoots which closes off light. Therefore, the team shared it is constantly evaluating tree structure and studying the buds, and with proper pruning techniques, adjustments can be made to ensure there’s a balance of light.
Gleason says, “We’re farmers of light, as light gives us the color, and increases flavor on the apples.” It’s important that light is evenly distributed to guarantee fruit quality from top to bottom. Performing this function now is the first effort in putting apples where they want them on the tree, he added.
Farming is truly a year-round activity!