As I’m writing this to you, we have snow coming down in big flakes creating a winter wonderland here at the orchard. I know I should put my snowshoes on and grab a bit of fresh air and snap a photo for Instagram™. Maybe later.
Here we are at the end of another year again. Like the toddler years, the days sometimes seem long but the years go fast. We’ve much to be grateful for in 2019 and we’re excited for what 2020 will bring.
We seem to continue to have growing challenges with the changing weather patterns. A wet late spring pushed our strawberry season to the very end of June Hot days and wet nights made for a quick pick-your-own season, although we heard from many of you that the strawberries had never been sweeter. So, there’s that!
We decided to push back the opening of our fall season because that pesky late spring, cool wet summer, meant apple ripening was 7-10 days behind normal. We appreciated everyone’s patience because once the apples were ripe, they were wonderful! (Remember, we don’t pick the apples because of the date on the calendar, we pick them when they taste just right). Those of you who kept coming at the end of October and early November we able to enjoy the sweet goodness of Honeygold, Fireside and Keepsake apples.
We have a lot of our own favorite memories of the fall season. We have a great group of part-time employees who help make this place work; from kids in the parking lot to our donut maker and pie crew who kept churning out those amazing bakery products all season. We love the kids on field trips and the families who make coming to the orchard a part of their tradition year after year.
Looking ahead to 2020, you’ll see a few more changes. We just started a building project to add onto the Appleshed. This will give us an expanded sales area; bigger kitchen and cooler space (especially as First Kiss™ comes into full production). We’re excited for this new space and the opportunities it will create.
We don’t have a lot of bells and whistles here at Pleasant Valley Orchard, our primary goal is to grow high quality fruit and create a place for making memories. That’s our continued commitment to you.
Here’s to 2020!
Jim Birkholz & Judy Erickson