The calendar still says winter but the Apple Hill Growers are busy prepping for spring at their farms, orchards and vineyards. Last year, February/March was particularly cold and snowy. This time around, it’s been unseasonably warm and dry. Farming is a year-round endeavor and the Growers are prepared to work with all of Mother Nature’s surprises to deliver the highest quality produce to consumers, retailers and restaurants in a few months!
We recently visited Ben Hanson with 24Carrot Farm to get a sense of what he’s up to right now. He was harvesting winter vegetables, including kale and beets, for their last week of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. Though he’s done with CSA boxes for this season, people can subscribe to a large or small box of fruits and vegetables to have fresh produce for next winter. His focus now shifts to the 24Carrot Farm stand opening to the public April 18. Ben is a first-generation farmer who started 24Carrot back in 2015. After learning about nutrition and healthy eating inspired him to study horticulture and put his passion into practice.
We asked Ben a couple of questions about March at Apple Hill:
What keeps you busy this time of year?
“Our focus in February and March really shifts to getting plant starts ready to go. The farm stand opens in April with a plant sale so people can start their own home garden. So that’s what’s keeping us busy now”
How has this year’s weather affected you?
“Honestly, we need the rain, but this winter has been a lot easier to manage without the heavy rain and snow like last year.”
24Carrot is a certified organic farm that grows exceptional fruits, vegetable and flowers. Their
rustic farm stand opens in late April and visitors can enjoy a variety of You-Pick experiences
throughout the growing season, including apples, strawberries, tomatoes and pumpkins.
Shoppers can also try products like eggs, cheese and nut butters from other nearby producers.
Here’s a map to all Apple Hill Growers