Friday, August 10, 2012

IFTA 2012 Quebec -- more Day 1

Rounding out the morning of Day 1we stopped to see a new field being prepped for planting apple trees at D.M. Boileau Orchards, Inc., also in Havelock. One of several family members running the orchards and packing facility, Danny Boileau (left) told us how they want to plant 5,000 trees per year over the next five years, and with his agricultural/business education, realizes the importance of getting an intensive orchard off to a good start. Here, they are incorporating LOTS of manure and using green cover crops for good soil health and tilth before planting apples. But, growers are very conscious about phosphorous levels, in fact soil tests are mandatory and they are prohibited from applying too much P to protect water quality.

After lunch, we visited Tim Petch of Petch Orchards in Hemmingford. Tim's father, Bob Petch is fondly remembered as  IFTA Director from Quebec, and going back a long ways (1950's), Bob encouraged a shift to agri-tourism and Pick-Your-Own in the Hemmingford area. Tim (right) with his son Justin now orchard 85 acres, including this new planting of Kiku® (cv. 'Brak') Fuji (below). Tim is also experimenting with some Bi-axe trees to keep planting cost down while maintaining productivity. Once comprised primarily of McIntosh, the orchards are being replanted/expanded to include Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, and Fuji.

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