Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cool Apples

 So I stopped by the orchard yesterday (Wednesday) and saw that many of the trees are getting loaded with apples.  In fact this particular tree was using one of the cross posts to support its load.
But Wednesday also marked the opening of harvest.  There is an early variety called Zestar that had some trees on the border.  Intern Ryan drew the long straw and got to harvest them.
They were picked a little early as there was some bird damage showing up, as seen in the apple below.  (I can't believe I took a picture with a shadow on it, being such a perfectionist and all.  And I only took this one.  My first photo mistake ever.)  There was another apple that showed evidence of human feeding seen soon after that.  (And it was good too.) 
So recall the recent blog post of the installation of the Solid Set Canopy Delivery system.  Well it was ready for a test run.  They opened the valves to let water flow through the system...and it worked! Excellent!  I love it when a plan comes together.
Here is a view of two of the rows being sprayed.  Recall that there are nozzles both above the trees and in the canopy between the trees.  This will enable more rapid application of pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers.  In fact it only needs to run for 15 seconds to get adequate coverage.  But today it felt cool in the hot sun with the water.  Actually it can also be used as a cooling mechanism during heat stress.
So a few more tweeks here and there, and it will be operational.  Come see it in action at the upcoming Research Field Days.  It's the only one like this in the entire country.  Really.