April Freeze - 2012It is May Day as I write. Remember how nice it was in March? The temperatures were more like May. Crops were pushed ahead by 3 to 4 weeks. The sap was running in the maple trees. Some could see it coming. Like the receding tide before a tsunami or the calm before the storm. We most always have frost and freeze in April and early May.
At the farm, Allan has only bad news to report. His fruit had survived quite well until last Friday (April 27). When he got up early that morning it was 24 degrees. The leaves and buds were frozen solid. It looks like all the fruit is gone with maybe a very few scattered exceptions. Orchard and general farm maintenance will continue throughout the summer with or without fruit to harvest. It is not known at this time weather the retail building and animal barn will be open this summer.
The freeze of 2012 will go down in history along with 1906 and 1945. All the fruit trees in Michigan were killed as a result of the October 10, 1906 freeze. The trees had not even started hardening off for winter. Some later varieties peach trees and many apple trees still had fruit on them. The fruit farmers who did replant new trees only did so in the most favorable locations such as along Lake Michigan. The spring freeze of '45 was very similar to this year, warm March and then April freeze. Allan remembers, when he was a young boy, in the late 1960s that a freeze destroyed much of the fruit.
Allan and Kim do have some crop insurance which will help out financially. Farm workers and farmers without insurance will experience extreme hardship. We all will keep these families in our thoughts and prayers.
Next month we will get a detailed farm update and I will continue the family history.
The farm kids are all still involved in one of more sports (baseball, basketball, softball and soccer).