August 2017 Archives

We’d like to introduce you to the mowing scene: care for the whole apple orchard.



The farmers grow weeds to prevent moisture loss in the ground, soil erosion and to supply organic substances.

  *Soil erosion means the washing away of soil by the flow of rainwater and wind, thus wasting the land.
  *A supply of organic substances means the supply of necessary nutrition to grow apples properly.
  The leguminous plants will supply nitrogen to the soil and decomposed mowed grass becomes nutrients.


When the grass grows too high, however, it absorbs the moisture and nutrients of the soil.  Also, bugs and mice tend to inhabit tall grass fields.  So, the grass has to be mowed 4 to 6 times a year.


In this orchard, they were using a vehicle type mower, and riding it like a go-cart.

It runs fast and it’s efficient for mowing a large area.  But they need to be cautious not to collide with branches.



They tried to cut to the edge of the tree trunks.  They used a hand-held weed whacker for any parts they couldn’t mow, along with the work of thinning.



This process should be done every time the grass grows.  It takes many hours depending on the scale of the orchard.  But it’s worth doing not only as a countermeasure for bugs and mice, but also for a neat and easy working atmosphere.


In the case of a long spell of fine weather, some don’t cut the grass for a while to prevent evaporation of the soil.  Others intentionally cut the grass higher.  The method and timing of mowing are all different depending on each individual. 




There are reasons to allow weeds to grow.  Mowing can reduce noxious insects and diseases while keeping the orchards clean.  It is a critical process to produce delicious apples.  When we talk about apple cultivation, we tend to focus on fruit and trees.  But mowing grass to care for the whole orchard is one of the important jobs as well.





Apple University is a virtual university where you can learn many things about apples in a fun way. ⇒ Click here to go to the site.

The Final Sorting-Out

On July 21, 2016, we were at the growers for the final sorting-out.

This is the process to select fruit again on the tree to see if they are growing properly or discard damaged ones.


Here are some examples

仕上げ摘果1.jpg 摘果サビ.jpg
The un-pollinated dwarf fruit.                 The fruit with tough skin.
It is obviously long and small compared
with a pollinated one.


In the previous sorting-out, the stems were left on the branch.  It is because the branch gets weaker if the stem ispicked, causing the remaining apples to easily fall from the tree.  
But now the fruit becomes bigger and the left-over stems tend to harm the apples.  The farmers are to drop the stems as they do the final sort-out.  (The farmers call the stems “jigajiga.”)

“Jigajiga” usually fall automatically.  The rest need to becleared.

ジガジガ.jpg ジガジガのキズ.jpg

The photo on the right shows the damage caused by “jigajiga.

The final sort-out is done by hand as well.  Since it is one of the important processes to encourage the fruit to grow, they look into the trees while sorting-out thoroughly and attentively during the hottest period of summer.





Apple University is a virtual university where you can learn many things about apples in a fun way. ⇒ Click here to go to the site.