January 1. Just writing that date stirs thoughts of what’s to come. Each year, we here at Good Fruit Grower put 17 dates on our covers, but it seems none carry as much impact as this first one. This is the time when we look ahead with the rest of the industry, readying tree fruit and grape growers with the essential resources needed to find success in the new year.
John A. Kane’s brilliant photo on the cover of this year’s first issue illustrates very well that transition from the year past to the year ahead. Here we have a few apples, still clinging to the snow-crusted branches of an orchard long since harvested. And yet, down the row covered in several inches of untracked snowfall, this orchard sits silent for now, awaiting the coming of more sun, spring, and new growth. The bustling season awaits. Let’s all hope it’s a good one.
Kane captured this shot at an orchard near Tieton, Washington, where he lives part-time (his other homestead is in Issaquah). You can find more of his work at johnakane.com.
It’s should be noted that on a huge crop of apples like the one forecasted for 2014 that any blocks with low color or grade needed to be left to hang. The only money to be made on big years will be on top grades only. It’s vital that growers select the top varieties and grades to bring to market.