Dear Chestnut friends/volunteers,
POllination season is upon us again. In the next two weeks we will need to begin making controlled pollinations at our orchards at Monocacy (Dickerson MD) and Fox Haven (Jefferson MD).
Exact dates will depend on the state of the flowers, which are starting to develop now.
Here's what we need now:
- People who can go this week and maybe next to Monocacy and Fox Haven with binoculars to look at the flowers and report on their development. (Thanks Darryl and Dave G. for offering to check this week)
- People with a truck who can help us move 16' ladders from one orchard to another as necessary in the next week or so
- People with 4x4 vehicles with trailer hitches on pollination days. We will have the lift delivered to Monocacy on the days we need it, but will still need our own vehicle to move it around within the orchard. (Fox Haven will be just ladders.)
- People willing to go up on a ladder or up in a bucket lift to put bags on trees.
- People willing to come back 2-4 weeks later to remove the bags, put pollen on, and then re-bag
Our pollination plans this year are ambitious. A bucket lift can only hold two people at a time, so we would need 4-6 people willing to take turns on that. We could use a few people on the ground to operate the lift, or do ladder work. The monocacy trees are unfortunately hard to reach by ladder, but there might be some we can do that way. We anticipate the work taking a mornign and part of an afternoon on bagging and pollination day, at least at Monocacy. We have a prioritized list of trees there. We'll do what we can.
So, for now, please let me know if you think you may be available to help, and in what capacity. Let me know whether weekends or weekdays work better. And whether you have a vehicle we can use.
Let me know if you have any questions.