Life in the orchards

DURING WINTER TIME

 

 

In winter, the orchards are hibernating. It is the perfect time to prune branches, repair fences and nettings, install stakes, and such.

DURING SPRING

 

 

Starting from mid-April, the orchards will start blooming and get covered with flowers.

The apple tree flower is typical from the family Rosacea.

 

 

 

 

Spring is also the period when late freezing can happen and damage theburgeons. The installation of wind turbines reduces the risk, just by moving the air around with hotter air.

 

 

The fruiting wall technique used at Pomanjou is the best way to guarantee maximum sun exposure for the trees and fruits.

 

 

Bees and bumblebees are auxiliaries that we couldn’t do without. They ensure the good pollination of the flowers, which can then become fruits. Without them, there would be no apple.

 

 

To help with pollination, beekeepers settle beehives right in the heart of the orchards. Then it’s just a matter of a minimum temperature of 15-16°C for the bees to get out and do their job!

DURING SUMMER

 

 

Summer is a very sensitive period during which the apples are growing in size. They require non-stop care and attention from the apple grower to ensure a good crop.

Usually, lakes – which have been collected rainfall water during winter - are nearby orchards where water is pumped to irrigate the orchards. During dry periods, the apple trees are irrigated using drip feed mechanism to reduce water waste.

 

 

 

Hail nets are used to protect the fruits during hail storms. They are a good ally because hail can break through the skin of the apple, leave permanent damage, and devastate a crop in minutes.

 

 

A Pomanjou innovation ! We use reflecting canvas on the ground, between apple ranks to help with fruit coloration thanks to its sun reflective material.

 

 

Canvas are laid out and installed in the ground with a specially developed winding machine.

 

 

Our orchard’s managers and technicians bring a particular attention to develop, validate and introduce new methods – always more innovative than the preceding – to improve our efficiency and shrink the environmental impact of our activity. For example, we introduce natural predators in the orchards (i.e. ladybugs) to help limit the propagation of rodents.

 

 

Another example is the use of pheromone traps that allow the orchards’ managers to determine the exact period to spray fruits, based on the level of insects found in the traps. They can precisely pick which treatment will be the most effective, and which treatments they’ll be able to avoid. Comparing to the old school method that saw spraying at fixed intervals, the decrease of phytosanitary products are spectacular.

 

 

One good natural way to fight with insects and other pests, is the installation of bird nests within the orchards. Birds help to regulate pests and damaging insects.

END OF SUMMER, AUTUMN STARTS

It is harvest time in the orchards…

Apples are picked by hand and carefully placed in bins (large box with the same format as a pallet). Bins are towed in row like wagons by a tractor back to the fruit station.

Automated platforms are used to pick higher fruits in the trees.

 

The harvest is entirely done by hand, and is a fairly labour-intensive job,
so lunch time is a very important break !

 

Next stop: pre-grading.

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