In The Summertime....

June 19, 2014

The first day of summer is soon approaching, and everyone is anxious for fresh strawberries and for our U-Pick fields to open.  The berries are a little late this year, but we are finally getting the sunshine we need to push them along.  We just picked some flats this morning to sell in our store.  Yum!

It looks like we will have a decent berry crop, however, it was a rough winter for the strawberries.  They are covered in straw, but there was still some damage because of last winter’s bitter cold temperatures.  On top of that, there has been an issue with strawberry root weevils.  Rulfs partnered with Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension during the Fall of 2013 to find a way to control the damage these pests were causing in our fields without using chemicals.  For more on this topic, here is the article that was published in various publications:

http://www.nnyagdev.org/index.php/2013/10/18/nny-grower-testing-strawberry-weevil-treatment/

Today, the men were out weeding the strawberry fields.  This makes it a better experience for our customers and easier to pick the berries.

Mr. Paul put in lots of new raspberry plants this spring.  Hopefully in the next few years we will be able to offer U-Pick raspberries, as our first planting did not produce enough to keep up with the demand from the public.

We are looking forward to a great season.  The men have been happy with the scallions and bok choy they’ve harvested.  These men love what they do, and take pride in keeping our fields clean and picking delicious produce for our customers to enjoy!

 

In other news at the farm, we have been busy planting various veggie crops, planning the strawberry festival, working in the greenhouses, and of course keeping our eyes on the apple trees and hoping for a great harvest this year!  Hard to believe we are already thinking about the Fall!

Author:
Shannon Rulfs

My name is Shannon Rulfs, and my family owns Rulfs Orchard.  In 1952, more than 60 years ago, my grandfather, Bob, moved to Peru with the dream of having a dairy farm.  The dairy farm Bob purchased came with apple trees on the property, which he learned to care for with some help from family and community members.  They started to sell apples on the front lawn, and the business evolved from there. 

In the 1980s, Bob sold the dairy business to his son so he could focus on expanding the Orchard.  Today at Rulfs Orchard, we have our year-round retail store, wholesale department and bakery, as well as our seasonal cider mill, greenhouses, U-Pick berries, apples and pumpkins and a corn maze.  Our farm operates on just under 200 acres of land, and we employ more than 40 people during our busy season.

I spent my high school and college years helping my Aunt Patti in the Rulfs Orchard Bakery.  After college, I worked as an auditor in Albany and New York City, and then moved back to the North Country in 2007.  Upon returning to the family business, I wasn’t sure how permanent a career move it would be, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.  Currently, most of my time is spent in the office, fulfilling my position as Business Manager for both Rulfs Orchard and Apple Blossom Florist, which Rulfs purchased in 2011.  I also enjoy working in our retail store, at farmer’s markets and at various outside events.

I often reflect on how much we have expanded on Bob’s original vision and feel fortunate to be part of the network of family, friends, employees and community members that continue to help Rulfs Orchard achieve success.  All of us at Rulfs are looking forward to an exciting future of continued growth and to being part of the wonderful Peru community for the next 60 years – and beyond.

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A Division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 310 |  7061 Route 9 | Plattsburgh, NY 12901 USA
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