Things Aren’t Always Rosy

Things Aren’t Always Rosy if you are a farmer trying to raise crops or a gardener who enjoys having a vegetable or flower garden. Even if you are neither a farmer or gardener, you have probably seen in the news that some people have had to deal with drought, fires, floods, hail and even early snow this year. Thankfully while we are not facing any of those kind of troubles, things aren’t rosy here at our New England farm.

New Dawn Rose Climbing Rose

Last Year’s New Dawn Climbing Roses

Over the past years, my husband and I have seen our property and orchard have its ups and downs depending on the weather each year here in New Hampshire. I thought you might be interested in seeing how the past harsh winter, the wet cold spring and a cooler than normal summer have all affected our orchard and garden.

You may understand why the old nursery rhyme “there was a little girl with a curl right in the middle of her forehead…when she was good, she was very, very good“, has me thinking about Mother Nature. Unfortunately the rest of the rhyme…”when she was bad, she was horrid” has been the way I think Mother Nature has treated us this year.

During the past years, the New Dawn climbing roses have grown up and over the garden shed and along one side of the picket fence around our garden. I love their pale pink color and the sweet and heady fragrance of their old fashioned blossoms.

New Dawn Climbing Rose Bush Growing On Garden Shed And Picket Fence

New Dawn Climbing Rose Bush Growing Up And Over The Garden Shed And Along The Picket Fence

This year, only one of the two plants survived the harsh winter and just barely. As you can perhaps see, there is only a single pink bloom at the very top of one branch near the shed.

New Dawn Climbing Rose Is Barely Alive With One Bloom At The Very Top

The New Dawn Climbing Rose Is Barely Alive With Just One Bloom At The Very Top

In New Hampshire, September starts the fall apple picking season. The season usually runs through October for the later varieties. Once there have been several frosts, the remaining apples on the trees become much sweeter and are perfect for pressing cider.

In A Good Year, Big Juicy Apples Are Ready To Start Picking In September

In A Good Year, Big Juicy Apples In Our Orchard Are Ready For Picking In September

Our back orchard should be a sea of red and yellow apples right now. The trees so loaded with large, juicy apples that many of the heavy laden branches bend down to the ground.

In A Good Year The Trees Are Heavy With Apples

In A Good Year The Trees Are Heavy With Apples

Unfortunately, this year the apple trees are almost empty of fruit and the orchard looks more like a park with its rolling landscape and sea of green, appleless trees.

The Back Orchard Looks Like A Park With No Apples On The Trees

The Back Orchard Looks More Like A Park With No Apples On The Trees

Out of the hundred varieties of mostly heritage apples that we grow in our orchard,  my favorite apple has always been a Mutzu. It is a large green to yellow apple that is juicy, crisp and slightly tart. Cortlands, a very popular apple here in New Hampshire, grow in several rows beside the Mutzu trees near the rock walls that line our farm. Again, in this section of the orchard there are only a handful of either variety of apples to pick.

Cortland And Mutzu Apples In Previous Year

Cortland And Mutzu Apples From A Previous Year

There Will Be No Cortland And Mutzu Apples This Year

There Are Only A Handful Of Cortland And Mutzu Apples This Year

In a good apple season, there are more than enough apples to keep ourselves, our friends and yes, even the deer and other critters happy. The deer still come into the orchard but they will be munching on the leaves and branches of our trees instead of apples this year.

In A Normal Year There Are Plenty Of Apples For Us And The Critters

In A Normal Year There Are Plenty Of Apples For Us And The Deer

The orchard in front of the barn is usually loaded with Gala and Starkrimson apples.

Orchard In Front Of Our Barn Where Gala

The Orchard In Front Of Our Barn Is Where Gala And Starkrimson Apples Usually Grow In Abundance

This season, the front orchard is almost bare of apples as well. If you look hard, you can see one red apple on the front tree of the left row…how sad.

The Trees In The Front Orchard Are Usually  Heavy With Fruit But Not This Year

The Trees In The Front Orchard Are Usually Heavy With Fruit But Not This Year

You might be wondering why there are hardly any apples this season. During this past winter, the deer were out in the deep snow of the orchard eating lots of the tender apple buds. Come springtime when the trees were in bloom, we had rainy, windy days so the bees weren’t out pollinating the blossoms like they usually do. Without bees…no apples.

While it is disappointing to have a season with almost no apples, thankfully we don’t depend on selling them to earn a living as many people do. What does make me very sad is the fact that quite a few of our trees seem to be dying from the stresses of nature. A good part of summer has been very dry and I don’t think the trees will ever recover. Next spring, I think a number of dead trees will have to be removed from the orchard.

Apple Trees Stressed By The Affects Of Nature Seem  To Be Dying

Apple Trees Stressed By The Effects Of Nature Seem To Be Dying

You probably don’t live on a farm and perhaps haven’t given much thought to seasons from one year to the next. One thing is for sure though…we all have to deal with the effects of a bad growing season. Go to your local market and walk down the produce aisle and sometimes you just have to shake your head. Not only might there be a shortage of good fruit and vegetables to purchase but what is in the produce bins may be more expensive than last year. If organic, you can be sure they are expensive. What you may not have thought about is all the money spent by the farmer who doesn’t have a crop this year to harvest. Things aren’t always rosy, especially if you are a farmer and depend on nature.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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215 Responses to Things Aren’t Always Rosy

  1. janebalshaw says:

    It is never boring in New England is it Karen? It is nature at it’s best and at it’s worst and is a wonderful roller coaster ride. Very exhilarating along with the disappointments. Don’t ask me about my non-existant tomatoes this year!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane, Your description of nature in New England being like a roller coaster ride is very appropriate. This was a strange year for my tomatoes as well.

  2. Debra Kolkka says:

    Our garden at Casa Debbio had mixed results. Some things grew well, the lavender is huge, but we got no figs, apples or pears. The summer was too wet and too cool to please fruit trees. Like you we don’t depend on them, but it is a pity. I did get a reasonable crop of raspberries and strawberries.
    I will be planting lots more fruit trees soon, hoping for a better year next year.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra…it seems we had similar results this year. My herb box thrived, I got enough tomatoes to make sauce for the winter but the fruit trees were like yours. Let’s do hope for a better growing season next year.

  3. Good and thoughtful post, Karen. It also made me think that after some terrible weather and flooding in UK early this year, we’ve had a pretty good summer. But of course those who were flooded out will still be coping with the stress of damage done to their homes and perhaps still haven’t been able to move back in. And just as you’ve pointed out, farmers have often suffered bad harvests.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kay, I’m glad to know that you liked the post. I do remember all the photos I saw of the floods in the UK. It is always a gamble if you are a farmer because you never know from year to year what nature has in store.

  4. No bees, no humans!
    It is scary how the world over, the seasons have been very harsh Karen. So sorry you too have suffered hardships because of Mother Nature – she is really very angry with the way humans have treated earth and is given us all a piece of her mind.
    Have a happy week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mandy, Bees are very important when it comes to crops the world over. We are lucky to have lots of bees in our area but they do not like to leave their hives on rainy cold days. Unfortunately that was the kind of weather we had when the trees were in bloom this year. I hope you have a nice week as well and appreciate your comment…thank you.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    Nature certainly can be harsh sometimes and I’m sure it can be very disheartening to all farmers and gardeners. I couldn’t help noticing (this year) that you and Cecilia have had very short summers. The snow was barely gone before you were preparing for winter again!
    It’s been normal enough in England this summer, but severe flooding has made it very hard for many farmers. The farmer I buy vegetables from was lucky in general, but I think he had waterlogged fruit trees and a flooded basement for months.
    I wish everyone a shorter winter and better growing conditions next year 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mad Dog, So true about it being a short summer this year…would you believe it was 35F this morning. I saw all the flooding earlier in the year in the UK. Some years can be very frustrating if you are a farmer or gardener. Yes, let’s hope for better growing conditions next year.

  6. Sue says:

    Hi Karen
    We normally only get apples about every other year here…this year is a “fluke” as our trees are loaded the second year in a row. I put up enough applesauce when they produce to last for 2 years. I’m still going to make up the normal batch just to be sure. One never knows what fickle Mother Nature will do from year to year.
    So sorry to see your rose struggle. It has been a tough year for things. But it sure is trying, isn’t it? LOL! Poor thing. Hopefully this winter will be a bit kinder to our plants.
    We had our first frost yesterday morning. I have to say-I’m glad. I’m actually tired of the garden and looking forward to seeing the inside of my house again–conquer a few dust bunnies and get that soup pot back on the stove again for a season of comfort!
    Have a wonderful week, Karen

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, All of our apple trees bare annually except our two crap apple trees which are biannual. Perhaps your apple trees will begin to give you apples each year from now on. Yesterday, I was just showing my husband how lovely your gardens when been this summer but I was sorry to hear that you had the damage caused by raccoons. We had frost warnings for the whole state except our county for this morning. We lucked out but it won’t be much longer until we get our first frost.

  7. Boy – you can sure see the difference! As a girl who grew up on a working ranch and farm, I know the realities you are speaking of and the disappointment when you have to wait “till next year” to have the wonderful harvest season you have had in the past. The good news is that when you next have a bountiful season – it will be that much sweeter!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelli, There was such a difference this year that I thought it might be of interest to others. Yes, if you are a gardener or farmer you can’t help but look forward to “next year”. You are right, a bountiful crop is a sweet reward. 😀

  8. First I must thank you for your lovely comment on my post ‘Around the world blog hop’
    So sad that you had such a poor crop of apples, and so few blooms on your ‘New Dawn rose. I know nothing about fruit trees, but maybe the rose might profit from a severe pruning 🙂
    It’s still lovely to see your before and after photos. I thought we might be seeing another post later of your lovely tomatoes but I’ve just read the previous comment and your reply, so guess that’s a disaster as well 🙂

    • Karen says:

      My pleasure, Barbara. I enjoy learning more about fellow bloggers and putting faces to the people we come to know as our friends. 🙂 You are right about a severe pruning job for the rose. Each time I get stuck by it, I’ll tell it that “it’s for your own good”. 😀 The tomato crop was strange in that the plants remained small this year. The bottom half of tomatoes themselves would ripen but the top half remained hard and green.

  9. Norma Chang says:

    This sure has been a strange and challenging growing year. So glad I am not depending on my garden to put bread on the table.
    A farmer’s life is not an easy one and I frequently wondered how do they manage when there is a crop failure, that’s their only source of income.
    Sorry to learn you are losing some trees, hope they are not one-of-a- kind.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Norma, It has been strange indeed. It is easy to forget about farmers when the markets are full of imported fruits and vegetables. You are right, their life is definitely not easy when their crops are their only source of income. If the trees do die and I think some will, there will be a couple of varieties of heirlooms lost as most rows have a single variety.

  10. lulu says:

    No matter where we live, there are the ups and downs of nature. Whether one farms or just tries to grow living things it is often a challenge. Hopefully, your vegetation will return to good health.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulu, I don’t think there is a spot in this world that doesn’t have its ups and downs. We have had it much better than lots of places and for that I am truly thankful. 🙂

  11. Eva Taylor says:

    What a shame, sorry to hear about your stressed garden. The past winter was a hard one here too and fortunately I didn’t do anything too drastic (like pulling out what looked a little worse for wear) because they seem to have survived and are doing great. A holly bush looked totally dead was trimmed back to about 30 cm (12″) and is growing again, as is a mature lilac. I just hope this winter won’t be bad.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, This past winter was hard not only on us but plants as well. Holly is extremely hardy…the deer ate every leaf off one of ours and you would never have thought it would have lived but today it is doing just fine. I don’t give up on plants until they are as “dead as a doornail”. Actually, I should do a post on the meaning of that expression someday. Let’s keep our fingers crossed about this winter, I know many of us are hoping for a whole lot less snow than last year. 🙂

  12. That’s all very concerning. We have given all of this a lot of thought (we’ve lived on the land, gardened, had peach, apple and maple trees), and that’s the reason we made a number of radical lifestyle changes five years ago. We’re very concerned about the changes. We’re also quite aware that the accumulation of what has been radical for us–driving very little and using public transportation, not flying, radically simplifying our consumer consumption and waste, living as gently as possible–will amount to so little impact as to have almost no impact. But, we felt that we HAD to do something, and can’t wait for someone else to lead.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy, I appreciate your comment. I was hoping this post might be interesting to everyone. There was such a big difference that could be seen through my photos of how nature can impact things from one year to the next.

  13. savourytable says:

    I am so sorry for your low yield this year. I always look forward to reading your posts this time of year with photos of your colorful orchard. I hope you don’t lose too many trees.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I appreciate you nice comment. It is nice knowing that you enjoy my posts about our orchard during the fall. Even though we have three hundred trees, I do hate to see some of them dying. I always like to look at the bright side of things so even though there aren’t many apples this year, I’ll still have plenty for the two of us to enjoy in a pie or two. 😀

  14. Fingers crossed they all return to full bloom next year, Karen. Who knows what kind of winter we are in for. No snow last year, so probably blizzards until April this.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish, David. I won’t give up on those trees until bud burst next spring. Hopefully, they will surprise me. Last year, we had way too much snow…I don’t wish that on anyone but a little is nice. 🙂

  15. Oh Karen what an incredible orchard of apples you have. I wish I had some of your bounty right now to make some apple butter with. Alas I am far away down South! We have apples, but not like you have up North. It is just usually too bloody hot for the sort of apple crop we would like to have.
    That poem/rhyme reminded me of my Mother who used to say that to me and my sister all the time.
    Karen this is one of my favorite posts from you. I have enjoyed every bit of it from the photos to the stories. Happy September.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Teresa, I appreciate your nice compliment and I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. My mother used to refer to that rhyme often as well. We do have a large orchard but unfortunately there will not be a bounty of apples this year…just enough for the two of us to enjoy some apple pies and that is always a good thing. 🙂

  16. A_Boleyn says:

    The life of a farmer is not for the faint of heart and you need a lot of optimism after the kind of year it’s been. You are fortunate indeed not to have to make a living from the apples in your orchard. I like Mutsu’s as well. Unfortunately, I’m hearing whispers that it’s going to be another cold hard winter. Best of luck.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish Boleyn. It is so true, farming isn’t for the faint of heart. You can do your best but nature always has the final say each year. I heard those whispers…do you think if we put our fingers in our ears and go la la la la la, we won’t get another cold hard winter. 😀

  17. The weather has indeed been strange. My husband is getting a bit concerned about the winter predicted. Take it as it comes and hope for the best I guess… Thoughtful post, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I was hoping this post would be interesting to others and I appreciate your nice compliment. I don’t think any of us want another horrible winter like last year, let’s hope the predictions are wrong.

  18. I have New Dawn roses too! 🙂 They are in the process of climbing up around the front door of the cottage where I live.

    Unfortunately it’s not a great apple season here either. Last year we had boxes full of apples but this year, the apples are small and not very plentiful, although we have had a good summer in England.

    I saw your comment about bee pollination and it reminded of an interesting TV program I watched recently, which was about a beekeeper who drove to Italy to bring hives of bees back to the UK to make up for the decline of the British bee population. Bees are so important and it is worrying that they are in decline!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Grace, Aren’t New Dawn roses just lovely. Some years they have completely covered the roof of my garden shed. How nice to have them growing around your front door so that you can enjoy they wonderful fragrance as you come and go. So far, it seems that it has not been a great year for apples in lots of places. This year the bees weren’t out because of all the rain we had while the trees were in bloom. It does go to show how important they are.

  19. Weather conditions are so critical to a farmer’s success and so out of his/her control. I admire them for wanting to grow things for us.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jovina, We do have to appreciate all the hard work that goes into the crops that make their way to our table each day. For every successful season, there can be disastrous one if the weather isn’t good.

  20. I grew 8 tomato plants this year, and so far, I just got 10-12 fruits…still some hanging there, but pretty small…this isn’t a good year for me too as my basil plants died too early due to lots of rain..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angie, I’m sorry that you haven’t had a great year with your tomatoes and basil. I planted 18 tomato plants this year…way too many for two people but I did it for the exact reason you mentioned. We have just enough to enjoy but usually I have a counter full by now and lots of sauce in the freezer.

  21. Monique says:

    What a difference..s Karen. 😦
    In seeing New dawn..the first..shot..I thought..Oh get that one again and bring her home..to replace my hardy William Baffins that are doing NOTHING this yr because of our winter..but then I saw..

    I have lost things too this year..and my beloved Serviceberry did not get one berry.
    I am always amazed when the next year is different..
    Fingers crossed for you.
    Such a beautiful property..any way..apples or not..roses are not..They are the decorations:)That paint your photos with color.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monique, While walking through the orchard, I kept thinking what a difference from last year and thought it might be of interest to others. The New Dawn roses made it through a terrible ice storm a few back so I was surprised that one died and the other is struggling. I appreciate your kind words about our property. I’ve always admired your lovely property as well, let’s hope that next year will be a better year for us all.

  22. Even without the fruit, the orchard is still beautiful.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jill, for your nice compliment. I have to agree with you, I think the orchard is pretty too. Because it surrounds our home, I keep the grass mowed and it reminds me of a park. 🙂

  23. Oh Karen, I’m so sorry to hear about your apple orchard! Our apple tree was stripped of blossoms during an early spring hail storm, there are only a few apples from blossoms shielded by the pine tree growing close by. It is terribly hard for the farmer to watch his or her livelihood dwindle through drought or wiped out with hail. Growing up, my father read the Farmer’s Almanac faithfully and our farmed ebbed and flowed based on their predictions and recommendations to deal with the weather each season. It is a rhythm and relationship with nature many have lost if the produce aisle is all they’ve known — nature is not convenient. I do hope your trees and your roses bounce back and life finds a way.

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your nice wish, Judy. You are so right…unless you have been connected somehow to farming or ranching, you might not know how hard it is to make a living off the land. Good weather for the couple of weeks at blossom time is so crucial to whether or not you get a good crop. I’m sorry that you had hail damage this spring and only have a few apples on your apple tree. Nature is definitely not convenient.

  24. Misky says:

    It seems the problem with bees is worldwide, certainly in the UK also. And our apple trees didn’t produce very much this year – enough for some applesauce and reserving some of the better ones for eating later.

  25. Oh how very sad. We have been suffering for years with a drought here and everything is so sad for years now. We can only wish for better days ahead.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tin Man, I agree that all we can do is hope that nature will not be so harsh in the future. I have thought of the two of you and the drought that you have had to face with your gardens for so many years now. I remember when I lived in Texas…you had to be careful walking through the pastures because the ground would have such large cracks that opened from lack of rain during many summers.

  26. It’s such a shame that this last year hasn’t been seasonally friendly. The pictures are like night and day, especially the apple pictures from years previous compared to this year! Hopefully things will turn around for you in the upcoming seasons (and for all farmers really).

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish, Jaleh. I do hope that the seasons ahead will be a little “friendlier” as you say. The difference really is like night and day. In the fifteen years that we have had the orchard this is only the second time with almost no apples.

  27. Sorry to learn of your crop failure – and the loss of your beautiful rose. But one hopes this will be a better year. We have been dealing with drought, and the conifers that make our mountains so beautiful have begun to suffer. Our arroyo has been bone-dry, and the birds have had to go elsewhere. A little rain would go a long way.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Darryl. Hopefully this winter won’t be as severe and next year spring and summer will be better. I know your area has been dealing with terrible drought. Trees can only take so many years without good rainfall until they start suffering. They are then susceptible to decease and insects. I hope you get your much needed rain.

  28. I couldn’t “like” this post because I don’t like that your trees are so damaged and stressed. We’ve noticed that while some flowers and bulbs were prolific this year because they loved the conditions of cold winter and wet spring and summer, others haven’t fared so well. It’s been so wet and cool during the earlier part of summer that I had no luck with my vegetable garden at all and the herbs haven’t done well, either. I do hope that your trees survive and that winter is kinder to you and everyone up north this season.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Betsy, I understand your thoughts on hitting the “like” button. I appreciate your concern over our orchard and your lovely wish…thank you. 🙂 I’m sorry that you too have been experiencing problems in your gardens this year. Lets hope that our future seasons are better. I think that I should say that I also appreciate the readers that did hit the “like” button…it lets me know they they understand the significance of nature and how it can effect farmers. 🙂

  29. Mother nature has been out of control lately and sorry to hear about how the orchard is doing this year. As I write this message to you they have raised the warning to a T8 (typhoon) and we are battening down the hatchets and preparing for a rough night here in HK.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bobbie, You are totally correct…Mother Nature certainly hasn’t been on her best behavior of late. All we can do is hope that each season will be a little better than the last. I know you will be happy when typhoon season is behind you. I can so relate after living in Texas and Florida and going through more hurricanes that one should. Take care, hopefully it has been downgraded by the time you read this. 🙂

  30. David says:

    I remember years like this when we lived in Kittery… sometimes we had no berries (raspberries, blackberries or blueberries) or pears. Our apple trees had been neglected for too long (they had been planted around 1805, and nature had grown up around them… we never once saw a blossom). Now in the dessert, we have different but equal issues – no dear, but little ground critters that love to eat our peppers, and certainly we have weather issues… I was so sad to see your roses this year – and the stressed apples. I hope the coming year is better for you and your garden! The good thing about New Englanders is their strength and ability to persevere. You will forge onward!

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, You definitely know where I’m coming from and you are right…New England isn’t for sissies. You have to learn to deal with what has been handed to you and get on with life. Hopefully, things will be better next year. In the meantime, I have enough apples to make some pies and small ones to cook with and that is always a good thing. 🙂 Living in the dessert has a whole difference set of challenges and different critters to deal with. I don’t know if I could deal with your heat even though it is a dry heat. At least with cold, you just have to add more layers. 😀

  31. Sad… Hopefully this winter will be less harsh and next year there will be an abundance of produce.

  32. Your photographs were so special…What a wonderful way to start Monday morning.

  33. Luckily, our garden and yard wasn’t too terribly affected by the harsh winter although it took our lawn a long while to recover in the spring. What a shame about your beautiful rose and apple orchard. Fingers crossed that this winter will be kinder for all of us.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, I’m happy to know that your yard and garden wasn’t too effected by the past winter. I do hope this winter will be way better than what we experienced last year. I’m hoping that the New Dawn can be pruned back hard and that it will make a good comeback next year as it is such a beautiful old fashioned rose. The stressed trees…I don’t have too much hope for but you never know. 🙂

  34. Mother Nature has been brutal. I am not sure if it is more painful to lose the roses or the apples. Your roses were just glorious. We are having the opposite effect here. Just a few miles away they are forecasting temperatures of 105 in the middle of September and we have been in drought for several years. Let’s give a prayer for a little more balance.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

    • Karen says:

      Hi Madonna, It seems that Mother Nature has been dealing us all a blow. 105, now that is really hot…especially on top the your terrible drought. Here we’ve been debating if we need to start turning on the heat soon as lows have been in the 30’s a couple of times. You are right, we do need a little more balance where nature is concerned.

  35. Kristy says:

    Wow! What a contrast between this year and last. It’s amazing. It has been such an odd weather year. Our tomato plants barely grew anything this year and much of what they did grow is still green. I do hope this winter is a bit kinder…although if you believe the predictions we’re due for another doozy.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, I just had to do this post so that everyone could see the contrast as it is so different from last year. Your tomato plants sound just like mine this year, they were only half the size they should have been. I’m getting ready to pull them as the remaining tomatoes will never get a chance to ripen…it is just too cool. I’ve heard the predictions about this winter, let’s hope they are wrong.

  36. Yes, this has been one heck of a weather year we’ve had here in NH. A friend up in Alexandria had apple on one half of the tree with no apples on the other half. No bees = no food and no food = no humans. I’m guessing that when the average grocery shopper is going down the aisles they aren’t giving a lot of thought to the plight of the farmer but they should. Here’s hoping we have a milder winter. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy, I have to agree with you about the average shopper probably not giving a lot of thought to the plight of farmers around the world. I’m hoping that if they happen to read this post, it will perhaps have them think of them the next time they are walking down the aisle of their local market. 🙂 It would be lovely if Mother Nature would reward us with a few nice seasons since we have had to deal with some of the challenging ones she seems so fond of giving us. 😀

  37. So sorry about your flowers and crops of apples! We were also upset when our lovely Victoria plum tree stopped producing its delicious fruit a couple of years ago. It used to be so bountiful we had plenty to eat, make jam and give to friends and colleagues, but sadly it had to be cut down. I can only hope you have a better harvest next year and you’re right about all of us having to support the local farmers. I always try to buy local whenever possible. Here is for a better crop next year. Chin up!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Fatima…I will keep the chin up. 🙂 I know you must have hated to cut down your plum tree when it stopped producing fruit.

  38. oh dear Karen, I’m so sorry to hear of the rough season your garden has suffered. I know that when we were a part of an organic CSA food co-op, the difficulty in getting members to join was because there are no guarantees with farming. You have to put your money up first, and then hopefully mother nature will be kind. I hope the damage to the trees isn’t too bad. Here’s to hoping next year is better! Dana

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Dana, I’m hoping that this winter and the coming spring will be better. You are right, there are definitely no guarantees where farming is concerned.

  39. Raymund says:

    I love picking apples here in NZ they usually happen around the end of summer, have a couple near our place.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Raymund, Apple picking season is very popular with families on the weekends during the fall here in New Hampshire. I’m glad you have several places near your home where you can pick your own.

  40. Karen, I feel your pain. The weather in Texas has been bizarre this year. We got a very late freeze in late March, no less, and I have NO pomegranates this year, nary a one. 😦 It froze the pretty little blooms and never re-bloomed. 😥
    The garden got a late start, too, and we’re still in a drought relegated to hand watering and lawn watering twice per month. Needless to say, the garden has been on life support for a while now. Even my thyme around the trees which is normally very hardy is struggling. The chiles are doing OK so it wasn’t a total disaster, just very disappointing, especially the pomegranates.
    I hope everything else is going fine.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Richard, I appreciate your thoughts and wish. Hopefully growing conditions will be better in the future. I know your part of Texas has been having a hard time of it from many years of drought conditions. I remember all the pomegranates you had last year, I know you will miss them this year.

  41. Apples haven’t done too well on this side of the Atlantic either. Not sure why but no one seems happy with their crop.

  42. marymtf says:

    Most city slickers don’t give farms or farmers a second thought until they can’t get their favourite veg or the price has gone up. Sorry about your orchard. Hope it and you bounce back.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary, I think you are right, some people might not give much thought to the farmer that tries to furnish them with fresh produce. We all take notice though at the rising prices when those farmers are having problems. It truly isn’t easy trying to make a living from the land. Thank you for your comment and wish.

  43. yardfox says:

    Fascinating reading- what a beautiful space you live in. I wondered, is there not some sort of large-scale irrigation system that you could create to have on stand-by for arid summers?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Yardfox, Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I do think that we live in a beautiful part of New England. You have and interesting question…large scale irrigation could be done but would be very expensive. With the markets selling apples for 89 cents a pound, we couldn’t compete and gave up selling our apples. We now grow them strictly our own use and friends and neighbors that we let pick for free each year. All in all, I still hate to see a bad year or that some of the trees are dying. Thank you for your comment.

  44. flippenblog says:

    So insightful. Sad to think some trees may never recover.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Flippen, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. To me there is nothing quite like a beautiful tree and it is sad when they seem to be dying although it is all part of nature.

  45. It does make you wonder how growers manage to get enough food to the shops when they’re constantly struggling against the weather, pests and diseases. Hope your winter this year isn’t so harsh, and that next year’s growing season brings easier conditions… and lots of apples.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sarah, for your wish. Is does make you wonder, doesn’t it how they do it…especially when you think about what doesn’t get to the food shops because it has blemishes. Their losses must be terrible some years.

  46. A shame that this season has not gone the way you would like my friend! I hope it changes for next time! Your photos are still beautiful, I am sure it will all turn around!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  47. Lea Ann says:

    Those two rose bush photos are amazing. Hope it comes back. The apple trees are lousy with fruit this year in Denver. We’ve had so much rain, I’ve never seen so many beautiful apple trees.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lea Ann, There really is a drastic difference in the roses from last year to this one. Hopefully a heavy pruning will help, especially if we can get by without a really harsh winter this year. Your area is fortunate to have a great crop of apples this year. 🙂

  48. It’s really quite shocking. Even though I grew up on a farm we never depended on produce to keep going. Extra would’ve been a bonus. But the farm wasn’t to do with horticulture – now that has to be a different ball game altogether. I do hope not many of your trees need to be replaced.

  49. Karen how disappointing about the apples. Your rose looks like mine. And my veg garden was not producing either…growing but not producing due to the colder seasons….sad really and boy it affected local farmers too so produce is scarce here.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, I’m sorry that you have been experiencing the same things with your garden. Everyone is worried here as there are still so many crops that aren’t ready to pick because of our cool weather and we have more frost warnings for this week.

  50. my father-in-law was farmer in the mid-west, and he always said that he could count on 1 year in 7 as being “perfect”—when he would make a good profit—and balance out all the other years of so-so and disaster. Two years ago I had more plums than I could deal with; this year, not one. And fig trees throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee that had been thriving for years all got stunted or killed by our exceptionally harsh winter. They are making a comeback—but alas, no figs this season. climate is changing. here’s wishing your fruit trees a wet fall, a benevolent winter and bountiful 2015.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy, I appreciate your wish. I like the sound of a “benevolent winter and a bountiful 2015”, thank you. I hate to learn that your area has been experiencing the same thing, I’m sorry about your plums this year. When you think about it…it’s scary. Readers from all over our country and Europe seem to be sharing the same kind of comments about this post.

  51. Looking at your what your usually-gorgeous roses and apple trees look like this year is a bit heart-wrenching to me. Here in Northern Illinois we had a cooler-than-normal but wet summer, which my tomatoes did not like at all, nor did my squash. Most of my other vegetables fared well, but we also had a number of perennial plants that weren’t nearly as lush this year as they were last, due to our incredibly cold winter. A few plants didn’t make it past the winter at all.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lesley, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Hopefully next year will be much better around our orchid and garden. It seems that a lot of the northern part of our country experienced a cooler than normal summer. That along with wet conditions certainly doesn’t make for a good vegetable garden. Wishing you and everyone a successful gardening season next year.

  52. I drive by farms on my way to work and often wonder how they are surviving. We are dealing with severe drought here in CA. and it doesn’t look like relief will come soon.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandra, I think California is one of the hardest hit areas of our country when you think of the problems with nature. Heat, fire and severe drought…it doesn’t get much worse than that. I really don’t know how farms there can survive with so many problems they face.

  53. Jane says:

    This really saddens me, Karen. The rose looks so, so gone. I would have cried, but I cry over everything. Now what the farmers are going through…I can understand the higher prices. I just bought apples in Michigan for pies yesterday and I don’t recall the price. I will have to jot them down and compare. I agree with one of your comments, word is we will have another hard winter.

    Jane xx

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Jane. Your comment made me smile with the concern over my roses…I do know how caring you are. 🙂 Let’s hope that the predictions for this winter are wrong but I’m worried they might be right. We have had such a cool summer and frost in most of our state the other day with more in a couple of days.

  54. MamaD1xx4xy says:

    Mother Nature sure can be a beast. So sorry to hear about all those apple trees. We have been relatively lucky this year. Our vegetable and herb gardens did well. I was able to make tomato sauce and pesto sauce to freeze. We have three apple trees, one gave us fruit. That being said it was the first year ever with any apples so I guess that was a success for us! Our two pear trees which are usually overloaded with fruit hardly had any this year. We are going apple picking this weekend in the North Carolina mountains and looks forward to that, Mutsu is also one of my favorite varieties.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gretchen, I’m happy to hear that you have had a success gardening season but sorry that your pears were not very productive. If your apple trees are young, it will take a while before they bare a lot of fruit. Right now they are using all their energy to grow. Enjoy your apple picking weekend, that is a wonderful family adventure.

  55. cheri says:

    Hi Karen, so sorry about your orchard, hope things get better. Thoughtful post!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Cheri, I’m glad that you liked this post and I appreciate your concern. Unfortunately, nature has been hard on our orchard but is also causing problems on many farms across our country and the rest of the world.

  56. Cecile says:

    We planted about a 100 apple trees when we owned our farm in Quebec – my husband had chosen about five different kinds. We lost about seven of those little trees that first winter – same problem…. starving deer. I planted one apple tree here at My Yellow Farmhouse in Massachusetts in honor of my husband. It made it through the first year but the second year the mice ‘ringed’ it and I lost it…you guessed it… it was a bad winter. I think I’ll plant a few apple trees this coming spring in his memory but I’ll make sure to cover the part next to the ground with that mice proof plastic. Again – your photos gorgeous and I enjoyed them sooo much !!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cecile, I always enjoy learning of other readers who have had experiences in regards to growing an orchard. I especially enjoyed your story of planting trees in honor of your husband. I know he looks down on you with love on how your remember him. Yes, young trees should definitely be protected with a wrap but do a little investigating into the latest that is available in your area.

  57. Cecile says:

    Forgot to say…. how heartbreaking about not only the apple trees but those gorgeous climbing roses. How sad…. (I’d like to see if I can find a “New Dawn Climbing Rose’ – they look so beautiful !!)

    • Karen says:

      Do not worry, Cecile. I appreciate your adding this comment. New Dawn is a wonderful rose with an old fashioned fragrance and blossom. It usually does well up to a zone 5a environment…I love it.

  58. oh so sorry very sad, hopefully next year will be much better

  59. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m so very sorry to see and read this, Karen. I always love the tours around your property and home but this one is very sad. Downunder, we kept hearing what a harsh winter you had and then a very wet and late Spring and then a cooler than normal summer. Such a shame. Our Spring hasn’t been off to a great start either with cold temperatures and non-stoppable rain. I do wonder how our farmers are coping. I do hope your coming winter is a lot more gentle and that you move on to a great Spring with happy bees pollinating your orchard xx

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice thoughts and wishes, Charlie. I’m happy to know that you enjoy the tours of our home. I like the sound of happy bees next spring. 😀 Hopefully your spring weather turns nicer soon.

  60. You have certainly faced some challenges. What a pity that Mother Nature has been so harsh. I certainly hope that this year she will be kinder and gentler. It is terrible to think of the trees having to be removed. Indeed life is not always rosy.

  61. Cathy says:

    That’s sad about your apple harvest, but there will be bumper years too. I try and buy regional produce, particularly in the summer months, so it is always noticeable when a crop has been especially good or not. As you say, reflected in prices too! Hope next year’s better Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, Thankfully this doesn’t happen often…this is only the second time in many years. I remember the markets in your area during our visits to Germany. One of the things I was amazed by was the large selection of mushrooms during the fall. Thank you for your wish.

  62. Nature can be cruel! We live in farm country and know all about how the weather affects the farmers, and therefore the economy!

  63. lizzygoodthings says:

    Hi Karen, thank you for this post… I read it with interest… I don’t live on a farm but I do have friends and colleagues who are farmers…. one is an apple grower and he has years when the trees don’t fruit much either…. he does depend on the sales. I really hope things improve for you… loved seeing your property… such a beautiful part of the world.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lizzy, I’m glad you found this post interesting and enjoyed the photos of our property…thank you. I can imagine how hard it must be for your friends when they experience a bad year at their farms.

  64. Larry says:

    Sorry to hear of the bad season Karen and hopefully next year will be better.

  65. You are so right Karen. It has been a very harsh year everywhere. I can see it in the prices at the farmer’s market and grocery store. Everyone pays the price for a bad year. My heart goes out to the farmers.
    Sam

  66. Dawn says:

    Oh Karen, I’m so sorry to see the damage to your beloved rose and apple orchard. The photos really show the shocking change of our weather challenges! In my Midwest garden, the hydrangeas have been most affected. They are filled with big, beautiful, healthy leaves… and not a single blossom this summer. I truly hope that things will be ‘rosy’ next year in your garden! ♡

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dawn, I appreciate your visit, comment and nice wish. The difference was so great between last year and this that I thought everyone might be interested. It appears that many of us in all parts of the world had problems this year.

  67. plumdirt says:

    I’m sorry you had such a rough year. At least there are things that will grow back. As they say, tomorrow’s another day. Or in this case, next year is another year.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Plumdirt, I know that all gardeners are already looking to the next growing season, hopefully it will be a better one for us all. I appreciate your nice comment, thank you.

  68. that really stinks about your trees but I so hope they do ALL recover and to be even better than the were before:)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessica, This was a year that I would have to say “stinks”. Hopefully the winter won’t be so bad and spring will be sunny when the trees are in bloom so the bees will be out pollinating. I hope that the stressed trees do recover…it is a wait and see what happens until next year.

  69. Amanda says:

    Wow. What a cool post. Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into your property. Those roses are beautiful. I’m glad that you dont rely on the apples for a living, but it’s sad to see how the winter has ruined the trees. The same thing happened to my friend’s 80 year old fig tree 😦 I really love apple picking and cider doughnuts and it’s sad to see how bare it is, but very interesting to know the causes. Thank you for this.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Amanda, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you liked the post about our property and how nature can effect it. Apple picking is a wonderful experience for families and is very popular here in New England. Cider doughnuts…yes to that! 🙂

  70. That’s a beautiful but harsh environment. My dad used to complain about the wind hurting the trees or the ice storms. An empty orchard is tough but maybe the trees could use a rest. I love your farm. It’s so lovely.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maureen, Your dod was right…I have lots of trees in our orchard that have a real lean to them because of windstorms and snow while they still had apples on them. Actually the trees will probably benefit by not having any apples since we haven’t had much rain lately. Their energy will go into their roots and the trees themselves this year.

  71. mjskit says:

    Wow – what a difference a year makes. Sorry that your trees have suffered so much, but I’ve been through the ups and downs of fruit orchards myself. Hopefully, next year will be better. You have such a gorgeous plot of land.

    • Karen says:

      You are absolutely right, MJ…a huge difference between last year and this one. I happen to agree with you, I do think we have a lovely piece of land here in New Hampshire. Thank you for your compliment and wish for next year.

  72. reggiorif says:

    Then it’s not only in Europe we’ve had a mediocre summer… we have been harvesting our grapes yesterday and it’s not a great year (fortunately we use ours to make grappa so it doesn’t matter as much). I really hope next year will be better; with the love you give to your plants you deserve it Karen 🙂

    • Karen says:

      No Didi…it is not just Europe that had a mediocre summer. It appears that this year was stressful in many parts of the world from the comments on this post. Let’s hope that next year will indeed be better. Now about that grappa…that sounds like something I know I would enjoy. 😀

  73. I know we, as humans, felt the effects of our long winter, but it’s been heartbreaking and amazing to see the effects that it’s had on our local trees, plants, orchards… We even lost a hardy birch tree this year! Hope your garden and orchard bounce back, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ksenia, You are correct…most of us in the northern part of the U.S. had a winter that we wished we didn’t have to had experienced. The bad part is what it did to part of our environment. I’m sorry that you lost a birch tree…I love their beautiful white bark. Thank you for your wish. 🙂

  74. Sorry about your apples, Karen. This makes me appreciate good fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market more. My father-in-law used to farm, but like you said there is the definite stress of depending on weather. Now they rent their land for pasture or crop (switching it up every once in a while).

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Ming. I do think we all need to be aware of how hard it is to get beautiful produce from the farm to the table. I know that you are keenly aware of this situation from knowing about your father-in-law’s farm.

  75. Daphne says:

    Good Afternoon Karen, Oh my word, the difference in the photographs from last year to this year is incredible. As you say, bees do not like windy, rainy weather and we certainly had plenty of that in the north of England during spring. We have a small garden, but we have planted a miniature apple, plum, cherry and pear tree and the weather was so bad in the spring that only the apples fruited and they were pitiful, I only picked 6 apples…… and my tomatoes, well they were none existent this year.
    I do hope you do not lose too many apple trees and that they recover. The New Dawn rose was such a beauty last year, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be kinder and that you will enjoy beautiful blooms and plenty of apples next year.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daphne, Isn’t it amazing how one year can be so different from the next, depending on the weather. I do remember about the awful spring in England and the floods in many areas. I’m sorry that you had the same problems as we did. Basically no fruit and an almost none existent tomato crop is terrible. I appreciate your kind thoughts and wish…let’s hope next year is much better for us all.

  76. Juliana says:

    Dear Karen, thank you so much for this post, since I have not been exposed to farm life, I now appreciate and understand how difficult is to be a farmer since all the crops depend on nature…I love the pictures comparing before and now…it sure made me think.
    I hope next year brings you a better harvest.
    Have a nice week 😀

    • Karen says:

      Hi Juliana, I’m happy to know that you liked this post. I appreciate your nice compliment, thank you! I thought it might be interesting to my readers that haven’t experienced living in a farming region as the photos from last year to this were striking. Trying to make a living off the land is very hard for a farmer.

  77. Karen thank you for your wonderfully personal tour of your place. Very thoughtful indeed and I love that you have deer too! 😀

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorraine, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about our farm and orchard and the affects of nature. We do indeed have deer, they are beautiful creatures. Under normal situations, we have plenty of apples to share with the wildlife but this year is sparse pickings for us all.

  78. After all the abuse nature suffers from us, it is only “natural” to punish us in any way! I am so sorry you lost your crop. Here the day before yesterday a terrible hale fell upon us. I can only imagine the damage it caused to the poor farmers!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katerina, You are correct in your thinking. Although we try hard to do everything right on our property…she can still punish us some years. I’m sorry to learn about the hail storms that must have done a lot of damage to the farmers crops in your area.

  79. ladyfi says:

    Oh gosh – so sorry to hear how badly you’ve been affected.

  80. Sissi says:

    I am so sorry for your unlucky year in the orchard… I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to accept such years… but I remember my grandmother having years in and years out in her garde and even though she didn’t live off the harvests, it always made her sad or/and angry. Your photographs reminded me how much I loved Cortland apples and I haven’t had them for so many years (have never seen them here or in France, the two countries where I shop food). I’m crossing my fingers for next year. Let’s hope the following crops will be abundant.

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your nice thoughts, Sissi. I think part of being a gardener or farmer is knowing that not every year will be a good one…but we hate to see the bad ones. Cortland apples are very popular here in New England. If I was allowed to send fruit across to you, I would be happy to give you few the Cortlands that I have. I know you would create something delicious but not too sweet with them…just like I enjoy. 🙂

  81. Daniela says:

    Oh Karen, it’s such a shame to see these beautiful rose bushes and apple trees suffer from the hardships of bad weather.
    But keep in mind that nature has an amazing capacity of self healing, so for sure most of the plants and trees will recover next year!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daniela, I appreciate your kind and positive thoughts. You are so right about nature having a great capacity for healing itself…it can be amazing sometimes.

  82. Your roses and apple trees are so lovely, and it’s so sad to see a bad year! Most of what I grow is ornamental, but it seems like we haven’t had a good year for several years. Our established plants are confused and look it! I hope all your trees survive and produce more apples next year!

  83. I want to experience farm life like this..with all of its ups and downs! Unfortunately, one of the great things we left behind with the move was our small garden. Though it was small, it was ours and we reaped so much joy from it. I hope next year, your trees will be heavy with bushels and bushels of apples!!

  84. Last years we didn’t havea apricots and peaches last year and was sad because usually I make jam with them.
    We are in spring now.really I hope thus year will be better!
    xo

  85. Karen, what an interesting and thoughtful post – it is always good to pause every once in a while and take the time to look at the forces working around us…hopefully, your crop of apples will be sufficient for some serious pie making and some lovely fall dishes with apples!
    Enjoy my “visit” again – have a lovely weekend,
    Andrea

    • Karen says:

      Hi Andrea, I’m glad that you liked the post, thank you. While a bad year, crop wise, I do have enough apples to make some fall meals and desserts. 🙂

  86. Mother Nature will reek havoc when we least expect it. My rosarian friend in Indiana too lost her old climber too. Hope those dying apple trees can be replaced. Climate change and other environmental pressures indeed test the heirloom varieties. Keep up your great work.

    A roller and paintbrush are permanently attached to both hands here these last four weeks. Outdoor structures, decks, and new carport all needed attention. La-de-dah!

    Enjoy your fall.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, This year nature wasn’t very kind to us but I’m hoping for a better growing season next year. It sounds like you have had a busy end to your summer…enjoy your fall, as well. 🙂

  87. Debbie C. says:

    I hope I can find the Mutzu apples in my area. We visit some wonderful orchards within just a few miles of our home and it’s one of my favorite things to every fall. Thank you for this informative post. I wonder what this winter will be like.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I hope you will be able to find the Mutzu apples at one of your local orchards. Apple picking is a wonderful outing and a great way to enjoy fall. I appreciate you nice comment, I glad you liked the post.

  88. wow, that a really plenty of apples……
    lovin it al the way!!!

  89. Boy you really did get hit hard this year. Those roses look very sad and I’m amazed at how bare the apple trees are. I’m going to have to take a look at the apple orchards in town here and see how they fared. I know that when I tried to get our landscaper here to chip a pile of brush before our party last week, that he was at least a month and a half backed up because of last winter. So many people lost trees and shrubs and its so sad when they’re fully matured but have to go.
    Did you get frost last night? We’ve had the heat on already a few days tis week…yet it’s supposed to be almost 80 on Sunday.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, This certainly wasn’t a good year in the orchard…only the second time in 15 years that we have had so few apples. I’d say our growing season is just about over as we have had frost for the last two days.

  90. It’s so sad to read things like this. Our climate is changing drastically, and it is scary! I live in NJ, and we lost about 7 Arborvitae trees, and some shrubs that just couldn’t handle the crazy winter. And now, my beautiful Japanese maple is losing its green leaves, which are drying up and falling off way before they even have a chance to turn color. I hope that your orchards can recover, and that you have a bounty of apples next year!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, I appreciate you nice wish. I’m sorry to hear that you have lost trees as well. Hopefully your Japanese maple will make it through this winter and do better next year…they are such a beautiful tree.

  91. dishofdailylife says:

    It made me sad to see the differences. I haven’t been up to our apple orchards here to see how they fared after last year’s winter. We belong to a CSA and certain crops don’t do well because of things that happen in nature…one year they lost their entire tomato crop, this year, the basil went early. I really hope everything recovers!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Michelle, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice wish. We did have a drastically different growing season this year. Hopefully your local orchards had a good spring and have a wonderful crop of apples for picking this fall.

  92. Hi Karen,

    What a thoughtful and provoking post! It certainly has been a strange year weather wise. The thing that confuses me is usually, when one crop doesn’t do as well as usual, in your case the apples, another crop picks up the slack. It doesn’t seem that way this year.

    Of course I don’t live on a farm but I do live in farm country and many of the farmers are experiencing failed crops. My daughter, who lives in Idaho just told me that the wheat crop out there is terrible and that we can expect the price of flour to go up!

    Yes, it all works in harmony when it works but when it doesn’t, it sounds like Mother Nature is still tuning up:)

    I’m sorry for your disappointing apple crop especially those heirlooms:) Thank you so much for starting this discussion:)

    P.S. I’ll be visiting Portsmouth, NH in a couple of weeks, can’t wait!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Louise…I’m happy to know that you thought the post was interesting. You are right, this year didn’t seem to be a very good growing season for lots of people, no matter where they lived. One thing that appears good is the leaves as they start to change. I think that when you visit Portsmouth in a few weeks that there should be a lot of color for you to enjoy. 😀

  93. Hi Karen. It’s good to be back to visit you. But I’m sorry that you didn’t have a good growing season. That would break my heart!

  94. Oh such sadness! I’ve no doubt the little deers will be sad to see their little fruity snacks gone too this season. From losing your blooms and beautiful orchard, I can see it can be so disheartening. My folks still have three apple trees and I recall the years, that there were less and the years there were more. thus is the vicious cycle that is nature. I really feel for the bees I do! There’s so much at stake in the world which rests on their hard and fruitful work, (no pun intended!)

    Hope happier days bloom soon for you!!! xo

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alli, You are right, not many snacks for the deer this year. In an average year, there can be about 500 apples on each tree…this year most of them have a handful. With 300 trees, we certainly have enough to make some pies and that will put a smile on our face. 😀 I appreciate your sweet wish, thank you.

  95. How sad to see the damage to your lovely apple trees. The weather certainly has changed across the country these past few years. I know this past winter hit many of my friends hard. I hope your orchard is able to recover and you don’t lose too many of your trees!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristi, I always hate to see a tree damaged or dying, they are such a beautiful part of nature. Hopefully the upcoming seasons will be better. Thank you for your nice wish, it is much appreciated.

  96. Kathy says:

    You are so right, Karen, about things not always being rosy. My lifelong “goal” has been to resonate with what “Is” rather than what we want it to be. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t…

  97. I was glad to read in your comments that you have an abundance of bees.. what a frightening summer you’ve had. I just am in shock that your beautiful roses didn’t grow almost at all.. that makes me so sad for you as I know you’d have found them such a source of joy through the summer. Praying for a better winter and spring for you all! xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, We are lucky that we do have lots of bees in our area. Unfortunately, they didn’t leave the hives because of bad weather when we needed them in our orchard to pollinate the apple blossoms. Hopefully the remaining rose bush can make a comeback next year as it is beautiful when in bloom. I appreciate your lovely thoughts, thank you so much!

  98. I’m so sad for you that your orchard hasn’t done well this season, Karen. Those apples look so delicious, and how wonderful it must be to have a really good harvest and to be able to share your bounty. That poor rose is a pitiful sight. Hoping that come spring, everything will start to recover. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sylvia, The seasons weren’t good for either our apples or our roses this year. The nice thing is that I have enough for a few pies and cakes. Thank you for your wish. 🙂

  99. Wow I had no idea the extent of damage the weather has been causing up there!

  100. Sophie33 says:

    I didn’t had a clue you were having such bad weathers, where you live! 😦
    Georgous pictures though! Good luck in the future! x

  101. The stuffed pepper look delicious! I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your apple trees. Hopefully they can recover and you will have better seasons in the years to come.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, Nature wasn’t very kind this year but we did get some nice peppers from the garden. I’m glad you liked the recipe for the stuffed peppers, thank you.

  102. viveka says:

    Wow, how sad – I saw on TV about the winter you had last season – we had nearly no winter at all. 5 days in total with snow and -6 was the lowest. Poor Mother Earth and people that say that their is no Globe warming and climate changes … need to go to Specsavers. I love that apple image – I want to grab one of them.

    • Karen says:

      Yes…nature wasn’t as kind to this area as she should have been. Hopefully the upcoming seasons will be better. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you Viveka.

  103. So sad about your apple orchard, my friend. I’m sure it’ll rebound, eventually. Sending you “green” thoughts!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kiran, I truly appreciate your kind “green” thoughts. Yes, I am hoping that nature will be a little kinder and gentler in the upcoming seasons. 🙂

  104. It is sad indeed to have the losses. We lost a beautiful gardenia due to the icy cold weather in Atlanta last winter, and several other plants that were near and dear. So sorry as you say for the farmers who rely on this for a living. At least for you, the bees are still around!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, You never know what nature has in store for you year to year. I’m sorry you lost your gardenia. I love the flowers…I carried them when I got married as my husband loves them as much as I do. Their fragrance is wonderful.

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