Just checking in. Wow, this has been a crazy spring. Between the massive temperature changes and this whole virus thing, I miss normal. Though, I guess, maybe crazy weather is actually normal for Ohio these days. Things started out really warm, the trees started to get going, then…WHAM…majorly cold. Now that we’re warming up again, our trees are starting to bloom.
The Asian pears, Japanese plums and our earliest sweet cherries sustained some definite damage…they were starting to bloom when the cold spell hit. But I still see undamaged blossoms, so as long as the bees are able to get out and do their thing, we’ll hopefully still have at least some crop of these. The peaches, European pears and plums, and the later cherries all are starting to bloom now, and they’re looking pretty good. That photo above is our Saturn donut peaches. At this point, the apples aren’t blooming yet, and so I don’t expect much, if any, damage to them.
One final crop update before I move on to more logistical things. Some of the asparagus is up a couple of inches! Which means we’ll start having asparagus in the next couple of days. As soon as we have some to sell, I’ll let you know.
Ok, on to the virus and what it means for our store. We’re still maintaining curbside only service at our store for the time being. We have not yet set a date for when we will change this. But in the meantime, I’ve got a ton of our products on our website (https://rittmanorchards.com/shop), and I’ve literally been adding more every day. We are now selling milk, eggs, bread, bacon, flour and a lot more for your convenience in addition to what we always sell in our regular store.
And as soon as my delivery gets here today, I’ll be adding to the site again…this time with Simply Orange juice, Rue Farms potato chips and some other things (I expect to have those posted by lunchtime). If you haven’t visited the online store in a little while, it’s a lot different than when you last saw it. As always, if there’s anything not on the site yet that you know we carry, just call us (330-925-4152) to place your curbside order instead.
If you live in Wadsworth, one note about coming to pick up your order…. State Route 94 is currently closed just south of Doylestown Rd., while they repair a culvert. We’re expecting the detour to only be in place through Friday.
Also, as you may have seen, we’ve started local delivery. We’re currently delivering to the following zip codes: 44230, 44270, 44645, 44281, 44203, 44216 and 44319. If you live in any of these zip codes, you can get your order dropped off at your house the day after you order it (except on Mondays. We don’t deliver on Mondays because we’re closed). There’s only a $20 minimum and a $5 delivery fee. You can order through the online store (https://rittmanorchards.com/shop), and if you live in one of those mentioned zip codes, just select Local Delivery instead of Pickup at checkout.
Finally, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about berry season. Our strawberries will be ready (most likely) in early June. We will start hiring for picking and spring work in the next couple of weeks. And we are definitely planning to have u-pick berries this year. But at this point, I don’t know what it will look like, or what additional rules we’ll have to have, etc. Among other things, we will have to monitor how many guests are in the fields at once to provide adequate spacing for everyone. One thing that I’m thinking about is to set up pre-arranged time slots for picking. It’s also sounding like festivals and live entertainment might be off the table for awhile still. But that’s weeks away, and nothing is definite yet, other than this summer is looking to not be like any other summer we’ve all ever had.
That’s it for now. Thanks for your interest and your patronage. We REALLY appreciate it, especially in these difficult times. I hope you all stay safe and healthy, and I’ll talk to you again soon.