Arizona’s largest peach grower is being creative as they try and protect their largest crop. With temperatures expected to drop below freezing for two nights in a row, Schnepf Farms owner Mark Schnepf is not taking any chances “We are going to start running our geo thermal well, pumping out water at 99 degrees, tonight on two of our orchards,” says Schnepf “but protecting another orchard is going to be a little more difficult, I am trying something new.” Schnepf says that he will be renting as many propane heaters available and place them throughout the orchard in hopes that they will produce enough heat to protect the Peach Blossoms and knowing how air circulation also can provide protection “I am going to try and create my own by hiring a helicopter to hover over the orchard during critical freezing hours.” Says Schnepf.
Protecting the Peach Blooms for the fruit crop is the number one priority at the farm, but with the Peach Blossom Celebration expected to begin this weekend, the beauty of the blossoms are also important. “two of our orchards are in full bloom, they are gorgeous,” says Carrie Schnepf “Not knowing what will happen with our fruit crop, we are hoping that people will still come out and see how the fruit begins to form.”
Protecting the crops begins tomorrow (Wednesday) when heaters will be delivered and placed throughout the orchards, the geo-thermal well will begin pumping Wednesday night at 9pm and the helicopter will begin hovering Thursday morning at 4am. “I know it sounds extreme, but this crop to our farm is very important,” says Schnepf.
Schnepf Farms is celebrating its 70th anniversary, with events planned throughout the year. The first of them being the “Peach Blossom Celebration” going on every weekend in February. Admission is FREE. Bring your camera’s “and say a lot of prayers” says Schnepf. For more information and complete directions, call 480.987.3100 or visit the web site at www.Schnepffarms.com. Twitter &
- Winter Care for a Peach Tree (brighthub.com)