It also gives more stable yields and prevents "alternate bearing of apples", which means the tree doesn't bear apples for next year. It's so nice to see and admire these pretty flowers, but in an orchard, this is the fact you have to remove them, to get higher yields. Pretty sad, huh? This week we also counted number of clusters and leave bud per tree. You can tell which ones are flower buds and leave buds. If a tree has too many clusters per branch, it will bear less apples or in smaller size or not in optimal quantity. Thinning is usually done by hand, since you need to measure or check manually which clusters to remove. And for different varieties, thinning method also depend. One dwarf apple tree can bear around 155 apples, and in European market smaller sized apples are more preferred.
|white apple flowers start blooming since last week|
|the apple orchard look much more lively, isn't it?|
|Mowing machine to mow the weeds as mulching on the top soil.|
|We spent the whole week fixing the weeding mat on the floor|
for against competition of weeds to the trees
Willkommen auf dem Fricktaler Chriesiwaeg!
Just told by my colleague Corrine, that Frick is actually famous for its lovely cherries, and it's a well-know cherries production region in Switzerland. So today, me, Corrine and Tomas went cycling to this Chriesiwaeg (Cherry trail in Swiss German) to experience this spirit of cherries.
It's not far away from out house, just 20 minutes to get there. It's a bit hilly at the start, but it's "sehr schön" to bike along the meadows and passing by the cherries tree blossoms. I really look forward to the end of May, when the cherries are mature and ready to be eaten (i'm pragmatic I know :)
|Me on the bike with cherries..this is something I will remember|
about this place after years
Friday is usually quite empty in FiBL. Most colleague work only 80% a week, and they can choose a day off, most people would pick Friday of course. Since this week, I started having lunch in the cafeteria almost everyday. Especially in this warm early summer weather, and in FiBL there is an open terrace for us sitting outside, enjoying organic lunch or coffee breaks under shades of chestnut trees. As I told before, the work environment and culture in FiBL is very exceptional. You have lots of chances to exchange with colleagues, about your projects, research, or casual chats. There are many great people here, who are so experienced in organic agriculture and knowledgeable in specific topic. Everyday you talk to somebody else and always learn something new. Since there are many varieties of work here, soil sciences , animal husbandry, crop production and orchards, and test of parasites of plants. It's always interesting to encounter some research students by chance, and they probably would explain to you how they test the effect of charcoal on the growth of soy beans; how they growth fungi or spores in Bodenlabor to test susceptible varieties.
Something I like here is that everyone is willing to share, on an eye-level, not hierarchical at all, unlike the Chinese culture. You can call your boss or head by the first name, and talk to them as if other colleagues. When I first came here, I was not so used to this coffee breaks, and long lunch breaks and too much networking sometimes. As time goes by, I am used to this work culture here, and these in-between breaks are something I look forward to everyday.
|Last Friday on the month there is a wine- tasting session|
in the small vine yard, with 40 varieties of wine!