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HMC News – June 2024

The hot days tend to slow the rate of tree fruit maturity, leading to a delayed or extended harvest on varieties we are currently picking, or will pick within the next week. We are adding nutrient applications to our plum orchards to help protect them from sunburn and heat stress. Grapes are growing rapidly and are vulnerable to sunburn at this stage of maturity. We are doing our best to grow the canopy as much as possible for protection for the berries. So far, this year has been excellent for surface water deliveries. We had a better than average winter,and…

HMC News – May 2024

Other than a few big spring storms, the weather has been ideal for tree fruit maturation. We started harvest with the yellow and white peaches, yellow and white nectarines and organics. Plum harvest began at the end of May. The early season plums are a delicious nod to what is to come, building excitement for our proprietary Plumsicle. We are already taking prebookings for the sweetest part of summer, so be sure to contact your HMC Farms representative so you don’t miss out on Plumsicle, our favorite fruit of the season. We are in the process of thinning our late…

HMC News – April 2024

Widespread hail hit many of our growing regions over the month. There was some damage from the storms, but we remain optimistic. Most of the hail appeared to be “slushy”. Slushy hail does not penetrate the skin of the fruit as deeply or as firm or icy hail, so the damage (if any) is less substantial. We are also hopeful because a percentage of the most vulnerable varieties were covered with hail netting, a practice we will rely on more in future seasons (see images for reference). With hail damage, the overall volume loss is not always significant, but the…

HMC News – March 2024

2024 We know there are still only flowers on the trees, but it is never too early to get excited about Plumsicles™. This year we have something exciting to share… our late season Plumsicles are coming into production! This will extend our season further into the summer months. Now you can enjoy everyone’s favorite fruit from mid June –late August. The 2024 offshore grape season continues to fall short of pre-season expectations with tight supplies on both reds and greens. With the marketing order quickly approaching in mid-April, we expect to see arrivals crest and retreat in a short time…

HMC News – February 2023

Science fiction stories about the future generally go one of two ways: A dystopian hell where robots attack us (“The Terminator”) or a dystopian hell where robots attack us in space (“2001: A Space Odyssey.”) But now it’s time to separate science fiction from fact. As the labor crisis continues in agriculture, with common-sense immigration reform at a standstill and an aging workforce threatening the future supply of skilled labor, technology will be one of the saviors of the industry. In recent agricultural industry events—from FIRA USA, the first American version of the international ag robotics expo that was held…

Road and telephone pole in front of an orchard of trees, lightning bold in the background
HMC News – August 2022

A summer storm made its way to the Central Valley this month. An estimated 1/4″ of rain touched down on our farms, which is unprecedented at this time of year. Some stone showed hardly any impact, while other blocks were more significantly impacted. It appears that the rain impacted all commodities to some degree and the varieties that were just ready to be harvested and in the middle of harvest were most severely affected. Table grape harvest remains ongoing. We’re seeing an impressive crop of green seedless varietals coming out of our vineyards this year. All commodities appear to be…

Row of grapevines with clusters of grapes turning from green to red
HMC News – June 2022

We are tipping and thinning clusters in our table grape vineyards. During this process, each grape cluster is inspected and clipped to reduce the density of berries and obtain a manageable overall bunch size. At this point, we are getting into a nice harvest groove. Peach, plum, and nectarine harvest is moving right along in our orchards, with flavor continuing to impress across our early season varieties.  Plumsicle™ harvest has begun! As expected, the crop is sweet and flavorful. Plumsicle is available only in limited supplies this year, but we continue to add more acreage to our Plumsicle orchards each…

Tree with green leaves and ripe peaches in an orchard
HMC News – May 2022

Harvest season is finally here! Peach and nectarine harvest is underway as stone fruit continues to mature and grow in our orchards. Pictured below is our Sangria plum, which will begin harvest at the end of May. Thinning has now wrapped up in our stone fruit orchards. The warm and sunny spring we’re having is perfect for growing great tasting fruit with high sugar content. We have seen excellent eating quality right out of the gate. So far fruit looks and tastes as good or better than last year’s vintage crop, and we hope that will continue for the whole…

Tree branch with leaves and small peaches
HMC News – April 2022

April’s weather has been a rollercoaster, bouncing around 20 degrees up and down over a few days more than once. Thankfully, the forecast ahead shows weather conducive to stone fruit growth. We are thinning stone fruit in our stone fruit orchards. Thinning removes excess, under-sized, or damaged juvenile fruit from our trees. This ensures that nutrients are directed to fewer pieces of fruit, resulting in better size and flavor. It also protects the tree from damage due to too much weight on the limbs. Hail damage is prevalent across the industry in scattered pockets. We’ve discovered hail damaged stone fruit…

Pink blossoms on a tree in an orchard
HMC News – February 2022

After a winter with sufficient chill hours, some of our earliest stone fruit varieties have started to wake up from their winter hibernation as they push the first blooms of the 2022 season. These first flowers bring anticipation for the upcoming season along with the anxiety of knowing that unfavorable weather conditions can now have deleterious effects on the 2022 crop. Blossoms become commonplace around the valley as hundreds of different stone fruit varieties will be in different stages of bloom in late February and early March. We are in the process of grafting trees in some of our stone…