Last Saturday as the morning sun shone through smoke rising from 80 smudge pots at Delicious Orchards, owner Jeff Schwartz and his brother Seth walked the rows of cherry trees to see if the early green buds had survived the night. Checking the blossoms and tiny green cherries, everything appeared to have made it through the below freezing temperatures.
This was the first time Schwartz had used smudge pots to warm the air throughout his orchard. The brothers put in each large pot a wood log, wood chips, stoker coal with diesel fuel to start the fire. Overnight the smoke raised the temperature a few degrees with the wind machine helping to circulate the warmer air. It's all about natural physics.
"We think with the wind machine going and these things going, that we maintained a three degree advantage for the apricots, plums and sweet cherries," Schwartz said. That kept the temperature between 27 and 29 degrees, which was just enough.
The brothers will be watching the weather forecast for the next time the temperatures will fall into the twenties. They know with the help of the smudge pots, their fruit crop will be protected.blog comments powered by Disqus