Hello. It’s Sue here from Synergy Farms Pty Ltd, and I will be telling you a little about our farm and farming life in my blogs.
Yarrrawalla is home to one of the two most northerly apple orchards in Victoria. Our Billabong Organics apple harvest begins in January with our Gala apples, and finishes in May with our Sundowners, with Granny Smiths and Pink Ladies in between.
By the time we finish harvesting Sundowners, the Gala trees are beginning to lose their leaves. This involves nutrients being transferred into the roots of the trees before the leaves fall, to allow the trees to store energy for the following season.
Trees reabsorb valuable nutrients from their leaves and store them for later use in their roots. Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their green colour, is one of the first molecules to be broken down for its nutrients. This is one of the reasons why trees turn red, orange, and gold colours during the fall (autumn). At the end of the abscission process, when the leaves have been shed, a protective layer of cells grows over the exposed area. (http://earthsky.org/earth/why-do-trees-shed-their-leaves).
Pink Lady trees after harvest. The apples on the ground are considered unsuitable for sale.