2017 is the Final Year of Peaches at Jossy Farms.
A letter from the Farmer-
This winter was very hard for the peach trees at Jossy Farms and 90% or more of the peach trees have died. For the most part the apple and pears are fine. In efforts to save the trees, I have done extensive research and interviews with other farmers. For those in our farm family who wish to understand the mysteries of Mother Nature, I have done my best to explain what happened. There is a disease known as Bacterial Canker. this disease affects many plants especially stone fruits ( peaches, cherries and prunes) this disease is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas Syringae. Pseudomonas Syringae is deadly by raising the temperature in which the cells of a tree can freeze and then it attacks those frozen cells with a toxin. When too many cells are destroyed the tree weakens and dies. If you wish to research this, it is called Ice Nucleation Activity. While the trees were resistant to this disease, they are not immune. mature trees seem to have stronger immunity than the young ones but at this point most of our peach orchard has bacterial canker. This years weather was the perfect combination for Pseudomonas Syringae to attack. The winter temperatures dropped down between 0 and 5 degrees. This caused enough cell damage to kill about 70% of the trees to the point that they never even leafed out. The other 30% leafed out but the Pseudomonas Syringae had gained a stronger foot hold in the trees, essentially lowering their immunity. Following the winter was a long, cold and wet spring. This stressed the trees so much they could no longer fight the Pseudomonas Syringae and the disease killed the trees. There is about 10% of the peach trees still alive. With more research I have come to the conclusion that the chances to replant and grow peaches on our property successfully is very low. With 40 plus years of growing peaches on this land, there is a lot of Pseudomonas Syringae around the farm. Many other plants can be hosts and seem to not be affected, such as Weeds, grasses, hazelnuts and other wild trees. However we did lose some hazelnut and apple trees to the freeze. The chances of having this hard of a freeze again are slim but still possible. And the chances of a cold, wet and long spring seem to be high as this is a normal climate for Oregon. At this stage of the disease, a spring of that caliber would cause young peach trees to die. For this reason and many others we have decided that this is the last year we will grow and sell peaches. After this harvest we will pull out the peach trees and plant this ground to hazelnuts. We plan to keep the apple and pear trees. This was a very hard decision for me to make. I believe it is the right decision but I am having a hard time getting behind it. Most peach growers in the north valley had damage to their trees from this winter and spring but we seem to have the most damage, well I guess we have always been over achievers. While I may not have known your name I considered many of you friends and enjoyed and looked forward to our conversations every year. Some of you have heard me say I would probably be selling fruit until I fell over dead in the orchard. I think I like this outcome better. We will be open this summer with a limited supply of peaches and ample pears and apples. We will not be pulling out the dead trees prior to harvest. You will also notice that the property around the orchard has developed, please know that we were not involved in that development and it had no bearing on our decision. I hope to see many of you this season we can talk about this situation and hopefully find humor in it. I now have my own ending to an old saying. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. When Mother Nature kills your lemon trees plant something else.