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How much sleep do you need?

How much sleep do you need?? That always seems to be the question when it comes to raising children. Adults even keep track of our sleep patterns, as we strive to lead healthier lives. Last year when our peaches didn't get enough cold hours, I heard someone say, “It's not time for them to wake up yet. They still need more sleep!!” I remember thinking, what an interesting analogy to imagine that these little trees need sleep and rest just like we do. But as I pondered that comparison, the more it made perfect sense. We rest, recover, grow, and refresh during sleep, so why wouldn't these little trees that grow leaves, buds, and fruit need that kind of downtime as well? Their “night” is the months of November, December, January, and February. We want them to sleep deeply when the temperatures are cold, the days are short, and the nights are drawn out and dark. And just like we need long stretches of good hard sleep, the peach trees need to have undisturbed rest as well. If cold winter days are interrupted with periods of warm weather, the trees get confused and think it's time to wake up. In much the same way that we perform poorly without enough sleep, peach trees are unable to produce good quality fruit if they suffer from lack of rest. We are very grateful that our little peach trees are being allowed to slumber in the quiet, cool, tranquil moments of winter. We hope they are dreaming sweet thoughts of cobbler, preserves, and ice cream, and that they continue to enjoy their last few weeks of respite.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck

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