Archive for cherries

Grafting – 101.1

Posted in grafting, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, Pruning with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2014 by Grouse Mt. Farm

I’m going to try to do a fairly complete series about grafting fruit trees, step by step throughout the spring and aftercare through the summer. For a quick read on grafting, what it is and why do it, check out this link of a blog entry I wrote a few years ago: https://grousemtfarm.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/grafting/ and look up other resources where ever they may be .

I’ll be working with common fruit trees: apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and walnuts. Some fruits are easier to graft then others. Apples and pears are probably the easiest, with the soft fruits a bit more finicky (mostly timing) and difficult to get a good take. Walnuts are the most difficult for me, I’ve only had scant success grafting them, but we will try… The techniques are similar with other species then those I’ve mentioned, mulberries and persimmons are fairly easy. If you want to try something else, I recommend looking up the specifics for the species on the web or library etc.

The first step is to collect scion wood (pronounced sign or sine). The wood must be collected when the tree you’re collecting from is dormant, mid to late winter is good. If early is the only possible time, as long as it’s dormant and you provide good storage it should be fine too. If it is collected too late in the winter/early spring, the scion will begin to grow after being grafted before it has fused with the tree you’ve grafted to and in short order exhausting  its reserves and drying out. When all goes well, the tree and scion form a connection then as the wood comes out dormancy it’s tapped in to the tree to provide the energy it needs to grow and survive.

Gathering Scion Wood

Gathering Scion Wood

Moderately vigorous one year old wood is optimum for scion wood. That means a branch that had grown in the previous season. Sometimes called suckers, generally upright growth about the size (diameter) of a pencil or slightly bigger, much bigger just makes for more difficult cutting when we get to the knife work. I’ve marked (rather crudely, I admit) an approximate point where you could cut scion wood from, on this particular tree (this tree was grafted two years previous, note the tape and paint on the trunk).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

The second photo shows, in my opinion, optimum sized wood. The piece to right and apart from from the grouping of three is the top of the piece cut, this is usually soft and pithy, it may work , but I usually discard it. The others are firm mature wood ready for storage. I wet a few pieces of newspaper and wrap the scion wood in it, place in plastic bag and in to the refrigerator. Not too wet, but you don’t want it to dry out either, and protect from freezing. AND, remember  to label as to what variety it is, it all looks the same when grafting time comes!

I usually begin grafting cherries in late march or early April because cherry wood doesn’t keep well and begins to sprout while in storage. Apples and pears in April here, and the other soft fruits the third to fourth week in April, during a bit of a warm spell, if possible. The walnuts I’m still trying to figure out, but more towards the end of May when the weather has warmed up. I’ll write about tools in the next post.

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Pie Cherries

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

They’ve  been slow in coming and still slow to ripen but we will have some pie or sour cherries this weekend ( July 28, 2012). Not as late as last year but as far past years go they’re on the late rather then early schedule. We’ll have North Star and Montmorency varieties this week, still not a whole lot but a good start.

Montmorency Pie Cherries

We still have many on trees, so we’ll have them for a couple of weeks yet.  Also the Balaton variety is yet to come, they’re another dark fleshed sour cherry.

We’ll also have more Attika and Bing sweet cherries, some Bleinheim Apricots, and some early Springcrest Peaches. Only a modest amount of Cots and Peaches, that fruit is just beginning to come on for us. We’ll have some Red Currants and Mulberries as well.

See you Saturday!

 

First Seattle Market for 2012

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, whats fresh with tags , , , , on July 13, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

We’ll be in Seattle on Saturday July 14th for our first farmers market of the season.

We’re looking forward to seeing our friends and customers and to spend a little time in the big city.

The fruit is just starting to ripen, a little bit later then “normal” but quite a bit earlier then last year, which was the latest we’ve ever had. We’ll be bringing sweet cherries, black and red currants, peas (snow, sugar snap, and shelly) and mulberries.

I’m pretty sure that we’ll have pie cherries next week.

We hope to see you then.

 

 

 

Fresh for Market – August 6, 2011

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Montmorency Sour Cherries

We’re finally having some real summer weather, not too hot but it is feeling like summer. We missed the market last week because the fruit wasn’t quite ripe. Usually this time of year all the cherries have been picked, but we’re right in the middle of cherry harvest now. Everything else is late as well, I’m hoping our late apples and pears have enough time to ripen before it gets too cold this fall. The reason everything is so late is that we had  a cold, wet spring and a cool summer here in the Northwest.

This week well have :

Van Sweet Cherries

Bing Sweet Cherries

Rainer Sweet Cherries

North Star Sour Cherries

Montmorency Sour Cherries

Springcrest Peaches

Mulberries

Red Currants

Shallots

Summer Squash

Harvesting Pie or Sour Cherries

Unlike sweet cherries, when we pick pie cherries we have to cut them off the tree. The sweet cherries stems come off the spur pretty easily, whereas if you pick a pie cherry that way the stem rips the spur off ( the spur is the tree bud on a branch where the flowers come out of and hence the fruit) and lose the potential for fruit to be there next season. And if you pull the cherry , often times the stem and pit will be left on the tree, which is fine if you’re going to eat the fruit right away, but it won’t store well. It takes much more time to harvest this way, but pretty much the only way we’ve figured out to pick them for so they’ll hold up for  fresh market. Most sour cherries are grown for processing so storage or appearance of the fruit is of little concern.

See you on Saturday.

 

 

 

First Market This Season- July 23, 2011

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, whats fresh with tags , , , , on July 22, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Mid Summer

We’re two weeks later then most years, but it looks like this weekend will be our first market at the University District Farmers Market (in Seattle) for this season. Its was a cold wet spring and a very cool summer so far, great living weather , but not so good for growing fruits and vegetables. Similar to last year, it rained quite a bit during blossom time which makes it difficult for the bees to get out and pollinate the flowers, so less fruit. And with it being so cool everything is ripening a couple weeks later then normal ( hard to tell what normal is any more, but later then what we’ve been accustomed to).

This week we’ll have Chelan cherries, raspberries, pluots (a cross between an apricot and plum, this particular cross resembles the cot more with some of a plums tartness) , Black currants, sugar snap and snow peas . We don’t have a lot of anything, so I recommend getting to the market early.

 

 

Fresh on the Market Table-July 31

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Its been another hot week here, up in the 90’s. Too hot to think but good for the ripening fruit. We’re starting to transition to the other stone fruits, but we still have a few cherries.
This week we’ll have:
-Montmorency Sour (pie) Cherries
-Kristin Sweet Cherries
-Springcrest Peaches
-Mulberries
-Red Currants
-A few Apricots
-Grey Shallots

First Peaches of the Season


Once again its going to be a light load, but I’m happy to be bringing (and eating!) peaches. Plums, apricots ( a few this week) and nectarines in the coming weeks, and apples not too far away. See you saturday.

Fresh on the Market Table-July 24

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Greetings,
this week we’ll have :
-North Star pie or sour cherries
-Montmorency pie cherries
-Bing sweet cherries
-Attika sweet cherries
-Red currants
-Mulberries
-Sugar Snap peas

North Star sour cherries


As has been the case this season, there’s not much quantity of any of the cherries, so if you’re interested I suggest getting to the market early-ish.