Archive for peaches

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.

Fire & Bears

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

On September 8, 2012 we had an incredible electrical storm, and the following two days there were high winds, which took whatever fires had been started on the 8th and kicked them up in to a handful of brush/forest fires. There was a bit of rain with the storm, but the next day was warm and dry and with the wind, many fires were started around the cities of Wenatchee and Cashmere, Washington. There is also a fire on a ridge above us, the First Creek Fire, which at the moment isn’t  a concern for us right now (except for our friends that live in that valley), but it has made for smokey conditions.

Another smokey day, some days better, some days worse

 

There’s a lot of people working to contain the fires and keep peoples houses from burning.

Thank you to all the firefighters!

Firefighting helicopter making its rounds from the lake to the fire

 

Our friends Liz and Eric at River Farm in Ellensburg lost their home in August to the Taylor Bridge fire. They’re hard working and resilient folks and will do alright despite their losses but still a tough go. Here’s a link for more info: help  

So a little smoke really isn’t too bad..

 

We’ve been having some bear activity here lately. When it gets as dry as it is in the wild lands our peaches, apples, pears and etc. must smell pretty good to a bear. So far we haven’t lost too much, some apples, Asian pears and grapes. Our current dog isn’t as interested in chasing the bears as Blaze was, not sure why… One of our tricks to dissuade the bear from sticking around is a motion sensor with a light and tape deck (in the plastic bag) to, hopefully, startle and move them along.

It’s effective in the area where it’s set up, limited to how much extension cord we have.

The bears only eat what’s ripe, we often find fruit still hanging on the tree with a bite taken out, usually not ripe enough.

I came across this recent bear feast :

Remnants of Yellow-jacket nest (in ground) dug up and the larvae eaten by bear, that’s some hardcore dining! Those are some fierce insects. It’s no wonder they want fruit.


This week we’ll have:

-Many more Tomatoes (Brandywine, Aunt Rubys German Green, San Marzano, Stupice, Cherokee Purple, Sungold, Matt’s Wild Currant)

-Friar Plums

-Fantasia Nectarines

-HoneyNectarCot Peaches

-Akane, Swiss Arlet, McIntosh, Tydeman Apples

-Hosui and Shinseiki Asian Pears

-Red Kalle (Clapp) Pears

See you Saturday.

Re: More Pie Cherries August 11, 2012

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Please pardon the mess below, I wasn’t intending to publish what got published, well not what but when. Anyway…

Along with the sour cherries, we’ll have Peaches, Blenheim Apricots (last week for them), Santa Rosa Plums, and White Fleshed Nectarines. Also Green Beans (Romano) and Eggplants.

It’s been a hot week and things are moving right along, ripening wise that is. Tomatoes should be here soon along with the usual fruits and veggies.

See you Saturday.

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!

 

Walnuts – They’re here !

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

We will have walnuts at the University District Farmers Market in Seattle, this Saturday, October 22. These walnuts have quite a following, we have people asking about them all season. They are good tasting, easy to crack with a well filled nut and good sized. There is a limited quantity, so we recommend being at the market early. We will have more walnuts in the following weeks, some smaller ones and our bigger BIG  nut as well.

Walnuts on the tree, the cracking husk indicates a ripe nut

A couple of years ago we made a short video about part of what we do to harvest and process the walnuts. Here’s a link: http://youtu.be/arpGitU-S6o

When the husks on the nuts begin to crack is a sure sign that they’re ripe. In a vacuum the nuts would all fall from the tree as they ripen and we could pick them up minus the hull. But with squirrels and Stellar Jays getting the jump on them we have to shake the trees and gather them, husk and all before they all disappear. Once gathered the nuts need to be de-husked. With a nut whose husk has begun to crack the nut pops right out but since I shake the tree, not all the nuts are as ripe so those not need to be put aside for a few days before the husk will  release itself from the walnut. After husking the nuts are quite wet and need to be dried for three to four days in a food dehydrator. If they’re not dried fairly quickly, the nuts will mold inside. We’ve found that if we remove the husks and store the nuts, still wet, while waiting (more then a few days) to put them  in to the dryer they’ll mold. But storing for up to a couple of weeks in the husk they won’t mold. Once dried, then at last: ready to eat!

Walnut Exposed

Also this week we’ll have:

Nickajack, Prairie Spy, Gala, King David, Belle de Boskopp, Macoun (not many), and a few Coxs Orange Pippin Apples.

Hosui and Shinseiki Asian Pears,

Bosc and Abate Fetel European Pears,

Elephant Heart and Italian Prune Plums,

Hardy Kiwis,

Concord Grapes,

and O’Henry and Honey Nectar Cot Peaches (Last peaches of the season)

See you Saturday.

Belle de Boskoop Apples

Walnuts, not yet…

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

 

Everyone is waiting for the walnuts, but they won’t be ready until next week. With a shortened week due to rain, there isn’t enough time to pick, husk and dry the nuts by market time. Next week for (almost) sure.

Hardy Kiwi Fruit on the vine

We will have this week:

Hosui and Shinseiki Asian pears, Italian prune plums, Elephant Heart plums, the last of the Fantasia nectarines and Honey-Nectar-Cots, and new this week the O’Henry peaches, Abate Fetel European pears, (next week: Seckels and Boscs). And apples: Gala, Prairie Spy, Swiss Arlet, Jonathan, Nickajack, Coxs orange Pippin. We’ll have the little Kiwis again this week and next as well, a few green beans (Romano)

                                                        Shinseiki Asian Pear

Everything is a couple of weeks later then it was last year, which was five to seven days later then is or was usual, due to the late spring and cooler early summer weather. As a result everything is later then we’re accustomed  to. ( Fresh Peaches in mid October?!)

See you Saturday.

Fresh for October 2, 2010

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Fantasia Nectarine


Its been a mostly clear week, and warm, feels great.
This will be the last week for peaches and nectarines, I guess summer is over!
This week we’ll have:
-O’Henry Peaches
-Honey Nectar Cot Peaches
-Fantasia Nectarines
-Prune Plums
-Hardy Kiwis
-Shenseiki Asian Pears
-Hosui Asian Pears
-Gala Apples
-McIntosh Apples
-Prairie Spy Apples
-Jonathan Apples
-Coxs orange Pippins (a few this week)
-Tomatoes

Shenseiki Asian Pear


See you saturday!