June 17, 2015
I had really wanted to get down to the HOS fruit tasting with my dear wife this weekend, but apparently the fates had other things in store. How was this year's fruit tasting? I always look forward to tasting fruits (--particularly apple cultivars--) that I'm not familiar with. The beauty of the annual HOS fruit tasting is the chance to gain familiarity with the rare and obscure cultivars that no one will ever encounter in a grocery store. It's always a chance to become enamored of a rare variety, and hope that scions will be available at the March scion exchange. Perhaps it's better that we didn't make it there: I already have a want-list of cultivars that my dear wife cringes at.
I hope that things went smoothly. Without the taste-test, one can't even begin to know what their missing in flavor -- no thanks to corporate agriculture.
June 17, 2015
March 16, 2015
Funny, I’m glad someone else is bugged by imperfection … and I think you’ve the ability to edit your posts, though
Over East now.. I’d been blown away by an amazing collection of Hardy Kiwifruit that had shown up at the last ‘AAF Show’ I attended… There were maybe 15 to 20 varieties I’d never heard of, yet got to taste - and take many home! Big, complex flavors, smooth-skinned and sweet - they were fantastic! Not sure what I did with my notes, but as I eventually ..liquidated my farmstead, never acted on them…
Just wondered if ‘whomever’ it was that had brought them has made return appearances ... and if their Hardy Kiwis’ have remained a hit?
June 17, 2015
If perchance your notes turn up at some point please post them. I've considered experimenting with "kiwis" (Actinidia spp.) over quite a number of years now (--probably at least 28 going back to when I was still in the Pomona Valley of SoCal), but I just don't know enough about hardiness in the various varieties and just what quirks various ones may have. Apparently some people have great luck with them and others couldn't successfully grow one if their (not "they're") life was on the line. I love the taste of kiwis but the "iffyness" of successful cultivation is, I think, what has prevented me from jumping in with them. Here at my site in SW Washington with an awful silty clay soil and a cosmic vortex of plant pathologies, I've been trying to focus more on fruits that I've had better luck with traditionally.
March 16, 2015
I had started growing fuzzy kiwi, and was ‘talked into’ trying a Hardy variety, ‘Anna,’ or Ananasnaya. Seems a male fuzzy will pollinate hardy kiwi as well. I believe all 3 of the Anna cuttings I was given sprouted, they’re fairly prolific, so I made room on my trellis for 2 of them.
I had tried a ‘self fertile’ hardy kiwi a few years before but it didn’t impress me … very little fruit production (with a pollinator) and soft thin skinned insipid berries… But the Anna’s took off, and I loved them! Ripening earlier than the fuzzy’s, they became my go-to fruit ... within an orchard packed with good stuff….
With my pottery-capable clay soil.. mild fertilizing, summer watering, full sun and heavy mulch, they thrived, competing nicely with their aggressive fuzzy neighbors. With no apparent pathogens or native pests (Yamhill County, OR) beyond fencing them from deer, all was well.
That’s why, when attending my last AAFS (in Canby I believe), having someone arrive with a multitude of ‘even better,’ or at least far larger and many different colored and flavored Hardy Kiwi, they had my full attention! I believe they’d actually trekked to China for several of them.. with some still being un-named ‘Numbered Varieties.’ ...not sure about my notes.. it was a tuff time, ending with the eventual sale of my homestead/ orchard. But it, yet again, sparked me as to the value and richness of this organization!
Over East, on the Blue Ridge of SW Virginia ...I’m getting closer to figuring out which side’s up Just had more Concord grapes than I could eat off my second year vine, and fruit from nearly every tree in my young ‘mini orchard.’ But I'm not sure about the survivability of even hardy kiwi here on ‘the ridge’ … so I’m holding off, yet touring gardens and talking with locals.. And yet again, reminiscing over that one-time AAFS hardy kiwi feast
March 25, 2015
I'd posit the majority of hardy kiwi samples come from the collection at the USDA repository in Corvallis, OR.
Selection depends on availability, focus and ability of volunteers, the Wednesday before the event (usually).
The last couple of years have been skimpy. '16 the plants were headed back to start over, as dilapidated trellising was replaced. This years picking was slim because of, pollination and I think, most likely- the progression toward fruiting wood.
Next year, with no pollination issues, and adequete volunteers to collect, I'd expect a much wider selection of hardy kiwi.
March 16, 2015
June 17, 2015
Boy. I have so many questions and potential comments. I'll try to keep it brief ('cause I can be notoriously prolix)....
Viron -- I remember there were the occasional articles in the NAFEX publication years ago by people who were experimenting with Kiwi fruit cultivation. I believe that 'Ananasnaya' had only recently become available and there were a number of raves about it. [If I'm not mistaken, the name is Russian for "pineapple-like" (in flavor apparently)]. It was the one that I always figured I'd start with if I decided to tackle the kiwis. Then, in a subsequent issue or two I'd read somebody else's discouraging tale about their abject failure with kiwis. For whatever reasons (--aside from working way too much, not having enough quality time with my wife, insufficient time to water all the plants that I was already growing, sitting at the computer writing on the weekends, and all the other potential excuses....), I apparently just never felt ready to try and tackle another group of intriguing fruiting plants. Your doing well with them on "pottery-capable clay soil" has given me a spark of inspiration.
James -- I hadn't been aware that the USDA repository for Actinidia had been there at Corvallis. Do you know whether it's typical for some of these USDA repositories of unique, potentially irreplaceable genetic accessions to have to be tended by volunteers? Volunteers are great and always much appreciated, but I guess that I'd expect paid staffing to be adequate for knowledgeable maintenance of such rare collections. My naivete?
Jafar -- Any idea why the hardy (or perhaps all of the) USDA kiwi collection would be transferred down to UC Davis? At the ever accelerating rate of climatic change that's going on (--and quite reasonably discernible), it's hard for me to imagine hardy kiwis getting an appropriate number of "chill hours" in the Central Valley in the future. Might this be yet one more of "those bureaucratic" decisions made by the 3-piece-suit upper echelon who are clueless about the function and facts of what they actually oversee? I understand the value and importance of having genetic collections held at one particular USDA repository, but within any given diverse group of plants, there are different cultural needs. The USDA apple (Malus) collection is maintained at Geneva, NY, for example, but clearly their holdings are deficient in apple varieties that aren't hardy there but are appropriate for warmer more southern climes of the U.S. I wonder whether the USDA would be better served by having particular varieties of plants housed at more than one USDA repository in a region where the cultivar would actually thrive, rather than just assigning a particular genus to one specific repository whether they can maintain the entire collection or not. Sorry, Jafar: I'm "just thinking aloud." I guess I just don't think like a bureaucrat. I hope that if all the kiwis have been "re-assigned to UC Davis", Corvallis will still maintain what they have. I suppose it's up to the bureaucrats to make the decisions.
I suppose that the essential premise of the above is the old and wise adage: "don't put all your eggs in one basket." Spreading things around a bit can prevent total loss in one place or in one event.
OK, enough for now. I can sense that I've been listening to too much (real) news lately and my cynicism is showing (--Excuuuuuuuuse me!).
Enjoy the fall colors dear HOSers. Our dormant fruiters will start resting-up for next year and another season of surprises, trials, and pleasantries.
March 25, 2015
"James -- I hadn't been aware that the USDA repository for Actinidia had been there at Corvallis. Do you know whether it's typical for some of these USDA repositories of unique, potentially irreplaceable genetic accessions to have to be tended by volunteers? Volunteers are great and always much appreciated, but I guess that I'd expect paid staffing to be adequate for knowledgeable maintenance of such rare collections. My naivety?"
Reinettes, I'm sorry, my reference to volunteers was meant to be only of HOS volunteers, those doing the collecting of the available selections, for our event. Certainly, the care and feeding at the repository is carried on by knowledgable staffers.
The main collection for the hardy Kiwis being in Davis should not discount the 'minor' collection at the Corvallis field station, where the stem count is around 60 or 72 varieties. Those would be available for us to take as samples of fruit and of clonal material. Well over that number were unavailable to us; I think the focus of a breeding/crossing program, but I didn't think to ask that question. I think you may be relieved that 'all the eggs in one basket' is not nearly the reality. Pears, and blueberries and filberts are noted to be the Corvallis domain, if you will, but there are pear and blueberry and I'll assume, some filbert collections at other field stations as well. Maybe not as numerous, but as you stated, tracking/collecting what works in distinct climactic regions.
Similar example: in the '90's, pawpaw seedling trials were instituted in, what i heard, at least six field stations around the country, Corvallis being one of them. Not much goes on with them, they're pretty much are left alone to do what they do with minimal attention. From that Corvallis collection, are the majority of samples tasted at the AAFS event. Pretty tasty I must add. Such things go on.
June 17, 2015
Truly mea culpa! I misunderstood. I've been involved in several botanically- or horticulturally-oriented organizations over the decades and volunteers are truly the life-blood of so many of them! This is certainly the case with the Home Orchard Society, and I say God Bless them All! I'm glad to hear that there is still a "minor" collection there at Corvallis. Sixty or 72 varieties is certainly nothing to sneeze at. I hope that at a future AAF show HOS members will get a chance to be exposed to more of the variety available in the Actinidia cultivars.
Some Forum readers are probably thinking that I'm a rabble-rouser or trouble maker , but I certainly don't intend to be. I just always want what I think is best, but I realize that as an individual I only have my own opinion and perspective and that others have their own perspectives and may have differing opinions. It's my nature to be opinionated in an informal environment, but I shall try to be more tempered .
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