March 16, 2015
They talk about the Home Orchard Education center, aka the arboretum, also.
October 1, 2020
So is this CSA concept meant to be a new economic model for the orchard?
It's an interesting concept. I wish we had such a thing here but all the CSA's are pretty much limited to vegetables and not many of those.
Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.
March 16, 2015
March 16, 2015
Crankyankee, Affiliated with an organic CSA farm in Floyd Co. VA, I’d discussed the concept of adding fruit trees. My suggestion was a block of lesser disease prone pears, apples, and perhaps peaches, varieties having proven themselves (if by neglect alone) locally. They had/ have the land, but lack the patients…
If anything, the owner wanted ‘a wide variety of tree fruit.’ With the humidity driven disease pressures here in the Eastern US, along with my observations and experience amid several established orchards … a wide variety of ‘certified organic fruit’ was not a realistic venture, so I didn't recommend the attempt..
Regarding the Oregonian article on the HOS and Arboretum plans, it’s a well established diverse orchard, with seemingly 'in season' fruit to spare. And a great teaching tool there at the college!
With the abundance of commercial entities in the area already providing various orchard related programs, maybe they’ll ‘fill our void?’ Other than the massive ‘Scion Exchange’ (as we old-timers knew it) ...if once jokingly described to me as ‘the home virus exchange’ ...maybe the community is primed and capable of replacing many of the HOS events and activities?
I’ve sure missed HOS-like events over East ... for the past five years. While touring member’s orchards or dense-packed yards ..sipping cider, crunching apples or catching up with friends will surely be missed by all, there appears to be a number of venues willing and hopefully capable of filling our void
June 17, 2015
I'm still saddened by the demise of the HOS as we've known it, but I'm also curious about just what may arise in its wake. There are certainly many different directions that its former members could go. Clearly, the HOS was about tree fruits and bush fruits, and it fulfilled a vitally important role for many of us. On the other hand, I've also gotten the impression that very many fruit growers were people who love plants in general, and also cultivate vegetable gardens. This clearly doesn't describe former HOS members "across the board", but suggests a broader base of gardening interest, despite the fact that our focus has been -- and continues to be -- cultivating fruiting plants in the home landscape (--which in no way eliminates or negates those whose focus is more exclusively fruit trees or bush fruits).
Any who pursue their love of gardening and orcharding in the Pacific Northwest are aware of many unique challenges in our region, and many have sought advice in this regard with inquiries to the HOS Forum. I'm simply curious as to whether a subsequent organically-arisen organization -- formal or casual -- might have a broader approach to PNW plant cultivation. This I "throw out there" as a consideration, but not a suggestion. We just can't foresee what what might come next if there be anything close to a feeble "substitute"....
As for Viron's offhand comment of: "...the massive ‘Scion Exchange’ (as we old-timers knew it) ... once jokingly described to me as ‘the home virus exchange’..." ...I just had to laugh. Like Covid, I can't see the viruses, but I know they exist. From HOS material, I was able to acquire and learn a couple of pests that I was not previously familiar with. One was an obscure pestilence from a grape cutting that I rooted, which I "cured" by removing it, cutting it up, and burning it, before it could infect the adjacent rooted grape cuttings of other varieties. The second was from a minuscule critter called "Pearleaf Blister Mite", which first appeared on new grafts of 'Rescue' and 'Orcas' pears, and which have since been spreading among my pears and will have to be dealt with this winter as best I can. These little buggers are about 1/5th millimeter long, but boy can they get around. At least one of them was able to travel, somehow, about 8 meters against the prevailing wind to infect a first-year seedling of 'Duchesse d'Angouleme'.
Life is about constantly learning and adapting. Some things we know; for other things we need knowledgeable people to ask, or reliable references to access. Any new organization should have knowledgeable people who are willing to help answer questions from the general public, or at least from objective, rational experience....
OK. In this 2020 Covid year, I guess it's time to scrounge something to eat and then go binge-watch something. Best wishes to all of you Forumites. Follow rational scientific protocols and stay safe! There's still a long way to go.
June 21, 2015
I'm not sure how long I've participated in the HOS Forum. I like very much that it exists, and number of members have ideas about growing fruit, that overlap my own. I have about 50 years of garden experience, including fruit, but only 24 years of that in the Pacific NW. A number of my trees are 20 years old.
Unfortunately for more participation in HOS, I live in Clark county. I m not normal, i that I hate driving and traffic. Often, I was working on the days of HOS events, and I worked very long hours. Then I had chronic illness, retired, and stuff happened. One of my hopes in retirement was to be able to participate more in HOS.
There were some attempts at doing more but it did not happen. I actually don't quite understand completely, but that's how it goes sometimes.
I don't really like having commercial outfits take over roles but that's how it is. Many nurseries sell products that don't produce, don't survive here, are over hyped, or just dwindle away. I've probably spent a couple hundred $ on peaches that didn't survive due to PLC and canker, cherries that died due to canker, certain fig cultivars that did not produce in our climate, bush cherries that died, to name some. HOS, on the other had, had lots of members with a wealth of local experience, who know what works for them, usually are not trying to sell something, and have a lot of enthusiasm.
What I will miss is that wealth of experience, more opportunities to share mine, opportunities to share some of my varieties and even started plants and trees, and the sense that there are people out there who are just as much into their orchards as I am into mine.
June 17, 2015
Nice post. I commiserate in so many ways. I've been growing plants since I was a kid in about 2nd grade and love to experiment with plants that aren't commercially available but that I love. I've gardened in southern Brazil, three of the midwest states, and southern California,... but I have to admit that the challenges that I've experienced here in SW Washington over the last 21 years are the most trying and vexing that I've encountered.
Each year I still experiment -- hopefully -- with vegetables that simply can't take the cool nights and lower heat units than they need. I'm always searching catalogs for good items from other countries that might produce in a shorter season or be successful with fewer heat units than what the species normally needs.
As for fruits, right up front I have to give up on anything like bananas, pineapple, jaboticaba, mango, tangerines, chocolate persimmons, passion fruits, cherimoya, etc. Unless I win the lottery and can build and heat a big greenhouse, it ain't going to happen.
As for the temperate fruits, I love most of them, but some are still going to be a challenge here because of our local pests, and especially because of our endemic diseases and cool wet climate. Trying to find stone fruits that will thrive and produce continues to be a challenge in the face of Northwest anthracnose, and the fact that a lot of them are often trying to flower and set fruit while it's still rainy and cool. If they manage to set fruit, one still has to worry about various bacterial and fungal diseases....
I don't mean to be depressing. It's just that we keep trying to learn by experience and observation and input from people who have learned by the same means. When we do find things that will do well in our area, those need to be made known so that others can reap the benefit.
When it comes to apples, I have so many favorites from taste tests at the All About Fruit Show in the past, but there is usually still some experimentation necessary. I find that apples from Britain often do well because of the similar climate. To live is to learn, and my favorite place to learn is in The Great Outdoors. ...Let me not forget pears and quinces....
I've gained special appreciation for Black Currants, Blueberries, and Aronia, which do very well here, and even the invasive irrepressible Himalaya Blackberry. The last couple of years I've been thinking that I should make a wine out of blackberries and Aronia; I think they'd make a nice gustatory balance. Treasure and savour those things that do well for you where you are. Most of us want our little patch of Eden in our yards.
Hang in there and don't give up. We're all waiting for a better future than this whack-a-doo 2020!
March 16, 2015
I live on the west side of Portland and it is hard to imagine that the climate could be so different than other parts of western Washington. Plums are extremely productive here. Most cherries are grown in OR and WA. We are the pear state. Super productive. I grow palms, cactus, mulberry, quince, passionflowers, etc., and they all do really well. I've known that Portland gets more heat than some parts of W WA, but I never thought it was a huge difference.
August 3, 2015
When watching the TV news on Portland stations, it is remarkable how consistently the Kelso/Longview temperatures and precipitation vary from Portland numbers, less than 50 miles to the south. The WA towns are often 5 to 10 degrees cooler, especially in summer. Not a different climate, or even hardiness zone, but it could have an effect on fruit growing.
March 27, 2015
I live on "Prune Hill" in Camas (Clark County, WA). This entire area used to be prune (Italian plum) orchards. My neighbor has 7 trees from the old prune orchard days. They are super healthy and productive, and he doesn't baby them at all. You can fill a 5 gallon bucket from any of his trees just standing in one spot. I have several plum trees and quite a few grafted varieties. Some do great, some do nothing, some are sickly. So you're right, we need to be trying lots of varieties and share our lessons learned.
There used to be a big prune festival here, organized by the "Prunarians" (hmm, I wonder where they got the idea for that name...). Their leader was the "Big Prune". Every year some lucky girl was crowned the "Prune Queen".
August 3, 2015
March 25, 2015
RE: issues in PNW per post-6
I don't really like having commercial outfits take over roles but that's how it is. Many nurseries sell products that don't produce, don't survive here, are over hyped, or just dwindle away. I've probably spent a couple hundred $ on peaches that didn't survive due to PLC and canker, cherries that died due to canker, certain fig cultivars that did not produce in our climate, bush cherries that died, to name some.
It's not just the products with the problems, nurseries also surrender. I bought a batch of wild apricots from an establishment that was growing apricots from seed in western Washington. Of ten only one plant was alive a year later. The parent company from a state in the Rocky mountains surrendered a couple years ago. I have my single siberian apricot breeder plant still alive, I expected it so as a result was never impacted, but I agree with the idea that people thinking everything sold is going to work just isn't true. It was ten trees dug prior to December that I picked up myself in person in Olympia and sheltered when I got home. Ten was the minimum order. Olympia WA is just like Battleground WA. My bush apricot in a pot might set flower this year.
June 19, 2018
I kept hearing nightmares about apricots so I am going to try an Aprium tree as I figured some plum heritage might help. I tried one at Portland Nursery and it was amazing. However, "Flavor Delight" blossoms early like an apricot, so it would probably be inconsistent. So I am buying "Summer Delight" which typically blossoms around April 1st in our climate, which is about 1-2 weeks after the last frost in Portland. Hopefully, it will work. One question about some of these sensitive trees is where to plant them. I keep hearing that you should plant them in a sheltered, warmer area- but then I hear you should do the opposite to avoid bud break too soon. Would be helpful to know.
March 25, 2015
I think it's wrong to assume that frost is solely the issue. Apricot flowers shed flowers ever so easily. Having looked at reviews of others that have even included short briefs between people on the topic of hypersensitivity, I think apricot flowers have, by built in design, the ability to shed flowers to avert disease and viruses. The late Lon Rombough (ms) was one of the examples telling of some nut tree species that immediately discard the female organ once a virus is detected.
It is really interesting readings most of which are coming into fruition inside the last 20 years. That trees are seen to have hypersensitive feelers for nematodes in the roots, in likeness to enemy attack into flowers, and moving a tree or frost on an apricot flower could be also sensed by the plant as the same thing.
You should be able to avoid pathogens during the flowering period of apricot simply keeping the wood dried. I avoided fungal leaf curl and diseases on peaches grown outdoors by developing an umbrella by the new year and into March 1st. After which the peach will not bloom earlier unless completely enclosed.
March 16, 2015
Yes , I have heard that about peaches: cover from Dec 1 to March something and you avoid peach leaf curl, but as Rooney says, that's not the only issue. Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches and many types of cherries hate our cool wet springs. Diseases abound. I may try some of these tricks over the next few years.
March 25, 2015
For years I've noticed apricot flowers being so different then those other tree types you listed. Which is why I suspect apricot flowering organs being super-sensitive the way Lon said concerning the nuts trees. It's seen by playing with the fully developed flowers with your fingers a little that they cough off of the fixation point of the branch. The other prunus types cling. So in theory Nectarines, peaches, cherries, and plums are really not super-sensitive (so much as these) is because the special female organs related to /nut types and with /"all" apricots that I've seen, as witnessed so far --are coughing off floral organs.
The word super-sensitive is synonymous to hypersensitive is also synonmous with the experiment performed with the link in this post.
As in all apricots and a few cultivar specifics for nuts are floral, the assumption here is cherry is more specific to other locations in the tree per 2014. Where small scale RNAs were implicated moving upwards across the graft union and awaited by the less sensitive scion to ramp into fight-flight mode.
Almost synonymous: hypersensitive equals genome in a state of preparedness before the highest threat of attack is imminent.
This google scholar link might be interesting:
2014 scion cherry grafting experiment on a cherry hypersensitive rootstock
March 25, 2015
Yes: plant umbrellas still work here on all prunus (not plum) and I am sorry to get off topic. One word of forward caution is there is more research needed to uncover the truthfulness on apricots verses local disease.
Maybe: lots depends on the orientation of the graft, ability of the hybrid scion, the circadian rhythm of rootstock verses scion and the pathways etc.
Good idea though. My hunza apricot was late flowering and still got destroyed when I missed proper coverage. The rootstock was wild manchurian apricot.
June 19, 2018
Thanks for your interesting perspective. Guess things are more complex than one can comprehend. It sounds like going for a sheltered spot against the west side of the house, sheltered from east winds, may not be a bad idea even at the risk of the blooms starting a bit early. If nothing else, consider it an experiment.
March 25, 2015
I think you're right about that. I also did not eliminate the manchurian apricot suckers from the basal portion and around the area where earth meets wood. Such a case would have collected bacterial pseudomonas at that place exposed and was never protected by the umbrella. Apricots will be what they are.
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