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Book reviews
The best books on raising fruit or doing stuff with it(i.e. Jam, and Cider for example)
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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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March 14, 2022 - 10:04 pm

I am curious what everyone else is reading and what they have found useful.

I have read a great many books on fruit and the last two years(for obvious reasons) and some have been very good.

 

I also used to work (I'm retired, I highly recommend it!) at UCLA which gave me access to the entire University of California Library. The best fruit book was an older book on growing perry pears in Great Britain. 

Pears of Gloucestershire and Perry Pears of the Three Counties. The Gloucestershire Pomona Series.
Martell, Charles. Might be 80 years before these came into production, but they live for 100s of years.

My wife adores perry so its why I read it. We have a few pears trees here(Philomath) and I would like to plant more.

 

More recently from the Benton County library. Is Fruit trees in every Garden, by Orin Martin. He runs the orchard at UCSC. I thought it was a good book. It is not centered in California, it is nationwide. He give a breakdown of the various fruits and varieties that can be grown in different places. He places an emphasis on taste and organic methods.  The bibliography alone is worth checking it out from a library. I am planning on adding it to my person library, being both a fruit geek and a book nerd it was not a hard call.

 

What have you read that was good or helpful?

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FruitGardener
Vista, CA, USA
22 Posts
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March 16, 2022 - 4:17 pm

It seems that Philomath would be a good place for mathematicians to retire, of which I am. My wife adores pears as well but we have retired in NW Vista CA which has maybe about 200 chill hours below 45°F and zero below 35°F. Additionally there is tremendous fireblight pressure. I'm growing Hood with great success. Recently I obtained fruit stock from a 100+ year-old Seckle grafted onto seedling of same from Felix Gillet Institute. We'll see how it fares. I have grown her several apple cultivars of which she prefers the 1000 y.o. White Winter Pearmain and none of the others.

I grew up in Redlands CA among many kinds of fruits. My go-to book for fruit is still the Joy Of Cooking, plus the label of Kerr's Low Sugar Pectin. Through trial and error I've managed to make jellies of all kinds of Citrus.

Are you familiar with the old Ball Bluebook Series? Some of them are quite interesting, with chapters on how many linear feet of each vegetable to plant and how many quart jars will be needed to store food to feed the family until next year's harvest.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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3
March 16, 2022 - 5:51 pm

Its a good place for most fruit and berries. Pears for sure, Mandarins not so much, but you can't have everything.(or you can, we may get another greenhouse for just the citrus) Vista sounds like a tough place for non tropical fruit. We lived in Van Nuys before but Vista sounds even warmer especially at night. I have the ball canning book, but I didn't know they had or used to have other books. Need to look into that. 

I have the Joy of Cooking, but it changes quite a bit depending on what version you have. Learned to cook in the eighties, so that's the one I have, but they do vary a lot over time. I love citrus jams , but my wife doesn't like jam at all. Its a lot of work to make jam just for me.

I remember when  a high in the fifties was a cold day. Now the mid fifties is conserved a warm spring day, our bees are still dormant. 

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FruitGardener
Vista, CA, USA
22 Posts
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March 16, 2022 - 6:54 pm

Yes, the J of C was updated c. 1980's because flour had changed so much and electric stoves were widespread. Otherwise my 2005 hardbound does not miss a subject in my 1967 version and perhaps has added a few. If your wife likes baked fruits and enjoys figs, I can recommend the following:

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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5
March 16, 2022 - 8:35 pm

I have read that, the local library has it. Looks really good, but no figs on the property so far. I have read here on the forums that they will grow in the PNW if you have the right varieties. Its one of the fruit trees I want to add. We had that in Van Nuys, Panache or tiger fig, but the fruit never matured. Not sure why.

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John S
PDX OR
2549 Posts
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6
March 16, 2022 - 9:22 pm

cmullin: Figs do grow well here, but the varieties are different than your figs from SoCal.

Apples for the 21st century by Warren Marnhart is a great book.

I'd like to reread The Apple Grower by Michael Phillips, since he just died. 

Lee Reich wrote a series of great books on unusual fruits "Uncommon fruits for every garden " or something like that.

John S
PDX OR

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FruitGardener
Vista, CA, USA
22 Posts
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7
March 16, 2022 - 9:23 pm

That's very odd in Van Nuys. For your present location I recognize a few avatars here who might offer robust advice.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
(Offline)
8
March 18, 2022 - 7:00 am

cmullin said
I have read that, the local library has it. Looks really good, but no figs on the property so far. I have read here on the forums that they will grow in the PNW if you have the right varieties. Its one of the fruit trees I want to add. We had that in Van Nuys, Panache or tiger fig, but the fruit never matured. Not sure why.

  

@cmullin,here is a link to a summary I wrote regarding my fig experiences some time back, in Vancouver and Battle Ground, WA.  Your climate in Philomath should be similar, but slightly more fig friendly.

I will update on my varieties and experiences, on that link.  That was 7 years ago.

Panache needs really warm conditions to mature.  

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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9
March 24, 2022 - 2:29 pm

I am reading Sumac, about Syrian food. The food looks good, and since it is a lot of dried spices and herbs, I can get the ingredients online. We used to live in Van Nuys and there was a great Syrian restaurant there, best hummus I ever had. It was so creamy.

I am also enjoying the new season of "Gardeners World". Britain has a similar climate to the Willamette valley, so it is useful. There seems to be very little gardening programming here in the US. Also Charles Dowding, has good videos on YouTube and I have read at least some of his books(he is a very prolific writer). He write mostly about vegetables, but there is some good fruit tree info as well.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
10
March 24, 2022 - 7:10 pm

Fun reading this.  Back in 1980, when I left Michigan, I thought for awhile of living in Vista California.  I knew a gentleman who had moved his greenhouse business to Vista from Massachusetts.  I thought about working there, and I had a great aunt with a home in Vista who could rent me a room.  On her property she had some familiar plants from my childhood, like Annona cherimoya with ripe fruits.  I no longer recall why I didn't settle there.  Fate took me onward.

FruitGardener in Vista:  I don't know how old you are, or how large your parcel is, but because of your local climate I simply must suggest that you plant at least three Parana pines (Araucaria angustifolia).  That's about the only area in the U.S. where they will grow successfully.  They're beautiful trees, and the seeds are truly delicious.  ...Just one of those things from my childhood.

cmullin:  As for cooking spices, the best place that I've found is back in New York.  It's called "My Spice Sage".  ...A broad range of offerings at reasonable prices.  Check it out.  It's a perfect source for adventurous cooks and immigrants from various countries.

Reinettes.

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FruitGardener
Vista, CA, USA
22 Posts
(Offline)
11
March 24, 2022 - 8:06 pm

Reinettes,

Thank you for mentioning Araucaria angustifolia. I found an interesting article about the species on Wikipedia. It is quite a nut producer in Brazil. However, I do not have space to grow it on my 1/4 acre. I'd have to remove 5 of my 30 in-ground fruit trees to make room! I wonder though - perhaps there is a specimen at Alta Vista or San Diego Botanical Garden?

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
12
March 25, 2022 - 4:48 pm

Laugh Yes, FruitGardener...  You'd definitely need some room for those Araucaria trees!...  

I recall seeing the species first listed in the U.S. by a tree nursery in San Diego in about, perhaps, 1997 before I left SoCal.  Perhaps you could contact them and see whether they sold some to a park or botanical garden way-back-when.  I returned to southern Brazil to travel around for several months in 1982, and brought back some seeds.  I think that I had some 11 saplings, but one-by-one they died on me.  It's because I had been in SoCal long enough that I thought all conifers required a dryish soil.  I would have done better based on personal observation than assumption.  Ultimately I had one left when I realized that it was a conifer that liked moisture.  When I got married and moved, I gave that solitary tree, in a half-barrel, to my brother-in-law (now ex-) who promised to follow my instructions.  ...That was the end of any Parana pine in the Pomona Valley. Cry

Reinettes.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
(Offline)
13
March 25, 2022 - 9:24 pm

The Spice sage looks good. I have bookmarked it. I get most of my spices from spicewalla. They do great blends, and I love the square metal spice storage. I can get refills for the tins. The piri piri is awesome on chicken wings. 

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
14
March 26, 2022 - 5:45 pm

I have a small bag of Piri piri that I've used sparingly here-and-there.  Perhaps some day I'll get to Portugal and get a good sense of how it's traditionally used.  In my cooking, I'm "cautiously experimental".  There are always some pleasant surprises amid the "exotic" herbs.

Reinettes.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
(Offline)
15
March 26, 2022 - 6:21 pm

Reinettes,

I think it is more used in Southern africa, South Africa,Mozambique, Angola than Portugal. If you want to give it a try , put some Nandos sauce on some chicken, and supermarket should have it. Nothing to prepare ,beyond the chicken. They are big in the UK and bizarrely Indiana.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
16
March 27, 2022 - 7:54 pm

cmullin,

Mozambique and Angola were both formerly Portuguese colonies from "way back".  It doesn't surprise me that piri piri came into use there....  But Indiana?! Laugh  Wow!  I'm a Hoosier by birth, but spent little time there.  I wonder who's pioneering that back in the Hoosier state.  Pretty fascinating!  I'm unfamiliar with Nandos sauce.  Can you give me a clue what it's like?  I'm usually good for some experimentation.  It's always helpful to have grown up with certain spicings and being intimately familiar with where, how, and when to use them.

Basically, I like to eat, and I like to sample the wonderful diversity of foods and spices "out there".  Back in Indiana, the "spices" were usually salt, pepper, and butter. Smile

Reinettes.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
(Offline)
17
March 28, 2022 - 11:52 am

Try this.

https://tasteasianfood.com/nan.....i-chicken/

 

You can rif on it, but it give the basics. You can obviously use it on things other than chicken, but its the best I have had.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
18
March 29, 2022 - 4:18 pm

cmullin,

Thank you for the site reference; I bookmarked it, then realized that I need to start a new file just for recipes and cooking sites.  My listed "favorites" is longer than a pro basketballer's leg, and it's clear that I need to break it down into individual files.

Bird's Eye chilis will be tough.  With our local cool nights and limited heat units my wife and I have been frustrated in efforts to grow chilis, tomatoes, eggplants, sesame, etc.  We're going to need to build at least one modest greenhouse for some heat-loving vegetables, but then we'd also be able to transplant and grow her three (current) tortured citrus plants to actual fruit production instead of sticking them in a cold-frame each autumn.  I'm fairly sure that my fantasy of growing mangoes and jaboticabas won't be coming true.  I guess we'll just have to save some money for exotic travel.  [My wife has been begging for this for a few years, but money is tight.] Smile

Reinettes.

P.S.-- Right now the priority is a big veggie garden this year given the cost of produce.  Plus, I'm behind on fruit tree grafting and pruning!

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
(Offline)
19
March 29, 2022 - 8:27 pm

Just finished Trees for gardens, orchards & permaculture by Crawford, Martin.

 I enjoyed it. It was not the first book I have read on permaculture, but its  the first since moving to Philomath. Its a good book on permaculture, but its focus was very broad. It include all of North America and all of Europe. So the list of fruit and nut trees defiantly need to be cross checked with the Pacific Northwest for compatibility. Still have a list of specific tree and bushes is much better that the theoretical books I have read before. I would not buy this one this one , but its worth a check out of the library.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
20
April 1, 2022 - 5:37 pm

cmullin,

Since the topic of this string is "Book Reviews", and since you appear to desire to grow apple trees in your retirement, I'll re-mention a book that I mentioned a few years ago on the Forum.  I acquired it 7 years ago, but when I mentioned it I indicated that I thought it "a bit pricey" given that it's a paperback.  It's the 2nd Edition of a "Compendium of Apple and Pear Diseases and Pests".  It was published by The American Phytopathological Society [q.v.].  I continue to use it as a reference, and wouldn't do without it for trouble-shooting.  I can no longer recall what the actual cost was [--perhaps I'm mentally blocking it--], but I still think it was worth the cost.  I'm aware that books with a very limited audience almost invariably have to charge more, because there will be far fewer sales than, say, a new Stephen King book or one of the multitudinous paperback Romances pumped out by the millions each year, but I think that it's worthy of owning as a reference... and very likely to be made use of.

Reinettes.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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21
April 1, 2022 - 9:10 pm

Reinettes

 

Wow! you are not kidding. Amazon has the book, buts its $130. Ouch! but you seem to think its worth it. Even the kindle(which I don't have) is $110. I don't think I have ever seen a kindle for that much. Do you have a lot of pests where you live? We have scab, on the apples(not sure of the variety/ies) but the pear seemed to do just fine. Our library(Benton County Oregon ) does not have it. The amazon  preview is not great, may not even  be working. I will need to discuss with my wife, that is a serious chunk of change. I do really appreciate the recommendation though, its not your fault its so expensive.

OSU and UO do not have it, the closest library is WSU.  I checked every digital library in Oregon that I have access to and well they don't have it. Still its national right? Not specific to the PNW. The recommendation is very much appreciated. I am a nerd, used to be a finance nerd, would like to be a naturalist-plant-fruit nerd. My wife has a PhD in astronomy, I have an MBA sow out combined library is extensive. So what do we want to do, buy more books(or read more from the library) I currently read about 20 books a week.  I now get much more excited about salamanders than Net present value.

This is all a long, and winded way of saying Thank you!

 

Chris

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
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22
April 4, 2022 - 3:15 pm

LaughLaughLaughLaugh

So very sorry, cmullin!  I bought mine 7 years ago and I knew that I had cringed greatly at the price, but I couldn't remember just quite exactly how much I had paid.  I got mine out and found that I hadn't written the price on the title page, but sometimes I put the receipt paperwork in the back instead.  I found that, and I still cringed.  It was brand new, hot off the press [2nd Ed.], but I paid $99 for it, plus S&H.  I hate to be reminded of the cost, but I like to try and find comprehensive references that will be of use for many years.  

Again, I apologize.... --  ...By the way, there's an original Gutenberg Bible being auctioned online that you might want to bid on.... Wink

I'm sure that you'll be able to find necessary info in various other books, but I have to admit that I use this particular reference each year for "trouble-shooting", given that apples and pears (--especially the latter--) do best on our heavy clay soil, in our microclimate, but occasionally come up with something that I need a good reference for.  

I'm not a pressure salesman.  Whether or not you get it is entirely up to you.

Reinettes.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
(Offline)
23
August 21, 2022 - 1:38 pm

Just read COLD HARDY FRUITS AND NUTS. Really good. It has some fruit and nuts I have not thought of or even heard of.  The Akebia, Chinese Kiwi, Maypop and Shipoval and just few that were new to me.  It reminded me of a book on tropical fruits, but for this(Western Oregon) and much colder climates.   There are also some familiar fruits (to me) like lingonberry, and Nanking cherry. I got it out of the library(Benton County) and liked it so much I bought it. I recommend the book.

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