I planted my apple trees a few years ago and became accustomed to them just being trees. Lo and behold! Two of the four dwarf trees were loaded with apples this year! I kept waiting for the apples to start turning red, but when they got bright yellow, they began falling off the limbs. Duh, yellow apples, not red ones!
Naturally I had not adequately planned what to do with them yet. Weren’t apples supposed to get ripe in the fall? Well, I use apples in muffins, pandowdy, crumbles and such so I peeled, cored and sliced about 40 of them and mixed them in a great big pot with a generous slop of cinnamon and nutmeg, a little milk and flour, and simmered them until they got to about 40% of their original volume. Ready for anything!
Now they’re in the freezer, awaiting the next cobbler…pandowdy…pie..
I have a chewed up Winesap that is not going to make it. If everybody had as much trouble as me when it comes to fruit, the suppliers would not be able to give trees and plants away. Phooey.
You may know I work in town and only get home to the cabin on weekends. I have a small rocked front yard with the center cleared for a good-sized strawberry patch. My dwarf fruit trees live in big containers arranged around the patch. Last March one Friday, I rolled in after dark, so missed the tragedy on the snow covered ground.
That next morning I went out to check on my trees, to see the bud progress and look for bugs. I saw to my horror that one had been dragged away. I followed the dirt trail to the gnawed, misshapen fiber container. Then I spied the five foot switch in the weeds, chewed, that used to be a healthy second year Winesap Apple tree.
Thinking it might still be dormant enough, I replanted it. I sprayed it along with the others. I hoped. It really seemed like it might survive. Now I despair. Unlike the Gala, the Rome and the Yellow Delicious, this poor guy is brittle. No burgeoning buds. I can’t help but believe that if I could have found it much sooner I could have saved it. But I was 70 miles away.
I put a taller fence around the center garden patch. Ugly. However I do have indoor critters to raise my spirits…
Labor Day signals the waning of summer. It sends a strong signal to me that I’d better get all my fermentation done. Fermentation does best, especially for the ale, in a warm house. I am really frugal with using heat that costs me so summer ’tis the season. Therefore today there is a batch of old ale, a batch of Yorkshire bitter and three batches of red wine in fermentation.
I think I have the hundred bottles I need for the ales, unless some are uncappable. Better find some spares. Okay for the ales. What about the wine?
There are enough bale-top Italian wine bottles for one six-gallon batch, maybe. There are enough plastic fruit juice bottles (think cranberry juice) for one batch and part of the third one. Time to drink up that healthy fruity juice, at least four half-gallon bottles of it, by next weekend!
Over the last couple years, I have purchased several red raspberry plants from Stark Bros, an outfit I have been happy with for many years. My continued complete lack of raspberries to pile in a bowl in the kitchen is not their fault. I got not one raspberry this year. Sure, I saw quite a few clusters ripening, I just didn’t get to them first.
I got a book that showed how to string the lines between posts for them to grow across. I read how to fertilize and spray them for insects. I perused sellers of bird netting. I know what I should have done. Naturally, I did little of it.
The raspberries mainly survived and are bushy with vines winding through the peach and apple trees. They had a spurt of tiny berries the birds found appetizing. If I can get my act together, in a few weeks I’ll review the pages on pruning and pick up my end of the bargain I made when I brought these hapless plants into my yard. Maybe, depending on the great mess of other stuff I gotta take care of. Looks like I bit off more than I could chew, but the lure of juicy raspberries to stain my teeth remains strong. I can almost taste them, a reminder of care not taken. A slurp of coffee will wash that sorry taste of neglect away so I can go grab a pair of gloves and at least get the major weeds outta there. I really will, in a minute…
I purchased a couple Heartnut trees from Stark Bros in April and planted them bare roots, right away. I used big fiber pots and made sure they got ample water and sun. I wrote back to the company several weeks ago and asked why they had not leafed out. All they did was sprout a sucker from the grafted base. No reply.
I wrote a complaint about the silence, saying I’d sent pictures and the receipt, what more would they want. The Customer Service lady wrote back in apology. She said the Stark server crashed and all the messages recently received were gone. I believe her. Better, she recommended I prune the top third of each tree off to wake the sleepy trees up. Clipper in hand, lop and lop.
Alas, here it is August with no improvement. The suckers from below the graft are alive, but not the grafted part I needed. So they are dead, but partly alive. Zombies! Don’t get too close! Time to complain again!
Oh, in the top picture it may appear the sticks have foliage. That’s raspberries ambling around them.