Met3 Group Leader
A dehydrator is cheap when you consider it will last for many years. Ours had 8 racks inside. It's circular and rotates while drying the leaves or seeds. It doesn't get real hot and my wife just sets it on the end of the counter where there is a plug and just lets it run day and night and it doesn't that that long at all.RHPeat, you're amazing. Wish I could see your orchard!
Thank you for the dehydrator idea. I'm trying to get an herb garden going. Once I win the battle with the squirrels I'm going to have more than I can use. Was thinking of hanging to dry but we're so humid here, a dehydrator would make for a fine solution.
We treasure our canning as well if the grown kids don't take them. I got angry about it one year because we did all this canning and then they took it and we didn't last the winter without having to buy canned fruit. That was wrong and I told my wife not to be doing that any longer. We break our backs picking harvesting peeling. jarring, and then canning and end up with just a few jars. It was crazy. Her son came up from the basement where we keep the jars cool on shelve with a load of our canning and I asked him where he was when I was climbing a ladder to pick the fruit? Where was he when we did all the work of canning? I said do we still have 24 jars of each thing down there for twice in each month to taste them? He said he didn't count the jars. I said well maybe you should do that so your mother and I can taste the fruit of our labor that you are just ripping off.My mother was a hippie in denial--she canned everything out of her 2 acre garden on the stovetop. After we moved, we treasured those canned goods like gold--nothing like them in the stores. 5 years later, they tasted as fresh as the day we canned them. But I only remember how to can the tomatoes & how to make peach jelly. Never used a pressure cooker. But I was looking at pressure cookers at Farm & Fleet yesterday so maybe this is an omen...
Yah, it is good feeling to hear the canning jars pop....the sounds of childhood!
My wife composts everything that is organic in the kitchen. It goes into a small stainless steel bucket by the sink. When that's full we put in A Japanese type muncher that lets it rot with a bacteria that's added. Then I bury it in the garden. I'm constantly digging little trenches about 4 foot long and 3 feet deep dumping it in and covering it over. I generally wet the ground ahead of time in the summer. Makes it easier to do.I have been thinking about composting in place. Do you have any problems with squirrels/skunks/racoons digging them up? Any odors?
Cook the apples and put them in a stainless steel bowl and take a hand blender and it done in no time. With two people one is doing the blending and another is ladling into the jars by the time she's done I've got more her to do. If you want to doctor up your apple sauce or apple butter try two cloves in the jar or add a table spoon of cinnamon to the blender concoction. It's great either way. It's still great over Ice Cream. But we don't eat much Ice Cream because of our age.My Great-Grandmother would simmer the chopped apples on low all day, no mashing or blending. Keep a little red skin in with them to add a blush of pink, and for a smoother texture add butter. But if you add butter, she'd say that batch couldn't be canned. I add cardamom & enjoy warm over ice cream.
If you buy miniature trees you can buy thin felt blanket at the nursery. You only have to cover the tops and the leave of the tree. I only do it is the weather report says it's going to freeze. I only do it to the evergreen fruits Citrus Fruits. can freeze. Any thing deciduous will be fine. This is timpical of all trees that lose their leaves in the fall. They won't freeze. Citrus comes in the fall general where I live, and pomegranates are last of percephonie's curse. Why she has to return to the underworld. She comes with Jonquils the first to bloom but she returns in the fall with ripening of the pomegranates. I have written so many poems about this because I have both on my property and I see it all happening. It takes a really deep ground freeze to kill the roots of a tree. If the lose their leave the sap stops running and the that's the time to prune and cut back as well for fruit trees. Only fruit barring evergreen trees need to be protect from freezing. In California the large orchard use smudge pots. Oil heaters out in the rows of trees. Or electric in some cases. Solar powered now. I just use these thin felt tarps that cover their tops and I tie them to the trunk below. with twine. I have the twine tied to the 4 corners of the tarp. Each one gets pulled in a different direction over the top of the tree that way. No stakes require and freezing doesn't happen until winder and the fruit is picked in the late fall. Mandarin oranges are just fantastic fruit and I get some much off of my 6 trees Mandarin Oranges, one Blood-Orange, one Myres Lemmon and one Myres Lime — all miniature trees that we can't eat it all we actually send the six kid a box of fruit for the Hollidays. Hawaii, Idaho, and two in California. One I can have her pick her own. I just give her a plastic bag and tell her to fill it.Ah, and that's where I need a nurseryman. I've noticed that much of what's sold around here comes up from down south, but we're right on the edge of zone 4. Why they do that I don't know--makes me afraid anything I buy that I can't source will freeze & die on me. I found a nice little patio tree with 4 different cherry varieties grafted onto one tree BUT--guess what--where I'm at is too cold! I'm determined to find a sweet cherry that can survive the winters here...
Yes you want to do that. There are other root stocks too, but ask them at the nursery and talk to them about what is best for your area. They are always helpful to me. After all they want to sell you the material. But if you're doing stump grafts you want to got and talk to someone with an orchard and just ask to pick up some of their clippings. If want different plums that might have those in one orchard grouped in different places. then you need cold tar after you graft the stump. If you know what the cambium layer is than it should be any problem. You just cut the clipping to about 5 inches with at least 4 or more buds on it. Then you slice the stock in small area at the bottom at an angle showing part of the cambium all the way around the that twig. then you want to slip the wedge down between the bark and the cambium on the tree trunk so that the cambium of each is touching. About for or 5 things will make a good tree. They will grow fast in the spring. Those twigs with become the hight of head where the tree branches out in different directing, and eventually it will all fill in. but the graft will only take if that cambium is touching on both sides. But the little wedge shape will help draw sap when it begins to run as well. But the open part of the stump need protecting from ants and other insects. So you can just cover that with cold tar. Just think enough to cover the area with no wood exposed where the old tree was cut off. two years you should have fruit with plums because of the full root system for the old tree the new one will grow faster than a new sealing. Remember plums take two years grow to produce. An unpruned sampling needs to be planed and cut off for height of head so check for bud down low on the stock of the sapling if you by one.Yes, grafting isn't hard to do. Assuming, of course, you've got the plant materials to work with. I didn't know that about black walnut as a rootstock--good to know. I should ask when I buy what the root stock is.
We had good blue berries for about 3 years until the deer came and mowed them down to nothing.Yes, I've seen apple orchards here maintained at a nice u-pick height. To maximize my use of the yard, I'm planning on planting under a wire & pruning to a weeping form where I have overhead wires. But it depends on what I want to plant. I know I can do that with my mulberries.
Well moving ladder is a chore and if you do it for awhile it can become tiring. it depends on how much you have to pick and how high the trees are. I have a small 4 foot ladder and a 10 foot ladder. That's 3 legged ladders which you put through he crotch of the tree. That's another reason of a low height of head on the tree.Yes, that's what the doctor told my Great-Grandmother when she went in for falling off the ladder while picking apples. After that, she'd look both ways down the street to make sure her neighbors weren't watching before setting up her ladder. Although, I seem to recall her grumbling that she wasn't using a ladder when she fell out of the tree, but I think she got the point. (She was in her 80's!) Personally, I'm not too keen on ladders, either.
Yes a dwarf tree is a miniature same thing. I have six dwarf mandarin orange trees and they are enough to fill our refrigerator compartments for 3 months of oranges and my wife eats one every morning in the winter. When they are not in season she buys them at the store. I wouldn't put to dwarfs in the same hole. they don't take up that much space. Fun size trees yes plant to to a hole. And if you're going to plant cherry trees do plant two trees in the same hole because of pollination. Cherries have to cross pollenate. the pollen form one Side needs to get to the other side and vis versa. With something like plums you don't want to do that because you'll create weird plums. They cross breed. Sometimes they make really great plums however. It depends of the varieties you do together.Okay, help me out here. I am thinking of buying dwarfed. So, if it's the same sort of tree, two of the same can share a hole? That is a really, really great idea. Any spacing concerns when sharing the same hole? (I.e., is the distance between trunks a concern?)
No problem, I studied Ag for a while in high school because my family live in an agricultural area of nothing but fruit farms. Plus I had an Uncle that had a commercial Bartlett Pear farm. When I was in my teens in the summer I worked in packing houses moving freight, stack railroad cars with plums and pears crates shipped back east. Dump fruit on sorting tables for woman that packed the boxes full of fruit. I say every kind of plum and pear out there.Thank you. I've been reading up on this for two months now and you're the first to mention it.
California is sub tropical so just about any kind of crop will grow here. If you just moving fruits and veggies locally you don't need to pack it at all just box it in cardboard boxes. Let the people that distribute the food bag it for the homeless. and sort it how they want to. Otherwise it's a wasted cost for if you pack it they will just unpack it. You're talk about donations. Now if you were talking about a chain of commercial markets then I'd say you want to pack it. But donations are quite another thing. Maybe washing the food is all you need to do. It depends on how much mud or dirt is on the corp you plan to deliver and where it's being deliver too.Yes, I said the same thing! I found this in my state's natural resources publication guide on backyard trees. I know what they're saying but I disagree. We moved here from So Cal & there (much as you've described your climate is like) many people had very productive backyard trees. FIND - Food In Need of Distribution - would send out volunteer workers to harvest the fruit & they would redistribute it to all the homeless shelters. I still need to do my research here, but after I harvest what I want, all the rest of it I want to pack and deliver to a local shelter. One thing I have learned is this is NOT So Cal. Recently I was told that it doesn't work that way here. But back to the vermin. A well-cared-for orchard doesn't draw vermin. My childhood town had vineyards and cherry orchards within city limits and even within the downtown area. I grew up next to a cherry orchard so know a well-kept orchard doesn't have to draw 'vermin'. And no, I don't recall the guide identifying the 'vermin'. The gist I got was that the state discourages backyard fruit trees. I have to research the city's code next.
Six feet and he'll have apples in his yard. Think about that. Will he like them falling in his yard. 8 feet from the fence and a full grown tree he still might have a few fall in his yard. Take a look at the trees in peoples yard for shade. Fruit trees are no different. Take a carpenters tape measure and go out an measure their leaf span. That is also the drip line for root system as well. which is very important. you don't want to cover a trees root system. It will kill it of stunt its growth. There is as much of the tree below the ground as above the ground. Orchard systems have intwined roots — Standard apple trees need 30 to 35 feet (9-11 m.) this means that each tree has at least a 15 ft. span. Standard trees are 30 ft. between trees, while semi-dwarf apples require 15 feet (5 m.) and dwarf apples need only 10 feet (3 m.) These trees won't grow over a 8 ft. fence at all. The tops of them might be seen from the other side where they round off. Peach trees should be spaced 20 feet (6 m.).Exactly.
Yes, I asked my neighbor how he felt planting an apple tree so close to his fence (about 6 feet away). Of course, I also invited him to as much fruit as they wanted. He was excited--he loves apples!
There you go. They be wanting the spices as well. So make them buy it for you.Well, this is a bit longer than intended but thank you for all that you shared! You've given me some things I need to look into before buying. Besides, maybe now when the kids ask what I want for Christmas, I can tell them I want a dehydrator!
a poet friend