Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Urban Orchard Part 3

Our stretch of Summer like weather has come to a close with temps. expected to drop down to frost conditions on the night of 28Th, and wet snow on the night of the 29Th. My poor little Apple tree.

There are tiny little leaves sprouting up all over the branches. Good reinforcement as we I have never planted bare rot stock before.

Transplanted Strawberries from over the side yard that were growing under the Purple Cone flowers. Can never have enough Strawberries.

3 found galvanized plumbing pipe and some jute twine to contain the branches then a heavy duty large trash bag placed over worked very well for the first night of frost temperatures.

30 degrees tonight with rain (wet snow), then another night of below 38 degrees. After that low 40's for the rest of the week. Will have to set my alarm clock & walk out to brush the wet snow off the bag. DH says it will be a lost cause.

This is one of 2 Frost Variety Peach Trees that were my Wedding gift to DH a few years ago. Sorta a spontaneous purchase on morning after work when I stopped into a mega mart nursery store looking for onion sets. Apparently I have a weakness in Garden Centers. Very comical dragging these home buckled in my front seat of my subcompact car the tops hanging out the hatch. It's not a dwarf to say the least. Last year we got about a dozen peaches from the two. Very sweet & juicy.
The plan for tonight is to place as many stakes as I can find around the perimeter then drape that blue trap over the tree.
Maybe lite my supply of mason jar candles underneath. Sorta like they do in the citrus orchards during a cold spell with propane heaters.
Yeah, it's no wonder the Code man has his eye on me.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Urban Orchard Part 2

This is one of the 3 apple trees we bought. As per the catalog it's a self pollinating hand grafted semi dwarf, 4 on 1 antique variety. Which means that it can be grown to a height of 6' & has 4 different antique varieties of apples. I was riding the fence on this type of tree until the Nurseryman @ Miller's mentioned that it comes in an antique vs. modern tree.
Golden Russet -med./lg. yellow with russetting, crisp, keeps until April, good cider apple.
Snow or if you wanna impress your MIL Fameuse -med. red great eating, cooking, cider.
Summer Rambo -16th century French, lg. yellow, famous for eating & sauce, vigorous.
Roxbury Russet -16th century Massachusetts, lg. green, great for juice & cider, keeps until April.

4' away in the same bed is planted our 2nd Apple tree a Sops of Wine which date back to medieval England. Everything we have read on this variety says it's a great cooking & cider apple.

All the trees have buds with one or two that have tiny leaves. Unfortunately our recent heat wave of 75 + degree weather is coming to a close tomorrow. Will discuss with DH about throwing plastic over our orchard in the evening to prevent frost damage. Good that there all dwarfs, lol.

~~ pelenaka ~~
Now if I could just get over the fact that if I had planted fruit trees when I first moved in 8 years ago ...

Urban Orchard Part 1

Part 1
A few Sundays ago DH & I sent our daughter's to the movies via a Christmas Gift Card so we could go fruit tree shopping a few hours away in Canandaigua, New York. That in itself was a bit of an expirence becomming lost and slightly distracted with the numerius antique shops in the region. The only thing that stopped us was the fact that if we need the cargo room & $ for plants. So all total we spent about $150 for 3 apple trees, 1 cherry tree, and 2 grape vines and some sorta oil that DH said we needed for an insectiside. Gas was about $10. Bonding time priceless.
The Nurseryman who helped us was extremely knowledgeable & patient with us or rather me. Seems that aprently once in the warehouse I forgot I only farm >1/14 of an acre. I wanted everything. So once DH gave me a reality smack & we explained to him what we wanted to eventually accomplish he was very helpful in a very non salesman way. He even was able to give me his opinion on what different types of fruit tasted like which helped me decide (canning possibilities).
Oh he verified that more than 2 fruit trees is an orchard. We have an orchard!

~~ pelenaka ~~

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Needed : 260 jelly jars non wire bail type with or without rings. Also foraging/gleaning rights for fruit such as apples, peaches, & pears.
Offered : Handyman services, housecleaning, yard work (ready a garden for spring planting), pruning, cider, when in season; organic blackberries, 3 bushels potatoes, 100 lbs. of squash. Possible trade organic commercially butchered beef.

Here's the deal. Just spoke with my children's school in regards to attendance which is 180 days. 180 days of lunches. 180 days of eating a jelly jar of canned fruit per child.
Which is really 360 jars filled for two daughters. 2 lunches per day. 5 Lunches per week.
Fruit needed is about say 500 lbs. if I did the math right.
Lofty goal huh?
So I need about 200 more jars having about 170 jelly jars in inventory. Also need to see about getting deals on a bulk buy of fresh fruit. Apples would be the cheapest but can't see daughters eating applesauce 5 days a week no matter if it were spiced or not.
Can't recall what a bushel of fruit was fetching @ the farmer's market provided that a bushel is X amount of pounds, which it never is. Varies. Besides we are in an inflation so cost is a variable.
Lids bought last year by the case were 6¢ each.
So if I'm able to barter for jars or even if just use my already paid/free jars then the questions is how much $ to fill each jar. Cheaper than store bought individual fruit cups ? Should I factor in the green aspect of no further expended energy to make the plastic containers ? Take into account that I am assured what the contents are - as in semi to completely organic (tainted food supply like peanut butter) ? Also cost factor of sugar, spices, and orther ingredients.
All I wanted to do was have fruit on hand for school lunches that was low in sugar and preservatives, low in cost, and easily stored.

Sometimes I really need to be medicated.

~~ pelenaka ~~