Tag Archives: cherries

Starting A New Apple Orchard

Old orchard on the farm back in 2017. Duratio of 2012 just about took out the entire orchard.

As I’ve told you in the past the orchards we have on the farm are old and not huge and we lose a couple of these old treasures every year due to wind or other weather events.

Last year we decided to start a small apple orchard in new ground and these will be dwarf trees.  The root stock is in the ground and we made sure the best that we could that they make it through the  winter and spring before we graft our favorite apples to the stock.  We’re hoping to graft some Wolf River which is a large apple and we’ll have to watch the fruit for getting too large for the dwarf root stock.  Transparents is also a great fruit for applesauce and we use a lot of that.

The other fruit trees that we’ve started in the past two years as young trees are doing well.  They include red plum, peaches, cherries, pears and some apple trees hubby grafted two years ago.  If Mother Nature will ever cooperate and our climate settles down we’ll have more fruit than we can put up.  We add two more peach trees to the stock but planted them in the top end of the old orchard hoping the frost won’t be as prevalent up there.  We planted two cherries in that same location last year and they have done well, leaving us with lots of bloom at the moment. Temps are suppose to be low this weekend and so many trees are full of bloom.

Mother Nature please be kind!!

 

 

Adding To Our Fruit Crop

Apple crops

Apple crops

Grape arbor in the backyard.

Grape arbor in the backyard.

Every spring I try to add 2-4 new fruit trees to our dwindling orchards.  The past few years have been apples and peaches.  My daughter got me two new cherry trees for our anniversary and they’ve been planted in the back of the apple orchard and fenced to keep the deer from eating them up.  Last year I planted four new grape vines along with some English walnut trees .  All of the grapes have survived but I lost one walnut tree.

This year I ordered two Green Gage Plum  trees and two Black Tartarian Cherry  trees from  Aaron’s Farm (http://www.aaronsfarm.com/) .  The plum trees are three years old and about four feet tall and the cherry trees are three years old and 5-6 feet tall.  The were shipped bare root and pre-pruned.  We set them out yesterday evening and watered them well which I will continue to do daily until we get some rain and there after as needed daily or weekly depending on the moisture in the ground.

The Green Gage plum tree is an ancient European plum descendant that has been extensively grown and propagated in England and France since the 1700’s. My grandparents had these plums on their farm in Paint Bank, VA for years when I was a young child and we would eat them until they ran out our ears.  I’ve not seen any for years and have been looking for them for about five years and lucked out with Aaron’s Farms this spring.  I can’t wait to have some “green gages” in a couple of years.  Green Gage plums are green-skinned when completely ripe with a pink overlay at the base of the fruit when tree ripened.  The flavor is deliciously sweet with a slight sour taste to the skin.

The black cherries are my husbands favorite and most of the cherry trees on our farm have died or only produce pea size cherries.  I’m hoping these will bring back some good memories especially when I make him some cherry pies in a couple of years.

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

The Black Tartarian Cherry tree is a sweet cherry with a black skin and bright red pulp. They  are cold hardy which is one of the reasons I chose this type.
I can’t remember the name of the cherry trees my daughter got for me but think they are a red cherry.
Now we have blue plum, wild red plums, pears, rhubarb, peaches, apples of all kinds, grapes, gojiberries, blackberries, and raspberries on the farm.  Plenty of fruit to add to our meals and snacks.Newest grape arborNewest grape arbor

The three bears

We only have four cherry trees on the farm at present.  Three of the four produce pretty decent cherries usually in late May or early June depending on the weather.  My hubby really looks forward to them ripening and he loves cherry pies.  This year only two of the trees outwitted the late frost and produced for us.  Hubby kept checking them and was anxiously awaiting their ripening.  He wasn’t aware that someone else was watching and waiting right along with him.

Guess what??  The critters beat him to them and one of the trees got a very bad pruning.  The smaller of the two was robbed of their fruit by birds and raccoons.  The largest and sweetest cherry producer was invaded by three black bears. On one given day it was visited at the same time by three.  There were two that were probably three years old gageing by their size and then there was the “big boy”.  The last time I got to see them, the two smaller (125-150 pounds) were taking turns up and down the tree and having the times of their lives UNTIL the big guy showed up.  They were pretty quick to leave the area with him around.  The “big boy” stayed for a good while and that’s the last I saw them but hubby watched him tearing that tree to pieces, stripping it clean of all cherries for about two weeks.

After they were all gone and hubby was so disappointed, I went to WalMart and bought him some for the pies and the ice cream.  I froze the last basket to have for out next batch of homemade ice cream because they just won’t keep very well once we get them home.   We were happy to see the bears but not so much when they took all the cherries.  Maybe next spring will be a different story!!