Thursday, April 29, 2010

the fruit of our labor

After a nearer to normal winter than we have had for years here in the south  the fruit trees here on the land are showing us just how close to normal we actually had.  The peach tree has so many baby peaches on it I am positive it will lose some of its older branches.  The last time we had a good crop of them the poor thing broke off most of its old limbs under the weight of the fruit and high winds, even with shaking as many off as we could.  I am not afraid to say we have several hundred peaches forming on the tree at this point. My mouth is watering already over them even if I do have to cut away  sections of them in order to allow the bugs n insects their portions.
 The quince trees/bushes are also having a banner year for fruit. Only one other time have we had a few quince  form on the  bush only to have the deer eat them the night before I was going to harvest them. According to everything I have found while researching our quince here  they are supposed to bear fruit on year old growth. By my own calculations  it is only on two year old growth that they grow. This may be because of our recently past winters and simply not getting cold enough or this is just more of the false information that seemingly abounds on the internet. Of course if they grow on two year old growth the reason we have not been getting fruit on them is because I have pruned them out because of my research telling me to do so. Either way I am not going to complain as a couple of our quince are just loaded with  baby fruits that are not in an area where the deer will get them. I have not checked the tree down where the deer like to nibble and won't. I am perfectly willing to share with the local wild life so long as they are not overly greedy. This will be the first year that I will have the joy of preserving  some quince, from all my research  it seems to be yet another of those lotsa work to get to the end product crops.
The almond and blueberries are also  doing there thing and making some fruit. Both of these fruit providers have undergone some major pruning over the last couple of years and  by next sure should be producing well again. In the mean time we gather what little we can off them and wait til it is their turn to provide us with a bountiful harvest.

The blackberries are just beginning  to blossom. Right on time too as we have just gone through  our blackberry winter. I have only found one plant actually blooming as yet so will be hard to see how well or poorly they should produce this season.

The rhubarb we have is doing crazy things this season. The one plant that grew fast  went immediately to making seed. I of course allowed it because I had never seen one go to seed in all my years  and wanted to see how it went about doing so.  It will give me a chance to save the seed as well so  as long as it is something I can learn from it is all good. The remaining plots of rhubarb are very slow in growing. I  do believe that they and the strawberries will be ripening at about the same. Again I am not complaining, rhubarb only really goes well with strawberries anyway doesn't it?

The strawberries are looking to have a  nice yield as well this season. After starting with just 20 plants a few years ago we are up to  over a hundred now  with plans on adding more each year. After the first year of a yield of  4 berries and last year of having a few quarts to  freeze, this year is looking like we may have enough to even put back a few  jars of preserves too.
 The grapes are just coming in to their leaves on  the trellis and the wild grapes and other wild grape like fruits are also  doing their thing. no idea on how any of the grapes will be doing this year but if the leaf coverage and growth of the wild ones is  any sign it looks to be a good year thus far.

The Oregon grap or Mahonia is starting to ripen. The Mohonia is like a funny looking,evergreen, shiny leaved, prickly thing that produces zillions of bluish purple berries  that can be harvested and turned in to jams and other yumminess. This will be the first year that I actually harvest these for more than just a fun nibble.
 The remainder of our fruits are not yet in the ground. They will be going in here in the next couple of weeks.  This year we are planting watermelon, gooseberry, cantaloupe, tigger melon, thai golden round melon and  piel de sapo melon.  To round out our fruit for the year we usually purchase some cull apples from a local grower. Why grow them  when  you live in the apple capital of the south and can get them  for 5 bucks a bushel and they  can deal with the hassle of bugs, insects and  disease.


  1. Oh, peaches. Enough said!

    Love that infernalweb for all that information. Have you tried your local cooperative extension for more informaton? lets you pick your extension for your state. Most states now have organic as well as traditional information available on the web for FREE!!!!!
    We are moving in August, so I'm just going with a couple of tomatoes in a pot this year.
    In the meantime I will garden vicariously through the web!


  2. those are great pictures and they made my mouth water....looks as though all you guys work os paying off nicely...i hope that i can make my lil farm half as nice as yours...filled with fresh and happy........much love

  3. It's interesting that y'all had a somewhat normal winter. Here in Dallas TX we broke all snow-related records, with one "blizzard" dumping a full foot of snow in 24 hours. Normally we get one or two snows of a few inches.

    Thanks for creating a useful and interesting about homesteading in the south. I've followed about 20 posts so far and am enjoying them quite a bit.

  4. I am SO jealous!!! I can't wait until we can plant and start reaping some rewards, too!