Thursday, June 26, 2008

Critter Farm Garden Report #1: Fruits

I've been so focused on my animals, both in person and on my blog lately, I've hardly paid any attention to the beautiful soon-to-be-edible things growing around our place. Here now is an update on what's fruity and growing here at the farm.

Apples are forming:

I have no idea what kind they are, but some have the most adorable blush to them:

The pears are tiny and cute:

Though I am concerned about what might be causing this damage to some of the tree leaves:

The raspberries are working up to an incredible season:

Here's a shot of the right-hand side of the raspberry frame: these canes are healthy and filled with tiny, developing berries:

Left-hand side of raspberry frame: DAMN the deer to hell:

Right side and left side together for perspective. Grrrrrrr!:

The raspberries on the right-hand side will begin to ripen soon if I can keep them safe:

There's another raspberry patch below the deck (Shhhhh...the deer haven't found this one yet):

We are about to be inundated with blueberries. Yum:

Each bush is loaded with hundreds of berries. I'm scanning books and the Internet for blueberry recipes:

We have a total of 14 early, mid, and late blooming blueberry bushes:

Ever-bearing strawberries are attempting to ripen:

The deer really like these babies, too:

This is our first try at growing grapes. These are supposedly Concords. I'll keep you posted:

Look! Baby grapes:

This was also our first year with rhubarb. This was planted many years before we moved here. I had no clue what to do with it, but my sister-in-law did, and harvested a bunch for jam and pie:

Ok, so this isn't a fruit, it's a nut. We've found that there are numerous filbert/hazelnut trees around here:

Tomorrow, I'll share some shots of my vegetable garden. I'm a bit embarrassed, but hey, it's my first try!


  1. Good evening, princess.

    I am of the opinion that you got yerself some kinda mites there. They're kind of hard to control, but you might try neem oil.

    You might also consider thinning yer pears and apples to one per cluster, cuz the critters will get in between the developing fruit and have their disgusting way with them.

    Bond. James Bond.

  2. Wow!I am so envious of your raspberries and blueberries. I have tried unsuccessfully to grow both of them here and got nowhere. I would come and visit you and help you to eat all of those luscious berries if I could. My strawberries have already come and gone for the season and my boysenberries and blackberries are good, but not very plentiful this year.

    I never thin my tree fruit and have not had any problems with bugs bothering them. In the past 9 years that I have had fruit trees, I have had problems with birds and deer eating the fruit (I use birdnetting now), deer, grasshoppers and occasional catapillers eating the leaves, and gophers damaging the roots, but never any bugs eating the fruit. No diseases either. Thinning the fruit will usually give you bigger fruits, but I find (and I read somewhere in one of my garden books) that the tree tends to thin itself of the fruit anyway, so I don't bother to do it. I am no tree fruit expert though.

    Are your fruits grown organically without chemical fertilizers and pesticides? They look wonderful!

    And Hazelnuts, Wow again!

  3. Dangit all... delete this if it's a repeat, but I might change my answer to rust after looking at that picture again. It's rust or mites or I'm not a certified microbioarborologist, which I might very well be.

    I gotta say, I recommend thinning. It'll help with fruit quality, prevent alternate year bearing, and remove pest breeding sites. It also allows for better air circulation, less stress on the limbs, and nicer color. Unless you can't for some reason, it's worth doing.

  4. Everything looks great! I love the baby pears. They really are cute.

    You can put the men in the house to work. If they pee on the ground around the raspberries the deer will probably stay away. You can drop trough and join the party but 1)not quite so easy for us girls and 2)male urine contains testosterone that helps keep the deer away.

    Don't be embarrassed by your garden! You're growing food. That's something to be proud of. Everything we put on the table ourselves is helpful.

  5. OH YuMMY! I can't wait for tomorrow!! Damn those deer to hell!!! hahahaha!
    Danni...rhubarb is, I've come to proclaim, EVIL!!! If you make pie or crisp with it, you will become spellbound and you wont be able to stop eating it. DON'T leave it out anywhere that you can see it!!! It calls to you!! See your garden tomorrow then!!
    Pats to Roxy!

  6. YUMMMMMMM! Everything looks delicious! Sorry about the deer. As much as it pains me to say this, I'd rather have groundhogs than deer.

    For the berries, friends use cages made of pvc pipe and netting. They put the cages over the berries during the height of deer season, then remove the cages for the rest of the year. A pain, but it seems to work.

    Good luck!
    Ali in Maine

  7. Call me when the blueberries are ripe and I'll come help you eat them! Every year we planned our trip to my In-Law's house in Arkansas to coincide with the blueberry harvest; now they've moved down here to be closer to us and we don't get any more blueberries. :(

    Your fruits (and nuts) look wonderful!!

  8. The more I see of your place, the more I love it. All those fruit trees and bushes!!! Even nuts. That beautiful kitchen. You have such a beautiful place.

  9. You will be feasting soon! Blueberries freeze really well if they get ahead of you. Then you can make muffins, pancakes, etc in the winter and dream of summer berries. I'll ask my mom about her favorite deer repellers. Either that, or you need an 8ft fence! Little buggers!

  10. Hmmm...looks like a lot of great fruit there. What I am wondering is what of it will still be there in Sept? The pears? The apples? We can have a cobbler party. Im pretty short, but hey, that makes it easier to climb the trees.

  11. Somebody really liked blueberries huh? That sucks so bad about the deer eating all of your stuff! They seem to have left you quite a bit though!

  12. We love coming to Oregon for the summer and always look forward to the "U-Pick" blueberry farms. Amazing we only pay $4 per gallon of berries picked! And then after we've eaten our fill we freeze the rest and take'em with us for sharing and baking the rest of the year. And aren't hazelnuts a real treat. We didn't know we had a couple of those trees on our lot until we heard quite a ruckus outside and it was a couple of blue jays chowing down on the hazelnuts. Beautiful apples and pairs! Oh my, I can smell the cobblers, pies, and crisps wafting in the breeze!

  13. WOW! Your fruits and berries are so beautiful! I can't wait to get all those things planted myself. No blackberries? I love blackberry jam!


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