Orchard

Scion Exchange

Posted by on Jan 17, 2011 in Farm Blog, Orchard | 31 comments

Scion Exchange

We’ve been looking forward to this year’s  California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) Scion Exchange in the hopes of adding some more unique fruits to our orchard.  Sourcing unique, or older heirloom varieties of fruit however can be difficult, but not if you attend a scion exchange. What is a Scion? A scion is a cutting of budded young fruit tree wood, taken from the previous season’s growth, and used for grafting.  Once grafted the scion will produce a clone of the parent tree.  Grafting is an asexual propagation method that assures the fruits produced will be true to the...

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Weather Watching

Posted by on Dec 29, 2010 in Farm Blog, Orchard | 32 comments

Weather Watching

The weather will always be there, whether we’re watching the weather or not, but as we’re both self-professed geeks, watching the weather here usually involves more than simply catching the (albeit often less than accurate) forecast on the morning news. Thus far, we’ve only had a small temperature and humidity weather monitor that’s been hanging on our kitchen wall, whose outdoor sensors have now completely failed. Most of our detailed weather data though has come from a collective of Monterey Bay Area weather watchers via Weather Underground online. Each dot on the...

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Pear Sawfly

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010 in Farm Blog, Garden, Orchard, Pests | 21 comments

Pear Sawfly

This weekend the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  Now that all the poultry projects are complete we turned our attention back toward the orchard.  We still have a lot of work to do.  The most important task is wrapping up our never-ending irrigation project, so that was our primary goal this weekend.  As we were setting up our clog-resistant Netafim™ drip irrigation lines around our Stella Cherry tree, we noticed lots of small irregular holes on some of the leaves.  Closer inspection revealed the culprit, the Pear Sawfly larvae (Caliroa cerasi). No, it’s not a slug,...

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Oh Deer, Not AGAIN

Posted by on Apr 7, 2010 in Farm Blog, Garden, Orchard | 27 comments

Oh Deer, Not AGAIN

Our deer win the award for persistence!  In our prior post we were lamenting the fact that despite our best efforts this winter, the local cervids have out-smarted us.  A 7-foot perimeter fence around the orchard and gardens proved that it wasn’t sufficient to keep our browsing deer at bay.   This last weekend we installed the second run of fence at the top of the slope, to prevent deer charging down the hill from launching themselves into the orchard.  We don’t question that this has helped, but yesterday, it was apparent that it wasn’t enough.  It’s clear that...

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Oh Deer, Oh Deer

Posted by on Apr 5, 2010 in Farm Blog, Garden, Orchard | 32 comments

Oh Deer, Oh Deer

This weekend we had plans to finish up the construction of some of the raised vegetable garden boxes so that we could transplant out our seedlings.  However, our plans for working on that project were thwarted on two fronts. The first issue was the weather, which seems to have reverted to a soggy winter pattern, the other situation was much more sinister.  We had a very nasty surprise in the orchard on Saturday morning, causing us to immediately halt the other projects we were working on. We’ve been invaded.  Those dastardly devouring deer have found a way into our orchard.  Despite...

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The Orchard is Planted

Posted by on Mar 12, 2010 in Farm Blog, Orchard | 29 comments

The Orchard is Planted

It seems like it has taken an eternity to get our orchard planted, but thanks to some help from a friend this last weekend, the trees are finally in the ground! So what took so long?  First we had to decide where to put the orchard, then we had to clear the weeds, brush, trash, and copious amounts of poison oak out of the way.  Then last year my health, or at that time, lack thereof, set us back an entire year.  This last winter though, the deer fence finally went up, trenches were dug, irrigation pipe was glued up, and the orchard space started to take shape.     All the while,...

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Signs of Spring

Posted by on Jan 22, 2010 in Farm Blog, Flora and Fauna, Garden, Orchard | 10 comments

Signs of Spring

It’s still January, and the recent storms have caused numerous springs and small waterfalls to appear all over our hillsides.  However, a number of our plants seem completely unphased by the unstable winter weather, and are marching steadfastly toward spring. Our newly planted Catalina Currant is starting to bloom!   The bracken ferns are slowly beginning to unfurl.   A Rhododendron promises a bounty of blooms.   Like many gardeners, the Satsuma Plum tree is clearly impatient for spring!   The daffodil bulbs we planted last fall are emerging in the orchard.  ...

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Bare Root Fruit

Posted by on Jan 5, 2010 in Farm Blog, Orchard | 11 comments

Bare Root Fruit

Only a couple weeks into winter, and we’re already thinking about spring!  The deer fence is up, and it’s time to stock the orchard!  This last weekend our local garden nursery received their shipments of bare root fruit trees for the season.  Time to hunt down the last of the fruit varietals we want to round out the orchard.  Although we won’t plant for a couple of weeks while we wrap up some final site preparation, we did want to purchase our trees while we could have our pick of the best.   This year we’ve chosen to add the following varieties of fruit trees...

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