Friday, September 11, 2009

The Bounty of the Harvest

Stuck in Cleveland waiting for a flight I thought I would do a short post which continues to show off my reputation in the neighborhood as Superdave! I am celebrating a bountiful harvest of luscious Raspberries, Apples, and Pears. When I moved into Dayton, having acreage allowed me to expand my options so the first order was raspberries. I love raspberries! These plants came from Ted Konkel, my sister-in-laws mother. They are ever bearing raspberries meaning they have 2 crops per year. The first crop begins to ripen during the last week in June. These berries are produced on 2nd year canes which have over wintered from the previous year. Along with these canes, new canes begin to grow in the spring. This new growth produces berries around the first to second week in September. Often people simply mow down the canes early in the season, making it easier to care for them however it means you do not get that first crop. I take the time to trim out the dead canes each spring setting myself up for both crops. This years second crop reacted marvelously to the August rains we had and are simply huge, juicy, and extremely flavorful. As well they seem to be about 2 weeks early. This time of year the berry patch is full of bee's, both large wild bumble bees and honey bees from my hives in the back. Picking can be somewhat nerve racking however the bees are really more interested in the flowers than you. A bonus are the hummingbirds that are visiting the raspberries. They are constantly flying around and will actually hover as close as 2 feet from your face, checking out the stranger in their mist. It is pretty cool for sure and I might post pictures later. In the past about half my late crop would freeze out. Hopefully our first frost holds off a little longer.

The next picture shows the wonderful pears that I have in my orchard. Sadly I cannot even remember what kind they are as 2 varieties were planted for proper pollination. My thinking is this one must be the Summer Crisp as my second tree is prolific but the pears are rather bland. I have a third pear tree however they are rather small and soft. The pears pictured are what I call supermarket size. They are a crisp pear variety, very sweet, and are at the peak of ripeness right now. Pear trees have bionic sucker growth especially where they had been previously trimmed. This new growth can sometimes exceed 8 feet per year. This creates a mess in the spring when one needs to clean up the trees for the coming growing season. They have an unusual growth pattern as well with the main branches hugging close to the main trunk. I swear that when pruning in the spring I cut off all the potential pear bearing limbs yet the amount of pears are mind boggling. The branches are so heavy with pears they hang to the ground. Earlier I lost a fairly large limb which could not hold the weight of the fruit.

The last picture is one of my Haralson Apple tree. Haralson's apples are a Minnesota original introduced in 1922 by the Minnesota Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota is the home of many well known including the now popular Honeycrisp. This tree is also very prolific and produces a bumper crop of apples every year. They are fantastic by themselves, great in pie, as well make excellent cider and dried apples. These apples tend to ripen later allowing a more civilized harvest. Along with the Haralson I have Firesides, Honeygolds, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and an unknown rouge tree that produces the largest apples I have ever seen! I prefer the Firesides and Honeygolds for eating as they are excellent. The Honeycrisp's are good but very hard to grow. I understand why they get $2.99 a pound in the store. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I should be good for a long time!


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures Dave, those apple trees are wonderful you will have to give me lessons this spring. I do have some raspberries from my father in law but he told me to mow then off last fall and I think your idea is better.Sorry to hear your stuck again cause I am sure the fish are biting like crazy


Laura said...

very nice pictures. i'd like to plant pear trees myself. i've been reading library books about fruit trees. are there any resources you could recommend for choosing and care of pear trees?

Dave Anderson said...


You live real close to where I work. I will bring in a few pears and you can stop by and pick them up. Pears need 2 varieties and the one tree I have is good and the other tree's are so so. I got so many it's ridiculous!