[NAFEX] (NAFEX) Temperate berry crops
shaman at pennswoods.net
Sat Jan 6 10:42:02 EST 2007
Whicho of the blackberry varieties that were successful for you produced the least spreading? Someof the wild plants I moved onto my land overran it.
----- Original Message -----
From: Donna &/or Kieran
To: billg at inebraska.com
Cc: North American Fruit Explorers
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 9:04 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] (NAFEX) Temperate berry crops
Bill, You forgot to mention blueberries or blackberries in your list. There are thornless blackberries that would be easier to get along with than the thorny ones, and would probably produce more than grapes. Are you in one of the areas hard hit by Japanese beetles last summer? If not, they are probably headed your way, and they make it very hard to keep any leaves on grapevines. I've just been reading up on blackberries, ordered 4 kinds last year and am wondering about more, so here are some quotes from an article published in Texas:
" What plant is practically immune to the problems of insects and disease, yet produces one of the best jelly, jam, juice, pie, cobbler and wine fruits known to man?"
"As a boy hunting in the woods of Tennessee, I never thought that I would someday praise those thorny culprits that tore my clothes, ripped my flesh and taught me to curse proficiently. But the blackberry is probably the easiest to culture, most productive, most versatile fruit in existence. These claims are easily substantiated when one considers the vim and vigor of wild plants that receive no culture."
There is little I can add to this except to say that in Tennessee's hot humid climate with it's treacherous spring frosts and wretched soil, that the one fruit that can be depended on to bear is the blackberry. So far after 12 years of planting on sterile red clay and trying to improve the soil, I have picked 7 apples, about 30 pears, quite a few curculio riddled plums and peaches in the two years that didn't have a late freeze (one of those years I sprayed Surround till I was sick of doing it, but the rain kept washing it off), a gallon or so of rabbiteye blueberries, a few handfuls of black raspberries, and uncountable gallons of wild blackberries. Those blackberries grew and produced abundantly on unimproved red clay with no assistance of any sort on our part.
The fellow I quoted above failed to mention that carefully selected blackberries are among the most delectable fruits one can eat. I learned to pick only the ripest, plumpest fruit, and day after day for weeks each summer I'd go out and pick enough to give us a treat. We'd crumble graham crackers in our bowls, pile in the berries and mash them with our forks. Then we'd stir in cream cheese or sour cream or yogurt, or sometimes homemade wine in addition to the dairy or instead of. This works for just about any fresh fruit. (Probably not for blackcurrants, from what you all are saying.)
I learned to wear minimal clothing and no socks to do the picking, as it seems that chiggers like fuzzy stuff to cling to. I had almost no trouble with chiggers that way. Eventually trees, rust, anthracnose and virus reduced the free bounty, though there is still usually enough to fill our bowls. I'm just not getting the kind of surplus that allowed me to make gallons of wine in years past. Sooo, I got smart and ordered some rust and anthracnose resistant varieties of tame blackberries and am looking forward to them. That was just last year, in a drought, and the plants didn't grow much, so we'll be mostly dependent on the wild ones again this year. These are the kinds I ordered:
Thornless Apache and Arapaho: both highly resistant and highly praised. One of them displayed nice reddish foliage for the fall months.
Thorny Kiowa and Chickasaw: ditto on resistance for both. Kiowa crops for 6 weeks, and Chickasaw is supposed to be the most heat and drought resistant, which it looks like we are going to be needing.
I didn't order Triple Crown, which has received rave reviews in this group, because Simons Berry Farm didn't have it, but it doesn't seem to be noted for disease resistance. The one drawback to all the wild berries around us is the big disease pool ready to invade our tame crops. So resistance was my primary consideration, as I have seen how much disease has damaged the wild plants. Donna
nafex mailing list
nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Reproduction of list messages or archives is not allowed.
This includes distribution on other email lists or reproduction on web sites.
Permission to reproduce is NEVER granted, so don't claim you have permission!
**YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO POST!**
Posts from email addresses that are not subscribed are discarded.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to the bottom of this page (also can be used to change other email options):
File attachments are NOT stripped by this list.
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COMPUTER VIRUSES!
Please do not send binary files.
Use plain text ONLY in emails!
NAFEX web site: http://www.nafex.org/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the nafex