[NAFEX] organic fruit in the East?
Donna &/or Kieran
holycow at cookeville.com
Thu Apr 17 23:24:22 EDT 2008
Karen and all,
We had a freeze at 30 one night and maybe 28 the other, and during the 36 hours I feared all my fruit (and my rosebuds, but everything seems ok) were wiped out I really thought long and hard about this. Last years surviving crops after the record late freeze were all natives, persimmons, blackberries, plums, hazelnuts, and Thomas Myer walnut (a late bloomer). Maybe the key to fruit farming in the east is not to concentrate on the hard to grow high dollar stuff, but rather to increase demand for those fruits we CAN produce. 100 year freezes aside, there is a wide range of pretty easy to grow stuff. Blueberries, Hector Black has no trouble selling off his huge annual crop through the farmer's mkt and U-pick. And pears, though more susc to late freezes, really just need some better varieties selected for local commercial marketing.
Perhaps the real question is, can we grow organic apples and peaches in the east? And that may lead to the question of whether we should really even try. I have certainly seen, and eaten, the unsprayed apples in some backyards. As I was picking the fruit off the ground, I never thought of storing it. We dried as much as possible, cooking with the smaller bits, making wine with the cores and brown bits, feeding the complete rejects to the chickens. I HAVE picked unsprayed Mammoth Blacktwig and Ben Davis directly from the trees and had them keep, though they needed the ones with codling moth sorted out. Peaches and plums are harder, partly because they freeze out so many years, and the curculio account for the other 98% of the trouble.
Is Neem much use for curculio on it's own? If the freezes hold off for just a little longer, I feel be obligated to protect some peaches and plums. I do have Surround, and know people are talking about using it with Neem.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the nafex