Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Discussions of fruits/ veggies and grains other then just mashing

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu May 17, 2018 6:26 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:I'm just really starting an affair with Japanese maple! My only worry is once I run out (only 2 unused dominoes left!!) I fear what I'll be willing to do to get more... I see it already as an absolute necessity for aging my liquors.

You know, I noticed a bunch of Japanese maples lining many streets around me and was thinking...a battery powered sawzall, a dark night, would anybody really notice if one went missing? :roll:

Just kidding :lol: I wouldn't want to encourage anybody to do something like that, but a tree service might be a place to come up with some or if you happen to notice some being removed, just keep an eye out.

I actually also have a big broad leaf maple someone gave me a while back, I think it was cut down well over 10 years ago, I've been thinking about trying that and seeing how it worked out.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu May 17, 2018 6:57 pm

I love seeing all the fruit trees in bloom. Most of ours are now finished. Blackberries and raspberries are just starting to bloom now, blueberries have been blooming for a while and the blooms are starting to fade. Tomatoes are blooming too :D I have been very busy working on the house lately, trying to finish all the various projects, before you ask, Yes including the front porch :roll: and building a shed to try to make the garage usable. So I just don't know how much free time I will have to devote to fruit. The good news is my wife is eager to go blueberry picking this year :ebiggrin: She is all about doing a lot of things now that she feels better so maybe I can even talk her into picking apples and blackberries with me this year :D

The other day I was offered all the fruit on a mature apple tree in Puyallup, which is a ways from me but the guy who has it also has a platform lift truck that he says I can use to pick from which eliminates most need for a ladder and could make picking very fast. He says on a good year I could park my truck under the tree, shake it and fill the back of the truck so I have real hopes I can get down there when the time comes and collect a few hundred pounds of apples. This tree is usually an August tree but with the blossoms running so late this year I'm kind of expecting them to be a bit later than usual. I'm a;so hoping it will be a good year for pears.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Fri May 18, 2018 11:58 am

Hey someone in here will definitely know this...

I'm cooking a LOT this weekend, 3x actually. A deathwish wheat germ variant, and then my yield about 8.5 gallons of juicy fruit brandy. So after I cook the 5 gallons (5gal still) I'll have 3.5. My question is this:

Can I add my heads and tails from the run of the 5 gals to the 3.5 gals of wash, and then backset from that wash also, to bring it up to a total of about 5 gals again, to do it as a full 5 gal cook? My still runs best with 5 gals in it, or else temp is harder to control. I also thought then I might get a bigger/better hearts cut out of that second run instead of a tiny/smallish cut from just 3.5 gals of wash...
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri May 18, 2018 1:01 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:Hey someone in here will definitely know this...

I'm cooking a LOT this weekend, 3x actually. A deathwish wheat germ variant, and then my yield about 8.5 gallons of juicy fruit brandy. So after I cook the 5 gallons (5gal still) I'll have 3.5. My question is this:

Can I add my heads and tails from the run of the 5 gals to the 3.5 gals of wash, and then backset from that wash also, to bring it up to a total of about 5 gals again, to do it as a full 5 gal cook? My still runs best with 5 gals in it, or else temp is harder to control. I also thought then I might get a bigger/better hearts cut out of that second run instead of a tiny/smallish cut from just 3.5 gals of wash...

I believe that's not an uncommon practice.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Fri May 18, 2018 10:06 pm

I often add some backset for flavor, but keep in mind your diluting your abv. So, if it's a spirit run your abv will be lower, and if it's a strip you may have to strip further. That's what i'v been doing lately actually w/ my AG booners... add some backset to the wash, and run the strip a litttle longer, to a lower abv. That way the final ABV of my accumulated low wines is around 30-35% which is perfect for a spirit run, as the accumulated hearts cut is right at the perfect aging ABV, 60-65% ish. No diluting the LW with water n now Diluting the hearts/keep cut with water. I suppose i could just dilute the LW with backset.. but.. i like it to be a clean double distillation. I dont think it would come out bad by any means.

Sounds like a good plan, pal! Let us know how it turns out!

Cranky.. as per usual, i'm jealous and living vicariously through you. The spring bloom sounds fantastic out yonder in the PNW. Heh.. i've never really been a flower guy personally (well, except the edible and smokable ones :ewink: ) but when those flowers mean that lots and lots of delicious fermentable, drinkable, edible fruit is soon to come, mann they must take on a whole new beauty!! Hope this fruit season is a great one for you sir. It's been pretty wet here in my neck o the woods, so i think that should mean a good season. I'll have to somehow scrounge up the time to get some fruit. Even if that means just heading out to some farmer's markets and seeing what i can come up with. The local fruit tree websites don't have a lot of trees in my area.. but i've been meaning to go on a little fruit hunt sometime soon. I'm sure there are plenty of trees not listed on those maps though any way.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Sat May 19, 2018 6:59 am

Hey cc, I think you misunderstood the original intent of my question- I have about 8.5 gallons of my juicyfruit brandy wash, and my 5 gallon pot still and thumper. So I'll cook off 5 gallons and have 3.5 gallons left with my distillate from the 5 gallons. I thought I'll make really safe cuts on heads/tails and add them to the 3.5 gallons, since I won't have time to air still this weekend, and then I'll use the remaining backset from that 5 gallon cook to top off the 3.5 gallons plus the feints from the first cook to get back to 5 gallons, then cook that off, ending up with 2 batches of distillate from "10 gallons" of juicyfruit brandy wash. Then I'll air it and make my cuts on Monday afternoon/evening when it's been about 48 hours. Or Tuesday if I don't get it done until tomorrow, since I also have the deathwish wg to get run this weekend too.

Ohhhh it's gonna be a busy weekend of cooking. BUT I'll have a gallon and a half of 120 proof on the other side of it, so there's that.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat May 19, 2018 7:40 pm

A lot of what I'm about to say has probably been said before but I'm still going to say it anyway.

I was out in my mini orchard and realized I have been sorely neglecting my trees :oops: They desperately needed watered and I've been meaning to give them some fertilizer for a while but keep forgetting so I got around to that today. While I was at it I decided to take some pictures :D

This first one is the Hazen apple tree
HAZEN APPLES 19 MAY 18 #3 - C.jpg

I would have to look closer but I think the Hazen is both tip and spur bearing. This picture is of some on a spur, for me spur bearing trees tend to be much harder to pick that tip bearing because the apples are very close in to the branch but the Hazen is a natural dwarf so it is easy enough to pick it by hand. This tree, like most Hazens is a prolific producer often producing so many that it breaks it's branches but is known to heal right back up and continue producing. The apples are sweet, large, red, juicy and quite good dessert apple but not the best for cooking because they are soft. It is also one of my youngest trees. It's apples should come ripe at the end of August or early September.

This next one is the Kare's Delight graft that will be allowed to produce this year.
KD APPLES 19 MAY 18 #5 - C.jpg

As you can see, the KD is a tip bearing tree, which makes it less prolific but as you know is my favorite apple of all time. They are very rad and dense which is something the bugs don't like so they tend to leave them alone. These apples are high sugar low acid so they work very well for iced apple cider. They are a very late apple, generally ripen late October into November.

Next is my Asian pear
ASIAN PEARS 19 MAY 18 #7 - C.jpg

These are often called "Apple pears" because they look like apples when they are ripe. T actually don't like these pears straight up, There are 2 common varieties of Asian pears one I like and one I don't and this is the one I don't. The only reason I keep it around is these particular pears add something really special to an apple brandy.

My pears don't look like they are going to produce as well as I had hoped but anything is good.

That brings us to this one
SECKLE PEAR 19 MAY 18 #15 - C.jpg

This is actually the only seckel pear I found on the tree but hopefully there will be more. Seckels are special little pears. They are the smallest commercially produced pear so they can sometimes be found at a grocery store or market for a very short time. I like that they are good eating and something not many people have or have even tried. I like unusual varieties of fruit. Some day I hope to also get an Orcas pear which is another unusual variety but I know someone who has relatives on Orcas Island and knows the owner of the largest orchard on the island so I'm hoping he can secure me a pear tree or two or at least a couple cuttings to graft.

The cherries are looking pretty good considering U had to severely prune them to get their size under control.
CHERRIES 19 MAY 18 #17 - C.jpg

These are Black cherries, which are my personal favorite and make very good preserves. The biggest problem with these are as soon as they rurn red the damn birds eat them unless I net them and to net them I have to keep them small. I'm thinking about getting some Rainier cherries because they don't turn red so the birds don't realize they are ripe so you don't have to net them.

I took pictures of the plums but none of them came out but they are looking good

My blueberries aren't doing as well as I had hoped but they are producing
BLUEBERRIES 19 MAY 18 #13 - C.jpg

They are actually just really beginning to recover from being transplanted last year. I usually use them as an indication for when it's the best time to go to the blueberry park.

The blackberries are about to start blooming. Blackberries are everywhere here so it's always a good year for them.

I'm really starting to get excited for fruit season :mrgreen:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Sat May 19, 2018 8:21 pm

Wow, Cranky, that all looks amazing! I am super envious of your access to fruit. I hope I can taste a KD apple someday. I'll have to look around at the expensive fresh market type stores. Also every fall my father and I go to Michigan around October for a little vacation and hit several orchards. We will have to keep a really sharp eye out for KD's.

Wow, I am so envious of your fruit access.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun May 20, 2018 4:49 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:I hope I can taste a KD apple someday. I'll have to look around at the expensive fresh market type stores. Also every fall my father and I go to Michigan around October for a little vacation and hit several orchards. We will have to keep a really sharp eye out for KD's.

Since there are only 2 fruit producing KDs in existence at this time and it will probably be 20 years before I can get them established as a cultivar to the point of even showing up in specialty markets it's unlikely they will ever be seen in a store in our lifetime. After all have you ever seen a Hazen apple in a store? I haven't, I actually had to buy a tree and wait for it to produce before I even knew what I thought of them and that one was established in 1980. That said, I happen to know the person who knows were the 2 producing KDs trees are...actually I happen to be that person :ebiggrin: I might even try to send a few your way to try if we have a good year, I pick them in time and I remember. :angel:

A couple years ago Bearriver offered to root some cuttings for me but regrettably I never managed to take him up on the offer :( It would have been awesome to have 10 or 20 KD trees to get the cultivar established.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Sun May 20, 2018 6:44 pm

That'd be awesome I'll have to keep my fingers crossed!

I grew up on a farm in Michigan City, IN, and we used to be one of the suppliers for Welch's in the 70's, they told my dad our grapes had the highest sugar content of any grapes they bought from anyone. Just info-- anyways, we also had cherry trees and my dad said the same thing about our black cherries, that he almost never got to them before the damn birds because as soon as they were ripe they'd be picked almost clean by the damn squatters. He said what you said almost word for word, he says it every year when we're in Michigan and we see the cherry orchards lol.

Mmm, now I'm craving cherry salsa and pastys.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Copperhead road » Sun May 20, 2018 7:40 pm

Wish I had pear trees that way you can grow a small pear inside your bottle, makes a wonderful touch for presentation with a nice pear brandy...the perfect pear in a bottle brandy for gift.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Sun May 20, 2018 8:41 pm

Yeah... I'm settling for apple in a jar with my apple brandy; we do what we can lol. Want in one hand... Apple in a jar in the other heh. I wish I had Cranky's huge fruit library also.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Sun May 20, 2018 9:12 pm

Copper head - Yeah, i wonder what the success rate of those are, the pear in a bottle. It sounds easy, or at least straight forward, but i gotta believe it's a little trickier than it sounds, just putting a jug/jar over a tiny pear, letting it grow, then covering in pear distillate. I"m sure their's some nuance to it.

DD - I told you! Cranky's KD apples are near and dear to him, perhaps only more so to K herself. You'll not find those apples yourself, Cranky is the sole source for them in all the world. However, it's not all bad news.. from what i know, there are hundreds or thousands of varieties of known apple, and then untold unknown numbers of unique, heirloom apples. You may just be lucky enough to find wild apple trees with some spectacular fruit. That would be a pretty amazing epic find, an apple tree in the wild with a completely unique variety, that has not yet been replicated. I guess that's how many varieties of many many different fruits and vegetables began. Selection of the trees/plants with the best or most unique qualities, and then precise cultivation and replication over time. Plant Genetics. Select the trees with the fruit you like best and take good care of them, then use techniques to make more and more of that same plant/tree and over time you have more and more of that specific variety, n one day, granny smith apples are at ever supermarket. Or something like that. That's what Monsanto did. Or does.

Cranky, as always, it's a pleasure to watch and follow along. Keep building on the epic story that this thread is. Hail the fruity goodness!!! I'm accumulating those dried cherries. Going to make a go of cherry brandy soon. I've got 25# at the moment. Do you think that's enough for 2X 25L washes?
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Sun May 20, 2018 9:38 pm

Oh on those dried cherries, why not after you, if you're going to chop or processor them, instead of water, use cherry juice on them? You can get '100% pure' cherry juice and I would go for black cherry because it's highest in sugar, or even choose a mix to balance your tart/acidic and sweet profile. Like the French do with Calvados. It would more guarantee you're going to get a really good brandy.

I dipped a finger in my apple brandy tonight to see where it's at, because it's getting dark, well, it's the color of old amber. The Japanese maple has really sweetened it up, and the apple flavor is there, with a ghost of pear, like Cranky said in my brandy thread, like dryer sheets almost. But more pronounced. It's early but I think it is going to be delightful. Anyway, I added some light toasted french oak to it, just 7 grams of cubes. I have a nice thick JM domino, it was used once already in some whisky (bourbon? I do this every time), and I BIG ace chunk of Jack Daniels barrel chip that I'd used in whisky also, probably a 5 gram chunk. But that stuff isn't real potent to start with, since it's used barrel anyhow. There's almost no 'woodiness' to the brandy, so it's why I left the JD chip (been there 7 days now, along with the maple) and added the French oak. I don't think I want much wood or oakiness in it though, as delicate as it seems to be.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue May 22, 2018 3:14 pm

CatCrap wrote:there are hundreds or thousands of varieties of known apple, and then untold unknown numbers of unique, heirloom apples. You may just be lucky enough to find wild apple trees with some spectacular fruit. That would be a pretty amazing epic find, an apple tree in the wild with a completely unique variety, that has not yet been replicated. I guess that's how many varieties of many many different fruits and vegetables began. Selection of the trees/plants with the best or most unique qualities, and then precise cultivation and replication over time. Plant Genetics. Select the trees with the fruit you like best and take good care of them, then use techniques to make more and more of that same plant/tree and over time you have more and more of that specific variety, n one day, granny smith apples are at ever supermarket. Or something like that. That's what Monsanto did. Or does.

Actually Monsanto, and other biotech companies don't do that. They try to shortcut the process through gene splicing to accomplish things in an unnatural way that could not be accomplished through hybridization. There is really a big difference between hybridization and gene splicing. There is actually now an apple called the "Arctic Apple" or "Arctic Golden Apple" that has been genetically modified to turn off the gene that causes browning from oxidation after cutting which is a little different than most GMOs.

I make no secret that I am one of those anti GMO nutcases but in truth it is really unnecessary to genetically modify an apple to accomplish what the Opal apple has already done naturally. I personally think oxidation of the juice is an important part of the richness of sweet cider and ultimately the quality of a ferment and finished brandy.

By the way the Opal apple was first introduced in 1999 which means it took about 16-20 years to get it to regular markets. It took the Granny Smith close to 100 years to become the staple it was between the 50s and late 90s. Today there are many varieties of apples available at just about every grocery store, way more than when I was young but you'll never see most of the 8,000 or so recognized cultivars. I think that's why I like to seek out unusual and non commercial type apples. You will never see a Vista Bella, or a White/Yellow transparent in a store but I am fortunate enough to know where one of each grows and have permission to pick :D

CatCrap wrote: I'm accumulating those dried cherries. Going to make a go of cherry brandy soon. I've got 25# at the moment. Do you think that's enough for 2X 25L washes?

I really can't say anything based on LBS because I always go by volume but 25#s of dried cherries seems like a lot to me.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Wed May 23, 2018 12:20 pm

Well.. i'd have to lean towards too much fermentables in this case, as the main difficulty in brandy sounds like getting the flavor of the fruit to carry over. DD, i think that's an excellent idea to use cherry juice. No diluting flavors. I may not use only cherry juice, i'll have to add some water, as i think with that much cherries and sugar from juice, i could be approaching unpleasant ABV potential levels. I definitely don't need some off flavors or a stalled ferment. Especially after my apple brandy horribly failed attempt. I got in some potassium bicarbonate, and it worked well on a neutral to get it back to life (WPOSW, which i'm just reading about other ppl's troubles with PH crash on. I was wondering why i was having stalls with this recipe, there's almost nothing in it.)

Cranky had suggested using a meat grinder on dried fruit i believe. I just happen to have one, so, that sounds like the right tool for the job. I could use the cherries whole, but it seems like breaking them down and exposing the inside a bit would be beneficial. I'll use part cherry juice and part water, maybe a bit of nutrients, and EC 1117.

Cranky, my apologies for bringing up that cursed wretched horrible company. I did not mean to give them any credit at all, as any "good" they have done in furthering ag science, is vastly a billion times out weighed by all the awful shit they have done and continue to do. They FORCE farmers to buy a new round of seeds every year with their round up ready bullshit strains, then will hack you to pieces if they were to catch you harvesting the seed from your own plants. You don't even really own your plants. they do.
but i could go on for awhile about those scumbags.
Very poor choice for an example. I more meant that that is what farmers on the whole have been doing for a long time. Selecting the best stock to take cuttings/clones/ or seeds from. Simply trying to select the best genes or ones that are most appropriate for your terroir etc to produce the next crop. I do not know near as much as you do about the history of apples and apple varieties. It's fascinating and i love to learn and would love to learn more.

One thing i have learned.. from a book I believe (an early one, by Michael Pollan) called the Omnivore's dilemma (it could have been one of his other books, i don't recall) is that, much to my fascination, Johnny Appleseed AKA John Chapman, not only was a real person, but a fascinating one with a keen BUSINESS sense. We are taught in schools and as kids, that johnny appleseed was some mythic-like character whom traveled the countryside and threw appleseeds all over the place, and apple trees grew all over america ( :yawn: ) This food was a staple and sustained many an olde-tyme-y early american. And the oxes plowed the fields and oh pioneer life was grand, as they munched on shiny, bright red worm free apples. WRONG.. so so wrong not even close. These folks like to drink. HARD. And by hard, i mean hard cider. I'm sure olde - tyme life was rough.. short, and a lot of work. LOL. So, to get through life in those times, people really had a liking for the drink. In comes Cider. (and drinking it was probably much safer than water in those days) JC recognized the love and need of hard cider in lots of pioneer communities. So, what he did, was get ahead of the pioneers. He would plant orchards of CIDER apples (AKA, not great for eating, but good for making booze) In areas that were just beginning to be settled, or in some cases, before being settled at all. That way, in a few years time that area would be settled, and when the growing population of that area needed apples, lots and lots of apples, to make lots of cider, JC was there, at the ready, with an orchard full of sapling, young, or even fruiting trees, ready to cash in and sell it to them.

OK, most of that is true, i didn't make anything up, but it was like 15 years ago i read about this, so i'm paraphrasing. Anyways, it's a pretty fascinating, and surpising story, to me. But it makes a hell of a lot more sense than the legend that is usually told. Apologies if i remembered anything wrong or left something out, but, if you like booze, and a good story, check out the real story of Johnny Appleseed. That, friends, is MY kind of fruity goodness. Getting lit. :thumbup:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby likker liker » Wed May 23, 2018 2:45 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Copperhead road » Sat May 26, 2018 3:19 am

likker liker wrote::thumbup:

+1 :thumbup:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed May 30, 2018 5:33 pm

With the beginning of apple season only slightly more than a month away life has been crazy busy for me lately and I have had little time to do much of anything online. It shows no sign of letting up any time soon either but the brick patio for my outdoor kitchen is now finished and the shed is in work, I'm also almost ready to install the stoves vent hood in the kitchen so progress is being made. Today I have been working on the yard which includes fighting with those damn morning glories :evil: I hate those stupid things, they just take over everything and try to cover it up. Every week I have to clear them off my blueberries or they will cover them to the point you can't even tell they are there. This was actually the case with an apple tree I found that I had forgotten about :roll: While clearing out morning glories, blackberries and English ivy I actually found an apple tree in a pot that I had grown from seeds and had intended to use for grafting a KD but at sometime I moved it close to an overgrown area and it got attacked by the morning glories. It seems to have done well in spite of this and has now been moved to a sunny area where hopefully it will thrive.

Most everything is coming along fine. Not many grafts are looking good but some are. Here is the most promising one
KD GRAFT 30 MAY 18 #4 - C.jpg

It's about ready for the tape to be removed. Other grafts are looking like they may or may not succeed but I find they can sometimes take considerable time before you can tell.

The KD and Hazen are looking good.
KD APPLE 30 MAY 18 #4 - C.jpg

HAZEN APPLE 30 MAY 18 #2 - C.jpg

I moved the Hazen to a place where it gets better sunlight so that should be helpful.

The Asian pear looks pretty good too
ASIAN PEARS 30 MAY 18 #2 - C.jpg


and the beauty plum is doing better than ever
PLUMS 30 MAY 18 #2 - C.jpg

It does have a problem though. Yesterday I noticed some weird looking little bumps on some branches. As it turns out these are little bugs called plum scale, which are easy enough to deal with, you just pick, brush or spray them off. I have been picking off all I see as I've been working.

Because I keep removing the morning glories the blueberries are looking very good.
BLUEBERRIES 30 MAY 18 #2 - C.jpg

Not much longer and they will be ripening :D I always look forward to blueberry picking.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed May 30, 2018 6:19 pm

The one Seckel pear is doing fine too
SECKEL PEAR 30 MAY 18 #2 - C.jpg


The only thing not looking great are the cherries, they are looking a little sad right now.

The blackberries are now starting to flower so those will be coming in soon.

Then there are the tomatoes. My wife forbade me from having a garden this year but she made the mistake of allowing me to go to the hardware store by myself. They happened to have San Marsano plants that day and I couldn't help but but 3 but in my defense I was left unsupervised :roll: I also know that San Marsanos are her favorite tomatoes and not something you find at the grocery store so if you want them you have to grow them and if you find the plants at the store you better buy them right then because if you wait until the next day they won't be there. A few weeks later we were at the hardware store together and she reluctantly gave me the go ahead to buy some but by then there weren't any. We actually had to go to 3 different places that day for various things and the last one had 2 root bound scraggly looking, over priced San Marsanos that I went ahead and bought. Once planted and properly cared for those plants bounced right back and are doing just as well and are just as large as the first 3. So I now have 5 San Ms :D
TOMATOES 30 MAY 18 #2 - C.jpg


Some of them even have tomatoes already
TOMATOES 30 MAY 18 #1 - C.jpg

TOMATOES 30 MAY 18 #3 - C.jpg

I like tomato flowers :D they aren't as pretty as nightshade flowers but they mean nice home grown tomatoes in the future.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:43 pm

Cranky your garden of Eden continues to be an inspiration man. Question about your 'mater plants, sounds like you love 'em and have a hard time finding them, can't you keep them inside come winter so that they don't die and then put them outside next spring so they spring back and fruit again??

I might have some extra sugar maple wood chunks soon...
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:11 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:Cranky your garden of Eden continues to be an inspiration man. Question about your 'mater plants, sounds like you love 'em and have a hard time finding them, can't you keep them inside come winter so that they don't die and then put them outside next spring so they spring back and fruit again??

I don't know if that would work or not but my tomato plants will be well over 6 feet tall by the time it would be time to bring them in for winter and I don't really have that kind of space. They do tend to be hard to find, mostly because they are such a popular tomato that they get snatched up as soon as they are available. One year I tried to grow them from seeds but the package lied about what the seeds were really for and I was extremely disappointed because they certainly weren't San Marsanos.

A couple days ago my wife made the mistake of letting me go to the hardware store again and I came home with 2 pepper plants, a sweet chili and a ghost chili. I couldn't believe that my local hardware had ghost chili plants and couldn't help but buy one. A few years ago I grew some Dorset Naga chili plants from seeds but just after they flowered the weather turned cold and they died :cry: I did succeed with rainbow peppers and a few others but the really hot ones take a long time to mature. My plan is to bring those inside when the weather turns and keep them under lights to keep them through the winter.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby distiller_dresden » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:16 pm

Well I'm sure you know more than I do, because it sounds like you grow a lot more, but remember, your tomato plants... They're plants. If they're 6ft tall, just chop them down Cranky near the end of summer, to a manageable size, then bring them in when the weather turns, at least a couple or three of them. The smaller plants will still hobble through the winter if you baby them right, and come spring time they will pop back to life and spring up a lot quicker than the sickly plants you had to nurse to health. I think this would work very well to save any plants you want over winter.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:44 pm

It's been a while since I have posted but everything is progressing nicely.

Here are some pictures of whats going on
Here is what the Asian pears are looking like
ASIAN PEAR 20 JUN 18 #2 - Copy.jpg


The blueberries are pretty close to full size now and should begin ripening soon
BLUEBERRIES 20 JUN 18 #2 - C.jpg


The seckel pear is starting to get much bigger
SECKEL PEAR 20 JUN18 #2 - C.jpg


The banana plums are starting to approach full size too
PLUM 20 JUN 18 #1 - C.jpg


My apples are doing well. This is the first year I will be able to harvest KD apples from a graft :ebiggrin:
KD APPLE 20 JUN 18 #3 - C.jpg


Speaking of grafts, this one is looking exceptional
APPLE GRAFT 20 JUN 18 #2 - C.jpg

It will still be at least 2 years before it will be allowed to bear fruit but it is looking very good.
Last edited by cranky on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:57 pm

The apples on the Hazen are starting to weigh the branches down.
HAZEN APPLE 20 JUN 18 #2 - C.jpg


HAZEN APPLE 20 JUN18 #3 - C.jpg

I'm going to have to add some supports soon to make sure the branches don't break.

The pictures of the tomatoes aren't good enough to post but they are now well above their cages and every one has tomatoes. We are really looking forward to having home grown tomatoes :D

I have a week of starting in 4 days and I hope to get all me apple equipment in order so I am ready for the beginning of apple season, which should start in only 2 or 3 more weeks.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:57 pm

Awwww the tree is so little!! That's cool!!

Enjoy your time off cranky. You've earned it i'm sure. Go get your pick on!! Man i'm sure you are going to pick so damn many apples. You've got all the equipment to process many many apples with ease. So... go get em killer!!


good luck, pal!! I hope you have great success and this is a great year for you!!!!


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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Copperhead road » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:34 pm

I can see some fine Cranky Apple brandy on the horizon.....
I like how you share the experience and journey of distillation from the tree to the copper spout! Farm to bottle... :clap:
If it’s not made of copper it simply ain’t proper......
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:58 pm

CatCrap wrote:Awwww the tree is so little!! That's cool!!

It is a cute little tree. Hazens are natural dwarfs but prolific producers, this one is still pretty young and has had several limbs removed due to rejected grafts. This is the only one that has ever succeeded with this tree and likely the last one I will ever try.
KD ON HAZEN GRAFT 20 JUN 18 #1 - C.jpg

I really need to remove those apples but I would really like to be able to pick KDs off 3 trees this year.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:39 am

The other day I picked the only cherry my tree produced.
CHERRY 29 JUN 18 #1 - C.jpg


It's a shame a bird found it first :(
CHERRY 29 JUN 18 #2 - C.jpg


Today I picked my first blueberry. They are HUGE this year. Here is a picture of it next to a rum bottle to show the size.
BLUEBERRY 01 JUL 18 - C.jpg


I need to get over to the early apple trees and see how close they are. The last couple years the transparent was ready July 3rd but I really expect them to be a week or two late.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:23 pm

Cranky, you know you put that beside an airline bottle. lol

My bushes get picked daily by a 4 year old or the birds.

Did alot of pruning on the apple trees this spring, thinning them down a good bit and found some serious rot in one of them. I'm not sure I got as it's only leaved on half of the tree.
I still may reduce limbs on the others by a third, didn't want to completely shock and kill the trees.

Just kidding Mr. Cranky, those berries look very good!
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