Adams County Nursery Open House in Aspers PA

I just received an invitation to their open house and variety showcase. I’m not sure that small customers can get in but it is occurring 8-25 from 3 to 7PM in Aspers PA. Because it includes free dinner some begging may be required or may be futile if you are not a wholesale customer, but if you live in the area I’d think it worth a shot. I’m thinking of taking a drive. Should be a lot of amazing stuff at that time.

Phone # is 800 377-3106. If the person who answers seems irritable, please don’t tell them I sent you. :laughing:

Man, that symbol looks like some kind of evil laugh.

I bet it will be very informative. Please post back about some of the interesting stuff they talk about. :thought_balloon:

Heard good things about Adams. Every time I’ve tried to order they’ve been sold out.

Alan,

Did you go? How was it?

I was unable to go. (Sad sigh).

Yes, and it was interesting but disappointing. We took a walk to a stand of Honeycrisps, including a new early ripening variety that was a tad over ripe and the original that was ripe, but they both were mediocre- relatively low brix and low snap. I continue to believe this variety requires cool nights during the last couple weeks of ripening to get full sweetness and crispness- otherwise you just get huge, mediocre fruit.

There was a lecture period about the new and newish varieties on display that was difficult for me to follow due in equal parts to my fading ability to hear and a very bad PA system. It was not backed up with any visual aids, such as slides or power point and there were no handouts to back up the lectures.

The varietal tasting included no fruit of high enough quality for me to give away (if it was from my trees)- all picked too green and some quite a while ago, which is understandable, of course. It did provide some information on how the fruit would LOOK upon harvest. The fruit that I already knew to be capable of greatness was mediocre at best so I couldn’t gauge anything I didn’t know.

But the family that owns the nursery were all extremely nice and gracious people (perhaps unlike the author of this note) as were a lot of the people who came to the event- I particularly enjoyed a couple of the Amish families- they were very sweet and friendly. The father of one of the families directed me to his son to talk about plums. The young man gave me tips on best pluots to try (Flavorheart and Flavorgem).

I also had a nice talk with the head stonefruit breeder at Rutgers who correctly identified a peach I brought to him from one of my trees that was from his program. Initially I just brought it out to eat to remind myself how a good peach is supposed to taste but my wife suggested I show it to the man.

It was funny how many growers were grumbling about their dislike for TangO’s. One mentioned how CA growers of the variety wear white gloves when they harvest it so it won’t bruise. I had the impression that none of them had ever tasted a really good one because they maybe harvest them too early.

One thing I was left with was how much different the goals of a commercial grower can be from the home grower. Most of these people really didn’t seem passionate about producing amazing tasting fruit or in any way creating a market for it. If I had to buy fruit from any of the folks I met, I would try the Amish farms first. The ones I spoke to seemed the most concerned about quality, but my sampling was unfairly small. This is not, however, the first time I’ve seen evidence of this general tendency of commercial growers. I don’t fault them for it at all, they are in a very tough business and trying to survive, and many of them are wholesalers.

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That was my impression in CA. Even at DWN taste testings at their test plantings the fruit was largely green or mediocre. I bought very little great fruit in CA. It just wasn’t around.

Ah, but you should check out the Santa Monica farmers market in Aug. A lot of farmers there offer samples and sell premium fruit at premium prices. To sample the best of it you probably need to get there early. But farmers markets are often like that, with small growers selling their entire crop directly to their customers the way Olpea does it. Those are the growers I most admire (including you, Olpea).

One thing that I should have expected, but disappointed me anyway, is that there was no tour of their main nursery operations.

Ah shucks, I’m blushing now Alan. If I were near NY, I’d probably pay you to come prune some of my trees for the compliment alone (not to mention I could use a break). :smiley:

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Several attempts of buying fruit at CA farmer markets and fruit stands left me wondering whether some of the sellers actually get their fruit from Costco the night before. Of course, there are some nice exceptions, but unfortunately they’re few and far between.

Stan, there are always going to be some unscrupulous folks, especially those selling on the roadside, posing as farmers, but legitimate farmers markets are most often policed by the farmers themselves. They know who the real growers are the same way any serious grower of fruit can identify a poser. Every year I go to the Arcata farmers market when I visit my sister near Eureka Ca. The farmers she buys her fruit from she’s known for years. When I go with her there is no doubt in my mind the people she’s buying from are really farmers selling their pride and joy products.