Introducing myself to Scott's forum


#23

If this thread is any indication, there is a really nice community coalescing here at Growfruit.org-thanks again Scott!
I live in the western foothills of Maine, where we’ve been for 10 years now. Always had a veggie garden, always organically maintained. It was always my dream to plant trees, so when we decided to settle in and purchase the house we’d rented I finally took the plunge with 3 grape vines and 3 plums and a peach- potted plants bought in an-off season sale at a local garden supply center. Even though fall planting isn’t recommended for our northern zone, all survived their first winter, and have continued to grow and produce fruit for our enjoyment.
I started fruit exploring our town, which was an apple growing region 150 years ago in it’s agricultural heyday. I took scionwood from locally found apple varieties like Blue Pearmain, Roxbury Russet, Baldwin and top-worked ‘volunteer’ seedling appletrees in my yard over to these heirlooms.
That tree catalog which was passed along to me in 2010 must have had some psyco-active paper coating, because compulsively I purchased 76 fruit trees that spring- mostly apples on standard rootstock, a few pears, plums, elderberries.
The following year, I purchased a bundle of rootstock(bud 118) and began producing trees for my own use and for eventual re-sale. Currently I have around 500 or so 1st year grafts in the ground that will hopefully be sold this fall, and planning on planting out around that many this spring as well, mostly apple, but also pear, plum and cornus mas. My nursery beds are located in the aisles of my orchard while the young trees are still filling their alloted space.
I worked at a local orchard for a couple years, and was somewhat dismayed to discover how many spray applications we had to apply, even more on the ‘organically’ managed block!
Several years ago I became very interested in permaculture, and diversifying my orchard with a variety of disease/pest resistant ‘lesser’ fruits, perennial culinary/medicinal herbs, nut crops, and so on. My garden stopped being this rectangle in the lawn, and is now integrated with my orchard plantings. Rotating hogs and chickens through the landscape, sowing cover crops behind them, has really increased the fertility and diversity of what used to be a depleted hayfield.
Last year we received abundance in plums, elderberries, our native blueberries, grapes, hazelnuts, and got ‘first tastes’ of quite a few other things-signs of seasons to come!
Recent fruit infatuations of mine include cornus mas, super hardy kiwi, and figs.

Thanks for reading, Jesse


#24

I don’t want to clog this thread up with lots of comments that get in the way of its purpose, but I just had to say how much I am enjoying this and want to thank Scott for the site and Alan for the inspirational idea of having everyone post a little personal info/background. It really makes me feel I’m among friends. It’s also fascinating how many of us find our fruit-growing roots in our child hood. I’ve enjoyed every single one of your memories and stories of the past, as well as your description of your present day set up. I’m so glad all of you have felt comfortable enough to share these personal insights. I firmly believe this thread alone makes this site one of the best on-line communities I’ve been a part of. The fact that I have so little to offer (due to me being new to fruit) and yet have been made to feel so welcomed is further evidence of the generosity and kindness of the folks here. Thanks for letting me sponge off all your knowledge. Once I gain more experience and my trees get big enough (most are just 1-2 years old, 3 at most) I promise to volunteer more help and scion wood to anyone who wants it. Meanwhile, if any of you regulars haven’t introduced yourself and posted your “fruit bio”, please do so. I’m confident that I’m not the only one enjoying these! Thanks again.


#25

Hi this is my first post on this new forum. I go by greyphase on most boards and had a few postings on the GW board. I’m 61 years old and am a retired factory worker living in southcentral Pa on land that I roamed over as a kid. The old apple trees that clung to life on this old homestead always fascinated me, gnarled old hollowed out trees that somehow managed to bear some apples each fall. By the time I was able to buy this 66 acre homestead the old trees had finally died out and were replaced by volunteer trees from their seeds. I taught myself how to graft (youtube is wonderful :grinning:) two years ago and am in the process of planting as many different varieties of heirloom apples as I can :flushed:. Hopefully I’ll have enough years left in me to see the results of my hard work. I want to thank Scott for starting this forum that has the potential to become a favorite stopping place each day and hope to learn from the other members experiences and maybe even help somebody else out with any questions they may have.

Rick


#26

Howdy greyphase! Just found this new site this morning. Thanks! Fruit junkies can never have enough places to shoot the breeze. I grew up on a farm in south cental NE. We always had a big garden and there exsisted an apple, a cherry and an apricot that my Great grandparents had planted. Wish I could have propagated those trees before they died out. I have a degree in biology and a strong drive to learn and experiment. Started out grafting a few trees a couple of years ago and now I am in the process of building and running a small nursery business. Love to share the information I have learned with others. Always enjoy learning more.


#27

Hey TurkeyCreek. Good to see you on board.


#28

Well Ill tag in on this topic. Name is Mike. Im in Tulsa. Im pretty much just following the knowledge if that is ok. GW has been and for the most part still is my biggest source of info. That and youtube. Been growing Citrus and topicals for years but last year was my first full summer with stone fruit and apples. Also have a couple grape vines and blackberries. My little orchard just has 9 trees in it but my plan is for as many as I can fit in my almost acre yard.

thanks scott for making a new place.

Mike


#29

Glad to be here. Had been at the GW forums - almost daily - since back around 1996; don’t care for the ‘new’ incarnation, but will probably continue to check in there from time to time, just out of habit. Thanks, Scott, and thanks E, for inviting me over.

Grew up in UCLA(upper corner of Lower Alabama) - Lee Co., just outside of ‘the loveliest village on the plains’, Auburn. Was always involved with the family garden, and my dad was an avid collector and propagator of azaleas and camellias - my initial introduction to plant propagation. Never really delved into fruits/nuts there - home was in the middle of an early 1900s era pecan orchard(mostly Stuart & Mahan), there was an old Keiffer pear, and some seedling apples & peaches growing in the fencerows around the garden and barnlot, Dad had a big blueberry patch, but that was about it, other than some pomegranates I started from cuttings when I was 8.

Got my BS(microbiology) and DVM from AU, married a vet school classmate, and moved to southern middle TN(Giles Co.). Veterinary practice, a growing young family, and a small 180 ac. farm with beef cattle didn’t really allow for any horticultural pursuits. Left practice for a pathology residency at UofMO, where I discovered bur oaks (Q.macrocarpa). Landed here in southern west-central KY, about 70 mi NW of Nashville TN, 21 years ago.

Immediately started planting an orchard - apples,peaches,plums, blueberries, kiwis, mulberries,cherries. Active involvement with the 4 kids, community, job, and re-building this farm(190ac) from the ground up relegated me to mostly planting and neglecting most of the fruit trees - it was a ‘make it on your own or die’ proposition for them.

Wife got me into pecans - I didn’t know at that time that they’d grow here - and I’m sure she regrets it to this day, 'cause I quickly became an obsessive collector of pecans, hickories, walnuts, and oaks. That said, I’ll readily admit that I’m a 'hell of a propagator, but a p___-poor caretaker. Along the way, mulberries, pears, and persimmons became part of the collection obsession deal for me. Have a sizeable planting of rabbiteye & Southern highbush blueberries, a few blackberries, raspberries, juneberries.

Have abandoned all but a handful of apples/crabs, choosing to concentrate primarily on nut trees, pears, and persimmons. Have over 30 varieties each of pecan, pear, persimmon…but, due to poor record keeping (and hooved rats eating aluminum labels)…definitive IDs have been lost on a lot of them.
Kids are all grown and gone from home now… so maybe I’ll have more time available for orcharding pursuits.


#30

Greeting all from Atlanta. It has been great reading everyone’s background, here is my story in a nutshell:
Born and raised in a suburban home in Houston TX, my mom grew a few tomatoes but that was about my exposure to gardening as a youngster. My wife and I bought our 1st home about 25 years ago and I realized that I enjoyed going out and digging in the dirt and fixing up the yard. I am a lawyer by training and thus stuck inside behind a desk many hours of the day. Something about being outside and turning nothing into something in my yard really appealed to me. and gardening became more and more of my hobby since then.

About 4 years ago I came across the idea of growing fruit, the idea of spending $20 on a tree that can provide you with many years of fruit appealed to my thrifty (cheap) nature that can give you much more return that just planting something like a holly bush. I really enjoy researching and learning new things and have spent many hours reading up on all phases of growing fruit, several of the folks on the forum here have contributed greatly to my education. Anyway, like many of you, I have gone hog wild planting fruit trees in the last 4 years. I am over 100 now and just bench grafted 15 more apple trees even though I am not sure where to plant them. I live a 4 acre lot in a northern suburb of Atlanta that was virtually all trees when I moved here 9 years ago. I have cleared about 1 acre or so for my plantings and told the family that I would stop expanding but no promises. That’s enough rambling, the new forum is great, Chris.


#31

Hello all,

I’m Mark (MarknMT on Yahoo and GardenWeb). I turn 65 in a few weeks and work in a grocery store. Retired from the baker’s trade four years ago but carry on as a checker, receiving clerk, and resident old fart. Have always tried to grow a little salad garden and got introduced to apple grafting by a friend a few years ago. Bought an apple and am still trying to learn how to manage it. Killed off a few apricots but got an occassional good crop along the way. Have a pear tree that almost follows my rules. Play a little with a couple of plums.

It’s almost more important to me to graft something than to harvest it: grafting is full of hope and anticipation and is subject to all kinds of wishful and magical thinking, whereas harvesting is a lot of hard work, and sometimes disappointment. I try to corral enough discipline to not waste any of the crop. I have good success with a few different grafting techniques on pomes and even plums (plums iffier) but have been all but defeated by apricots. 'Cots have it in for me.

Live in Missoula, MT, same house since 1977, same employer since 1986, same wife since 1970. Pretty soon I’ll retire but I hope to keep the wife and house. (Cars are welcome to stay around as long as they keep working.)

Spare time finds me cooking, baking, gardening, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, shop projects, trying to keep up with a house that is even older than I, and looking for opportunities to spend time with my grandkids, who are capable of keeping me way busier than all those other things. Love music, some graphic arts, moving water, campfires and good (or even cheap) beer.


#32

Hey folks!

bart1 here from Gardenweb, now changed to Bart.

I live in Alexandria, VA but have my orchard about an hour west of here in Linden, VA. If anyone wants to stop by let me know…hint, hint…Scott…hint, hint…I’m always looking for advice and suggestions and would love to get someone who really knows what’s up to take a look. Sometimes I think I know what I’m doing and then reality smacks me in the face!.

99% of what I know came from Gardenweb and one visit to Jellyman’s place in Great Falls, VA. There’s nothing like looking at actual trees in the flesh (bark).

Is this going to be the new hang out, or are you folks still going to post at Gardenweb/Houzz?

Bart


#33

Bart,do you communicate with Jellyman these days? It’d be great to have him on this forum. He was one knowledgeable dude.
To answer your question, I for one, think I’m done with GW or should I say Houzz. It was getting so “advertizy” and just felt too different and commercial. Aside from that I was never able to log-in even though I signed up without issue.


#34

Nice to see so many familiar names, good to see a bunch of new ones too.

I guess I’m another emigre from gw, Had been there for a number of years, lurking lots, posting some. I suspect my pattern will be about the same here.

Degree in environmental science. Left the field to be a woodworker. Boats primarily but lots of timber frames and furniture.
I always loved to do the homesteading thing, grow what you can make what you can. I mostly shut the the shop down the last few years to be home with the kids. It gave me an oportunity to really expand on our fruit plantings. Now the girls are in school, I’m back in the shop, and it’s all I can do to keep on the maitinace.


#35

I thank Scott for setting up this website and for getting me cleared through the blockade by my mail server. I thought I was stuck with the Howlzapopping while all the posters I learned from were jumping ship. I grew up in SW CT not far from Harvestman’s neighborhood, but long before he got there. I stole apples from orchards and played in pastures and woods. By the time I left for college the dairy farms had turned into suburbs and the development that sprouted where apple trees used to grow now had only an uncared for few that the bulldozer had missed. Fast forward 20 years and my wife and I decided that homesteading was what we needed to do and we moved to a beautiful mountain farm in the Potomac Highlands of WV and far from the blighted coal zone. Before we made the big move we planted a lot of fruit trees to get a head start on things. The deer thanked us. Fast forward 20 more years and I found Garden Web and found answers that I couldn’t find in my many homesteading books. Alan’s pruning paper helped me finally understand that my older trees were carrying too much “old wood” and I needed to apply the renewal and replacement strategies that he described. So now I have about 35 apple trees to rejuvenate.


#36

Thanks for setting up this forum. I’ve learned a tremendous amount at the old gardenweb forum. Most of the information you find on the web is just a repeat and repost of other information already available. The gardenweb forum was not like that, as people were willing to analyze issues and put some thought into other peoples’ concerns. That seems to be the intent of this forum, and again I’m grateful.
I rarely posted on the gardenweb/houzz forum because my experience growing fruit is very limited. I’ve grown a lot of vegetables and native plants, and became interested in fruit about 5 years ago. I currently grow a few apples, have just planted a couple of plums, and have some perpetually not very productive rabbiteye blueberries. The only thing I feel halfway qualified to comment on is eastern blackberries. I’ve grown several varieties successfully for several years, and am hoping the spotted wing drosophila won’t find me in my small town about 45 miles west of Atlanta.


#37

applefan…if you’re in the Potomac Highlands of WV then we’re almost neighbors. Are you in Keyser by any chance?


#38

Riverton, Pendleton County - a far piece from Keyser.


#39

Indeed


#40

This is so exciting to find new members on a daily basis. I don’t expect to ever post on Houzz again. I wish I had a record of all the posts I’ve made on GW over the years, That is a lot of writing that has been flushed down the Houzz toilet- the only part of Houzz that isn’t clogged.


#41

Alan,

You can search yourself on GW like harvestman and most of your post will show up and you can copy and paste here on a new topic like old GW threads.

Tony


#42

Appleseed -
I lost contact with Don/Jellyman years ago when he stopped posting on GW.

We can probably look him up in the phone book and pester him into joining! :smiley: