Introducing myself to Scott's forum


MES111 ‘Mike’ is correct!
I started out with a few pomegranates and now have 28. Heard about everyone growing figs . . . 'got 3. Apples? Now we have 4. And on and on and on!
Not only is ‘getting more fruit’ addictive . . . but so is chatting on this forum!
But - I’ve learned more here than I did in college, I think! It’s great.

Welcome to all future Fruit Forum Addicts . . .
@wvuengr12, @VCjac, @TrilobaTracker - I thought you’d been here forever!, @sarabetsy, @Chance, @Delawhere, @kakasamo, @Piblarg, @Margaret157 (who took Grow a Little Fruit wayyyyy too seriously!), @ubangardener . . . . and everyone else who joined since this spring!


Hi! I was on GardenWeb, too. But not for long and it was a few years ago. I had a kid and an upholstery business and they won out over the internet. I still have the kid and the business, but I have various questions about things like plum curculios, apple rust, peach ooze, and a non-flowering kiwi that is definitely not the variety i ordered.
My family grew up(and is again) in central NJ at the base of the first foothill of the Appalachians, just starting the coastal plain. I’m close to New York City, but thoroughly in the suburbs much to my dismay. Our almost quarter of an acre is THOROUGHLY used. We have 2 peaches, 2 apples, 1 cherry, 2 elderberries, 4 blueberries that count and 3 that aren’t quite dead. A bunch of (not)“thornless” canby raspberries and actually thornless triple crown blackberries (so good), a WONDERFUL Shiro plum (yellow, just harvested), a good for nothing starking delicious red plum, a couple of volunteers, plum and a peach, a stanley prune plum, some red currants, a hardy kiwi -lame-, and a wonderful Mango pawpaw. Strawberries. And a concord grape. And lots of medicinal herbs.

I grew up gardening, playing in the stream, and hauling garbage out of “our” floodplain woods. And raking an acre of leaves. We had lots of lawn with 2 hills and giant oak trees and a 100 year old house. There are entire radio stations that are “washing wallpaper paste music” to me.
I was more interested in animals than plants until my late teens. I had ducks and a parakeet and 2 fish, my brothers and sisters had a squirrel, a litter of skunks (briefly), sparrows, and we had anoles. Occasionally we got to keep a stray dog for a while. Then we had cats. The year my dad sprayed the peach tree, we got lots of peaches. We ran around barefoot and my neighbor had a huge chestnut tree. I used to live on the swing on the apple tree in his front yard, and i spent lots of time up in his plum trees eating warm yellow plums. We had the run of our other neighbor’s yard, too, and she had a good mulberry. I had grape vines, but they didnt get going until after I left. My dad died and everything fell apart. At some point I got more interested in wild edible plants, and then in medicinal plants. I really studied them (plant books by Michael Moore are awesome!) for a few years. I had a big garden in Oregon and found out that wells can run dry. It didn’t, but my landlady was really worried so I stopped watering. I thought they were an endless source of water!
Back here in wet NJ, (my plant-loving Mom calls it a temperate rainforest) I moved into my mom’s little white house that had azaleas and grass. And proceeded to beg a square foot for a tomato plant. Then 5 square feet for a flower bed. Etc etc. Little by little I’ve carved that grass down. I’ve been here 15ish years, switched from medicinal plants to Bible, gotten married, and had a kid (9 years old.) He’s more into minecraft than plants but i have hope yet. Because gardening is hoping. I always think I’ll get it right next year. And i do keep learning. But I’m about ready to whack a couple of trees because they don’t really contribute.
I’m not into chemical sprays, but I need to figure out what to do for these apple trees. Pretty sure I can figure some of it out here.


Welcome aboard, Laura. Hope you will start posting your questions in the Fruit Growing category soon. The creator of this site, Scott Smith is our organic fruit growing guru in our “temperate rain forest”.

You will need a cat to help with your organic fruit growing. Get a feral one or a domestic one that enjoys hunting.

Re. Minecraft, my daughter is 21, she still spends a lot of time playing some version of Minecraft games. I hope your son grows out of it sooner :grin:.


Thanks for the encouragement. I know a young man who says minecraft is actually what got him interested in farming, forestry, building, and animal husbandry. Mmmm. Mayyyybe. Hope my son turns out to have some similar interests with me.
I’ve seriously considered a hunter cat. I also have 2 chickens and a rabbit, so adding a predator is a gamble. Squirrels are harder to catch. A dog might help, too.
I’ll have to figure out where to post a question


On the top right corner of the page, there are a couple of symbols.

  • The looking glass is a search engine. If you want to look for topic of your interest, type in key words. For example, “plum problem”.

  • the three short line symbol, click on it. Several items will show up. One of them is Categories. Click on the Categories. Then you can choose a category you want to post your question in by clicking on that category.


Hello All, My fruit background goes back over 40 years ago but really took off in 1980 when I worked as a research technician for the two Extension Specialist in tree fruit and small fruit upon graduation at North Carolina State University. NCSU has a strong Peach, Strawberry, Blueberry and Grape breeding program and many growers willing to try cutting edge techniques to grow their crops. We put in trials for the then new way of planting strawberries in the fall and harvest just one crop in the spring and do it all over again in the fall for the next year.

My favorite part of my job was trying out all the crosses made by our plant breeders. Sadly we were developing fruit for commercial production and some truly great flavored fruit were passed over as their other qualities were lacking. Other perks were my colleagues in the vegetable end of things bringing back tomatoes and watermelons from their variety trials.

After 3 years there, I had the chance to come back home and take over my father’s peanut farm. But I kept up my fruit background by planting a 400 tree peach orchard for direct marketing from the farm. I had a full season of peaches from Redhaven to late season Monroe peaches. Of course I had all the NCSU releases like Norman, Clayton, Ellerbe, Winblo and Biscoe. I also planted some of the numbered selections I liked that were later released such as Contender. I also had Nectar, Jefferson and Redskin. By the end of August I tired of dealing with the public and was always glad the season was over.

Unfortunately the seasons changed and late frost became the norm over the years. Even though I was selling every peach we could pick in the later years as I had built up a waiting list of customers, three years of total crop failure in a row and I decided to to get out of the peach business after 12 years when it was time to decide to start a new orchard or quit and just concentrate on raising the field crops which now included cotton.

Fast forward to today. I still grow a few Winblo and Blushingstar peaches for family and friends. Still battle Scab and Brown Rot but with a backpack sprayer instead of the orchard sprayer parked under the barn. I use to sell peaches for 50 cent a pound back in the 80’s and 90’s. With the price of brown rot control chemicals today and the price of labor, I would have to increase that quit a bit if I was a commercial grower today.

Currently I farm part time and work full time as an Agricultural Inspector certifying field crops grown for seed. Nice to have the benefits of a state job and not worry so much over droughts and low prices. Although I never have a free weekend unless its raining from early spring until after Thanksgiving.


Welcome. Happy to have someone with extensive fruit (and other crops) growing experience to join us. One of our admins and a valuable contributor here is Mark @Olpea who has a commercial peach farm in Kansas.

I think Mark will truly understand what you went true with your peach farming experience. Again, welcome aboard.


Yes, welcome aboard Jerry.

I agree NCSU has a strong peach program (don’t know much about their other fruit crops). I grow several of their releases - Clayton, Winblo, Biscoe, Contender, Carolina Gold, Intrepid, Challenger.

They have developed some nice peaches.


Welcome Laura! This site has everything that was good about GardenWeb. Just about