Orchard Visit with Alan


I cage most of mine, although let a few sprawl, and they seem to do better and yes get that big. Mine are more 6-7 feet tall, but spread out 10 feet in all directions.
I too am still harvesting tomatoes. I'll have enough for one more batch of sauce.


Bob and Alan, you guys look good. With the way Alan wrote, I thought he is a 70 years old dinosaur :smile:


Good stuff... Now i want late peaches! Although squirrels would still be a huge issue.


Alan, what figs do you grow? Do you wrap them over winter?


Bob, you made a fantastic photo log! You did a great job on your freelance reporting to share with everyone here. I'm sure everyone else has been as hungry as I have been to actually SEE some of Alan's stock and setup. Thanks so much for sharing.


LSU purple, Hardy Chicago and unnamed Bronx Italian. The unnamed one is by far the superior for my conditions and methods and the one in the photo. My fig trees are in heavy fabric in-ground bags and get dug up with a heavy spade and stored over-winter in my unheated well house.


Yes, and before early blight made its entrance on my property that was the norm here as well (huge healthy plants lasting late into the season). Late blight is the one possibly brought by potatoes but EB is much more common in the NE.

Now I have to find the perfect spots and apply weekly copper spray, or the plants begin to die as soon as they start bearing fruit. The copper stopped in early Aug and only the Country Taste is still vigorous and healthy.

I start my plants indoors early and have been harvesting tomatoes since the last week of June, although it wasn't until mid-July that they began bearing heavily.

I used to use chlorothalinal until tomatoes were forming but the copper seems to work about as well.

It isn't only fruit trees that seem to gather pests as time goes by.


If you want to keep your tomatoes up, buy some Texas tomato cages they are great. My tomato plants can grow about 7 or 8 feet and they keep them up off if the ground. You still have to stake the cages, but they are the best.


I made tomato cages with the concrete mess. Great. They are about 5' tall, as wide as you want. The cost of the wire is about $10 to $15 each, beating all store prices.


Alan, any more benefits than growing the figs in pots? Also, would your well house the same as an unheated shed or barn? Was not sure if over-wintered plants can stay there. Better than outdoors, but still very cold.


My well house is built into a hill so that it barely reaches freezing when it gets as low as -20F. It's much like a root cellar with just enough humidity that I don't need to worry about watering them all winter. I just have to make sure voles (mice) don't eat them.


I have no idea how I missed this originally, but while doing some research tonight I saw it for first time. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the photos and how neat it is to see two of my favorite fruit growers get together like that. If I haven't said it before, my little orchard is always open for tours to anyone who lives or visits the Nashville, TN/ Bowling Green, KY area. (That includes you, @RobThomas , @Lucky_P, and others who live nearby)

Speaking of who lives where, that reminds something I've thought about for a long time. Not that this site isn't absolutely perfect already, but I'd like to make a small suggestion to @scottfsmith that I think everyone might enjoy- especially new people who wonder if there are any people from their geographic area on here. What I was thinking about was a big map of the country (perhaps even a world map) with a "pin" showing where each growingfruit.org member lives (just town. And you could make it voluntary or have the option to opt out if someone didn't want to say where they lived for some reason.

I think it would be fun to see at a glance where all we live, who is near us, etc. Its mostly available anyway in the introduction thread, but a visual representation via map would be fun. Anyway, just a thought. You can "like" this post to let scott know you agree that a "members map" would be nice. Meanwhile, I'm sure Scott could do it, though I'm sorry to him that I'm suggestion something that would require more work! Thanks 4 all you do.


CMan, that is a great idea, IMO. You can count me in. You should make a post on the topic so folks who don't tune into this will be aware of it. You could also mention it on the introduction topic.


I agree, this is a great idea. I think google maps might have a way to create such map. I'll look into it.


Try this link for now. I created this map as a test. It's a public map to anyone with this link. So all of you should be able to click on it and add your genreal location. It is not public on the web meaning that if you search for it on google you won't find it. You can reach it only through this link below. I also added the location of a few common nurseries just for reference. We can create as many categories as we'd like. I would like to find a plant hardiness zone overlay. try it out.

EDIT, I took Alan's suggestion and created a new thread. I'm still not sure if the map will work but feel free to try it out and report back to the new thread.


I had another visit with Alan today and figured some of you might be interested in some pictures. I didn’t take as many pictures, as this time was focused more on talking and picking. I also had my family with me, as we were on the way home from a wedding in upstate NY.

Here’s one of Alan with my daughters in front of a pawpaw tree. We wandered through his orchard, sampling and talking.

After a while, my younger daughter needed to visit the restroom and that was a very good thing, since it got them introduced to Alan’s wife. She was an instant hit and my daughters spent the next two hours with her, while Alan and I continued out in the yard. Both of us were surprised that we didn’t hear anything, even though we continued for quite a while.

My older daughter said that Alan’s house was more fun than the wedding, especially after she went inside. She had liked the time outside with us, but got a bit bored when we stopped to talk for too long, which slowed the flow of fruit to her. Once she went inside, they got to make caramel apples, and talk herbs, and just generally have a great time.

In this pic, my older daughter has a bag of sage, while my younger daughter had some waved under her nose- she had been terrorizing everyone with it, so she had it coming…

Here’a sample of the fruit I brought home. A few of the fruit here are from my yard (like 6-7 Goldrush that fell, at the top center of the pic), but the vast majority is what I brought home today. I’ll followup with some posts comparing the various cultivars.

A big thanks to Alan and his wife for hosting us today!


Wow !!!

What a blast!


Thanks for posting the pictures. You all look like you had a good time.


This was great!


Thanks for posting. Nice pic. Your older girl is going to be quite tall!!!

Look forward to hearing your fruit report.