I harvested about fifty pounds of Liberties today -
and tomorrow I have to start giving away many of these:
and then I had better get on these (prune on tomentosa root, eleven year old tree):
Much of the plum crop will be eaten right away, with some preserves for the year. We don’t try to put up plums- they just pale in comparison to the fresh.
The Liberties look good- very few bird pecks, just a couple of codling moth stings, but very broad range of sizes. Biggest blemish is some hail damage, which came late enough to not do too much harm. Most of the others sized up more uniformly. The Winesaps are all small, the Jonagolds, Sweet Sixteens, and Caville Blancs are pretty big. Cameos are large, and the Rubinette and Karmijn de Sonnaville are a nice mid size. All told I’d guess the total crop at 200 plus pounds.
I haven’t eaten many yet but I’m a little concerned about the flavor. It has been too cool for too long- right now we’re running the furnace! But Libs can improve in storage, and we have lots of State Fair, Pixie Crunch, and Ginger Gold to work through too, not to mention the Rubinette and Karmijn.
And, there’s all the pears a person could ask for that will quickly be falling and wasted. I don’t doubt I could have bushels for the asking, if we had time to put them up. A person with time and energy could do a lot of good taking stuff to the food bank - I may get some of that done, depending.
Everybody should have such problems, ay? No wonder harvest season and Thanksgiving come together!
Way to go Mark! You trees are beautiful as well. You could maybe just contact the food bank and ask if a volunteer would come pick. Just be sure to show them how not to destroy the fruiting spurs. It is impressive how much you manage to grow in your shorter season.
Thanks, Quill. We got lucky on fruit this year, which is good because I didn’t do so hot with our tomatoes and green beans … so it goes. “Next year!”
These dern Liberties are a problem as far as their spurs are concerned- they snap off in a flash. I like to lift the apple up and see if it comes off, but too often it’s the spur that gives. But Liberty spurs up like crazy (Alan called them “fruit machines” once) so it’s a problem a person can live with.
That is a beautiful apple tree Mark. How old is it? I have not been successful with apples yet. Maybe next year.
Thanks, Jim. I think it’s 20 years old (from the time we bought it) this year. A friend had two trees and I was blown away by his grafting, so I had to have one too!. I had taken a “master gardeners” course through the local county extension, and in one of our classes a professional grower/licensed applicator said that if he had to chose one apple tree to grow it would be a Liberty. I thought I knew what I was doing. So that’s what I got. A local nursery had them on semi dwarf stock, but I never was able to find out what it was. Started in grafting right away and haven’t been able to stop yet. Still don’t know what I’m doing, but at least I know it now.
Those Liberties look like they are perfectly ripened. Glad you mentioned that the flavor improves with refrigeration time. I had a few stored and they seemed better than when first picked.
Dang I wish I was your neighbor.
Fab as always!!! Just beautiful.
Bill, I’m really concerned about the flavor this year. Usually by the time my Libs start coming off the tree easily they have quite a bit of flavor already developed- I’ve never counted on storing them to bring out the flavor, just ripening. But it does change some in storage, and I’ve tasted some wonderful ones that were months old.
I think it’s that our weather has just been so strange. The fruit hasn’t had enough heat. I’m leaving everything up as long as possible now,and I don’t want to share fruit I’m not pleased with.
A little disappointing, because the tree is loaded with beautiful fruit and lots of varieties, almost no codling moth damage, and only minor cosmetic damage from a little hail. I think Libs really flavor up in very hot weather, but I don’t really know for sure.
Good luck with yours- I hope they work out for you.
we are about 2-3 weeks behind last years apple harvest. a u pick orchard that i picked last year told me yesterday they won’t be ready until early oct. our cool wet spring delayed all the ripening of the apples.i usually plant my garden mid may. this year i only planted early june. a few that tried to plant in may had their seeds rot.