Virtual Tour of Jerry Lehman's orchard (in summer)

Earlier this year I visited Jerry’s orchard in the spring. I was able to make my way back there again last week, so here are some more pics.

Here’s what the place looks like with leaves on the trees.

Fruit was just barely starting to ripen, although most still needed more time. Here’s a picture of Jerry’s Big Girl:

There were a few that had hit the ground. I liked them, but they weren’t yet up to Jerry’s standards. But most importantly, I got to keep seeds. I noticed these seeds are lot bigger than the ones I see in the wild. Maybe bigger fruit also means bigger seeds?

I brought along the whole family this time. Barbara kindly shuttled the kids around on the other golf cart and kept them amused, and Jerry gave them a few samples, which they liked a lot.

We talked diseases a bit. Jerry said he’s had some trouble with phyllosticta on his pawpaw fruit, which causes the black spots on the fruit and can prevent that section of the skin from growing/stretching properly as the fruit sizes up.

Other than that, the pawpaws looked healthy to me. The persimmons trees, on the other hand, all looked like this:

But apparently leaves like that are nothing to worry about and don’t harm fruit production. Many of the trees also had much smaller leaves than I would have expected based on my own saplings, which he blamed on his poor soil.

I sampled a few dropped persimmons, against his advice. Only one hit me with astringency, and not very hard, but they weren’t really ripe and flavorful yet, either. Here’s some persimmon pictures:

On a tragic note, we found a (mostly) dead tree. Bark had been rubbed off the trunk of this persimmon, and Jerry says that they do not recover from such wounds.

I couldn’t stick around long, so I didn’t get to see them, but Jerry is growing out a bunch of seedlings which are believed to be hybrids of a Persian mulberry and our standard rubra/alba mulberries. Maybe those of us in colder zones will be able to grow hardy Persians soon!