What's Happening Today - 2019 Edition


I had a neat experience last night. A complete stranger knocked on my door and said that they were in my town visiting family and that they (the man and wife at my door) were from Chicago. They explained that they really love fruit and had tried many times to grow some but had never had any success. They had just seen all my fruit trees and asked if minded if they walked through my orchard just to get a better look. Of course I explained that there is nothing a fruit grower loves more than showing off his/her fruit and talking about it, so I gave them the full tour. It was just so enjoyable. They flattered me by oohing and awing at each tree and went crazy with the 10-12 different fruits that were ripe and which they got to taste, so of course that is good for my ego! haha. But they knew just enough about fruit growing to make it very enjoyable. Of course I sent them away with quite a bit of fresh fruit along with an offer to help if I ever could and even the address of this website.

Anyway, the point is that it was probably more fun for me to give them a tour and share my fruit than it probably was for them listing to me blather on and get a few samples, but overall I think we both enjoyed it.


Great story!


You’re a true, generous gentleman Kevin…


Thanks @growjimgrow and @Ahmad but I just did what almost anyone on this site would have done. Lets face it, most people we know get sick of hearing about our fruit so having someone knock on our door and ASK to hear about and see our fruit and trees…well that was more fun for me than them!

BTW…here is one of 5 identical gift boxes I delivered today to some neighbors and friends. Its really fun to make these little sample boxes up this time of year since I have a lot of different fruits ripening right now.

Shown in the box from left to right are: 3 variety of Grapes (Mars red seedless, Concord, and Niagara white seedless on side), 1 20th Century Asian Pear (near upper left corner), 2 Flavor King Plumcots (bottom edge) 1 row of Rome Beauty Apples, 1 row of unknown but great small pears, and a box of J.H. Hale Peaches.


Hi Kevin. I know from reading your posts that you are a very generous and caring person so please don’t get upset. Last weekend, my husband and I went to visit one of my/his old college professors. He had cancer two years ago so he and his wife moved to a retirement community. We brought a lot of samples from the fruits in our backyard, and we had to assure them that we use no chemicals at all. They were from Indiana and Canada so they know how hard it is to grow fruits without spraying and all. About 10 years ago we always went to a local farmer market to buy organic veggies and fruits. My daughter got sick, so I tried to eliminate all the possible causes without any results. One day we stopped by the regular stall to buy veggies, and we saw a water melon with the plain tag from Mexico. We didn’t know what to do so I just put the tag on top for other people to see. We stopped buying from them, but one day I saw the vendor greeting the old ladies and I knew they would be regular customers. I went home and emailed the city about the incident. The farmer market manager met and wanted me to point out the stall. He said why bother, most of them are not always truthful. I told him if his daughter gets sick he wouldn’t say so. I was really shy at that time, but he got the point. Later on the city let me know that after some investigations the farm was stripped off the organic status. What I am saying is, some of the old or sick person will not be able to tolerate like normal people can, so please be sure they don’t have any health problems.


I completely understand your concern and appreciate the tone with which you presented it. In this case, though, I think you would be ok with the situation involving my visitors. You see, the very, very first thing that I told them was that where I live here in TN it just isn’t possible to grow many fruits organically, so before they took their first bite they fully understood that I had sprayed the fruits earlier in the season. They said they completely understood and told me that they don’t pay the extra cost to buy organic fruit in the grocery stores, so they didn’t mind. You should also know that they were not elderly- they were probably in their late 40’s and seemed healthy. Another thing you might like to know is that it was me, not them, who insisted that they wash the fruits that had been sprayed earlier in the year (I don’t spray anything close to harvest and some of my apples and pears I haven’t sprayed since early spring). So we washed their fruit with a hose and a plastic bowl I keep for that purpose.

So, they were fully informed that my fruit wasn’t organic, they were already used to eating non-organic fruit, they were fairly young, healthy people, everything they ate got washed-at my suggestion not theirs- so I feel pretty good about that aspect of their visit/tour.

Your story about the stall selling non-organic fruit as organic is one I’ve always suspected happens more than it should. There is a seller at the Nashville Farmers Market (near me) has a booth that sells peaches and has a big sign that says “locally grown and organic” and I’m 99.99% sure one of those things just cannot be true. Either those peaches were grown organically somewhere like CA with less insect and disease pressure, or they were grown here in TN but with spray. They are perfect looking peaches, so I find it extremely unlikely that they grow them organically here. Every other local organic peach I’ve ever seen were all not very nice looking, were picked very early, and had lots of spots and insect bites as well as remnants of Surround visible in many cases. My point is, I think there are a lot of dishonest growers like the ones you caught, and I applaud you for pointing them out. I may not be an organic grower, but I’d also never ever claim to be.

Anyway, thanks for your post and the kind way you tried to make sure I’m careful and doing the right thing, Hopefully you will agree that the factors listed above made the situation ok for everyone. Hope your daughter is doing well now.

UPDATE/EDIT : @btle I’m a little slow! It just now occurred to me that your note above was probably because you were as concerned about all the people I give gift boxes to and not just the couple that stopped by my house. So I wanted to follow up and reassure you that I still think I’m doing the right thing. I give away around 35 gift boxes per year to family/extended family, neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. I have told every single person that I give gift boxes to that my fruit is NOT organic and should be washed. Out of all the people I give boxes to, I’ve only had a total of one say they only eat organic, so I give them a box of my enterprise apples when they come in because I don’t spray them at all. Even then I have explained that I still spray nearby trees so there could be a small amount of drift and they say they aren’t so devoted to organic that they are worried about that. The enjoy the apples. Everyone else always mentions that they never buy the more expensive organic grocery store produce and/or MANY MANY of them just say humorus things like “well, something is going to kill us anyway” or “well, almost everything causes cancer if you listen to the news” and so on. Point is, they don’t mind non organic and they do know my fruit isn’t organic. Furthermore, I know all the people I give my boxes to and none have any compromised immune systems or health problems of a serious nature. In short, I honestly don’t think there are any issues, but I feel like as long as I’m open and honest they can make their own decisions. Hope you agree and feel better now. Thanks again for your concern and the way you brought it forward.


I don’t post here much, so I don’t want to stir the pot, but I am pretty sure no one is going to get sick from a permethrin spray 2 months before harvest. To each their own though.


You are generous with your wealth!


My temporary guest cottage until I move into my next guest cottage tomorrow. Very beautiful. Home with a huge park. I am so lucky. House closing went smoothly. Took forever to move out of that way too big house. Here we are now.


Thank you for your explanation. I am sure a lot of people can have your fruits, or the fruits that are grown by the members here without any problems. They are still better than the store bought ones. I try to buy organics locally, and I know which brand will make me sick. Sometimes I will jokingly tell my husband that " I need a new pesticide" and we will buy totally new things even the conventional ones for a break. My husband has no problem with any food so far. I feel very bad whenever I have to tell him that I can’t eat out or get certain food that day because I feel very sick, especially when we are going on a short trip. Still I have to, so that I don’t get sick and be a burden to anyone. I love summer when I can eat all the bland and ugly leftover fruits from home instead of store bought veggies. Some of the good ones go to family, neighbors, and friends. Thanks again for your reply. I really appreciate it.


Best Wishes Mrs. G.


Why not just stay there!


Out with the Mantis today, putting in the fall vegetable garden

It’s overrun with rabbits out there, so it’ll take a lot of netting and fencing

I’m going to net the melons this year, since they’ve FINALLY set some fruits


I am being so spoiled, wish I could, but the next cottage has a bocci court! Hopefully all of my paperwork will be complete soon and I’ll be off in a month. Yayyyyyyy


Blather away, you should be proud of your acheivements and knowledge, I am sure they found it fascinating.



Now I wish I had tried air layering Guthrie. Yours looks good. Another one you might want to try is Odom. Both have done well at my place but as with most plums late frost does the most fruit damage.


I, and undoubtedly the rest of the folks here, simply can not wait to follow you and your your new life abroad! As I’ve told you before, I’ve always dreamed of doing the same thing when I retire (though my dream is to move to the Caribbean). I’m not sure I’ll have the courage to do it or the confidence and strength to leave my friends, family, and of course my beloved orchard! That’s why I can’t wait to see and hear how it goes for you. We all wish you the best!


Air layering is very good. My area is too hot and dry so I never tried grafting. Last spring my sister helped me did two on the longan tree. After six months I put each in a five gallon pot. The one didn’t have much roots died, but the other have some fruits now.


I do not have Odom, but I would like to graft it if the opportunity arises. There are plenty of wild suckers around here. This year I grafted a couple of pluots and a few well-known plums. I do not spray for fruit pests so the vast majority of fruit is lost. I try to make up for this with numbers.

Like you, most of this year’s plums were lost to a “cold snap”. Oddly enough, I did get a decent amount of fruit from Guthrie.