Tag Archives: Chestnut

The Harvest Is Early And Long

October 14, 2015

Much of the fruit we grow matured about three weeks early this year. We enjoyed honeyberry, 151013 chestnut close w tree leaf DSCN1000blueberry, raspberry, pears, apples, figs, chestnuts. Yes, chestnuts! This is out first year of fully pollinated chestnuts. (When the female flower was receptive, our Maraval was hand pollinated from a tree about a half mile away.)

The coddling moths must have found greener pastures because our William’s Pride and Liberty, the only apple trees with much of a yield this year, were nearly free of bug damage.

15109 Heritage rasp sm WP_20151009_003The harvest continued, right through our 5th Annual Cider Fest, due to warm fall temperatures. Raspberries (Heritage everbearing), strawberries (Glooscap), and figs are still ripening.

Congratulations to our outstanding Cider Fest volunteers. Well over 150 people enjoyed our October 4 event. Ingela’s cider making took center stage but we also enjoyed live music, hula hooping, beanbag 151004 hula hoop 21766578809_437e88739e_otoss, silent auction of beautiful hand made items from Janet S and pies suitable for varied diets.

We could not have a Cider Fest without apple donations. Sue Hartman from Tilth and Barb Burrill from CityFruit picked apples at other locations until their shoulders were sore. We pressed nearly 500 apples.

A special thanks to those who volunteered from beginning to end – Max, Liz, Sue, Ingela, Janet, and Nancy M! We appreciate others who also helped out and/or donated pies – Michele, Nancy H, Melody, Joan, Renee, Jen K, Robert & Teri and Jennifer K.

Visitors complimented us on recent orchard improvements and six new people signed up to volunteer! We welcomed fruit lovers from other parts of town who were participating in CityFruit’s OrchardTour_BingoCard cropped halfOrchard and Harvest Tour. CityFruit sent out an invitation to the public, inviting all to visit 16 different public orchards. Participants were easily noticed, busily filling in Bingo cards. Players could get 18 of 25 possible search items stamped from our orchard alone! One search item was, “Something that doesn’t belong in an orchard”. Nancy M helped out the Bingo players by bringing a can of beans.

While most were indulging in warm apple cider, Jen K, a friend of the orchard, was confirming the increasing biodiversity of this 12,500 square foot space. She took a fine photo of a leafcutter bee on a calendula flower. (Note the pollen is carried 151004 Klock leafcutter bee IMG_4215on the belly.)

We are creating even more infrastructure this fall and winder. Let us know if you can help with the new garden beds. We are racing to move dirt into the beds before the weeds take over.


Got Burrs?

October 10, 2013

Our three year old Chestnut Tree pleasantly surprised us this year by popping out 14 burrs! Our Maraval cultivar (Castanea Sativa x Castanea Crenata) boasts some of the most beautiful male flowers of any edible Chestnuts. (See photo)
101013 burr website sm DSCN0662
Catkins can hold the flowers of both sexes, with the males in the upper part and female flowers in the lower (monoecious). These 6-8 inch long catkins appeared around the fourth of July and soon after the female flowers (burrs) developed into spiny protective cases called cupules. The burrs will continue to develop until late fall when they will drop from the tree. We paired our Maraval with a Prococe Migoule as two cultivars are needed for cross-pollination.

Sweet Chestnuts do not like clay soil and are susceptible to root rot. As such, how long they will be able to pry their way into our clay soil remains to be seen.

Sun, Oct 13, 2-4 Work Party Sunday.
Bring garden gloves. We take leaves!
Sat, Oct 19, 2-5, Cider Fest
Volunteers needed to help press
Two shifts: 2-3:30, or 3:30-5
Let us know. We take apples!

The American Chestnut was nearly wiped out by the chestnut blight, which began in 1904. Within 40 years nearly four billion trees were wiped out and in 1912 the Plant Quarantine Act was passed to reduce the chances of such a catastrophe in the future. The Chestnut is prized for its rot-resistant timber and fruit. There are strong efforts around the country to repopulate these trees. http://www.apsnet.org/publications/apsnetfeatures/Pages/ChestnutBlightDisease.aspx

Sometime ask Nancy H about her Chestnut story from elementary school in Pennsylvania.