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Author Topic: Second Hobby  (Read 1031 times)

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victor1941

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Second Hobby
« on: February 26, 2017, 09:05:27 AM »

As a new member I would like to say I like the solitude of cutting cabs and then finishing  in the vibe.  My second interest is growing and testing various varieties of citrus, apricots, and peaches in the yard for adaption and the possibility of fruit in Austin, Texas. At present one orange, several peaches and a couple of apricots are blooming and now setting fruit. The peaches and apricots are the most challenging because of the sprays needed to keep the plum curculio in check and then the squirrels and birds off the ripening fruit. The reward, however, may be some great fruit for both fresh eating and preserving. I get enjoyment and satisfaction out of both interest.
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lithicbeads

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 09:39:52 AM »

I too love fruit trees. I have had over 70 but non productivity and drought have pared mine down to about 50. I live where it is cold and cloudy about the opposite of Austin but we have our own special problems like only enough heat to ripen peaches about every fourth year and then about the end of september. I like unusual fruit trees as well with my favorite small tree being medlar varieties. I hope you have a good seson.
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Ranger_Dave

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »

I bought my little 5.5 acres 16 years ago. The plum tree in the back flowered every year but put out no fruit. I figured it was an ornamental. A few years ago my plum tree produced some pears. They didn't get very big and stayed hard. It appears not to be a self pollinating variety, so I might buy another pear and see what happens. It's probably from a seed though. I have been thinking of trying my hand at grafting. We have some very old varieties of apples around here. Might be interesting.
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lithicbeads

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2017, 02:16:31 PM »

If the old varieties of fruit produce relatively clean fruit in your area that is a great way to go. The only peach that does much in the maritime northwest was a seedling found in a copse of cedar trees on an old homestead up fairly high on the wet side mountains. It is very healthy despite never ending wet , cold and sunless skies. I wish I were as resilient.
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Ranger_Dave

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 02:41:29 PM »

Some of the remaining apple orchards in the area were planted to feed the 49'ers during the gold rush. Those trees are still alive and still producing edible apples. Maybe not as pretty as the store apples, but they keep longer and taste pretty good.
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Trails

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 07:44:15 AM »

I share the same interests. I've always been big on growing my own food, but a few years ago we met a man that has literally been building a food garden community. The moment land goes up to market in this neighborhood, if it touches his properties, he'll buy it solely to continue extending his jungle. The houses on the properties just end up being side projects to remodel, but instantly we get building Hugelkulturs and aquaponic ponds for fish on whatever land he gets. Then in goes 100+ fruit bearing tree's, everything from guava, starfruit, papaya, avacado, mango, banana, peaches, black sapote, montinga, dragon fruit cacti, jackfruit... the list goes on. In between we layer with nitrogen fixers, moringa's, bay varieties, and whatever hearty herbs and seasoning shrubs. I figure in the last two years, we've grown from 2.3 acres to probably close to 6 acres worth of city block. Our .35 acre lot we live on has 119 fruit bearing tree's on it as of right now. The highlight of the lot though was the two car garage/shoppe... that holds no cars.

We're located on the space coast of Florida, so even the cut yard waste grows.
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Tay

lithicbeads

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2017, 10:13:49 AM »

From the cold and summer heat starved north I can say I am jealous of your orchard. On the other hand I can find jade 5 minutes from my house.
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Kaljaia

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 01:47:23 PM »

Our community orchard of semi-dwarf apples, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines and cherries got hit hard by an early frost a few years ago when the trees were still tiny and it set them all back in fruit production. This past year was the first year for good fruit production but the nectarines had zero flavor. Apples, pears and Asian pears were excellent though! The cherry trees haven't come back from the freeze yet. Half the orchard is planted in purple clay soil and half in sandy, rocky soil, and that makes a big difference too. Trying to convince our local ranch guy to come bury the winter's cow manure in the poor soil end. Squash does great (if you can keep the deer and mice out of it) and tomatoes and zucchini take over everyone's yards. People just start leaving boxes of fruit and veggies on other people's decks come August.

We're not sure if the nectarine problem is due to the variety, temps or soil conditions. They certainly looked good and had a high yield, just not the over-sweet flavor or soft texture of a proper nectarine. Store-bought was better than home-grown last summer!
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- Erika

I rock hunt in the Antelope/Ashwood area of the John Day river basin in Oregon. 90% of what I post is from this area, from private property where I have permission to hike and collect. The material I find is for personal use only, I do not have landowner permission to sell. Thanks for understanding!

lithicbeads

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 07:41:41 PM »

Check the  soil ph that nectarines prefer then check yours.
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Ranger_Dave

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Re: Second Hobby
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 10:06:19 PM »

....Trying to convince our local ranch guy to come bury the winter's cow manure in the poor soil end. ...
Gypsum will help with the clay parts. Look around for a llama ranch. They usually love people to haul away the manure. The good thing about llama manure is that it's a "cold" manure. You can put it right on the plants. No composting or aging needed. Warning, don't put llama manure on zucchini. The plant will take over and you'll have more than you can give away.
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