First Fruit and Nut Blooms!

3 blooming nanking cherry bushes

1-year old Nanking Cherry bushes blooming for the first time

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks of oddly warm weather here at Hole in the Woods.  Particularly exciting, some of the fruit and nut plants we put in just last year are blooming for the first time!

We really didn’t expect to see much bloom, and, with the exception of  the Nanking Cherries, not really any fruit production this quickly.  But we’re already getting a great preview of how beautiful things will be in the years to come.  We were so pleased with the way things are looking near the entrance to the future “grazing garden,” I thought I would share a couple of pictures.

Nanking cherry flowers close up

1 year old Nanking cherry flowers blooming for the first time

The Nanking Cherries were mere 4 inch twigs when we planted them last spring.  Now they’re between 3 and 5 feet tall, and 5 of the 6 are completely covered in beautiful white blooms like these.  I would be surprised if we get a lot of fruit production, and if the birds leave much of what we do get, but maybe we’ll get a handful of cherries just one year out.  That’s exciting!

Almond flowers, close up

One year old "Halls Hardy" almond trees blooming for the first time

While not quite as dense as the cherry flowers, the almond trees that flank the entrance to the grazing garden are blooming fairly vigorously as well.  A real surprise!  And the flowers are beautiful, coming in two shades of pink, with different colored throats, and some with specks on the petals.  I would not expect any nut production this year, but who knows?

The peach and nectarine trees also have swollen buds about to open, and the pears are at 1/4 inch green, but I am sure we won’t get any fruit there.  Even if some should set, we’ll need to remove it to emphasize the long-term health of the tree and development of proper structure.  But we can be excited just the same!

2012 CSA Shares Available

For 2012′s CSA, we are restructuring our offerings quite a bit, based on feedback from 2011, and things we learned in our first year of CSA farming  (in which we pretty-much scrapped the announced plan, in favor of what we learned from folks’ questions about our shares).  More description and reasoning below.  For now, we’ll get right to the offerings.

Continue reading “2012 CSA Shares Available” »

On Poison

Recently I stumbled onto a blog post my friend Marcy wrote a few months ago at Becoming Three, called “Poison.” She was reacting to the propensity of some local food advocates to be a bit hyperbolic about the dangers of, well, non-local food.

As a non-famous local food advocate, I thought it worthy of a bit of response, if for no other reason than I largely agree with her. Continue reading “On Poison” »

How do We Choose Fruit and Veggie Varieties

working through the main seed order for 2011

Planning seed orders for the 2011 growing season

Choosing seed and plant varieties is one of the most fun, and challenging, and frustrating, activities for most gardeners, and the same is true here at Hole in the Woods.  Several people have asked how we actually go about making our choices, and it’s really embedded in our whole farm philosophy. So, it seems a good topic to expound upon.  

Choosing fruit and veggie varieties is extremely important for any agricultural venture, be it a small potted garden on an inner-city balcony, or a large farm growing 100,000 acres of wheat out in the great plains. Every variety that has ever been developed has somethinggoing for it – great flavor, a different ripening time than others, easy transportation, very high yield, pest resistance, familiar or unfamiliar appearance, a great name, availability at the big-box-store seed display…  Something, at any rate. The way a particular grower prioritizes and values different traits will determine the choices he makes. Continue reading “How do We Choose Fruit and Veggie Varieties” »