Growing Fruit

Liquid Fence: Defending Your Garden Against Deer

Liquid Fence: Defending Your Garden Against Deer

Remember the first time the magic of Disney brought us Bambi and his ilk? We never saw the dark side of our little antlered friends did we; the one where they sneak about the night bounding over any obstacle shorter than a Winnebago, smug in the fact […]

Orchard Tip: When Ants Attack Fruit Trees

Orchard Tip: When Ants Attack Fruit Trees

I’ve always kept a healthy distance from ants. The notion of strength in numbers is not lost on me. If the Lilliputians could secure one colossal Gulliver, I fear a robust colony of wee ants could serve up a napping Neanderthal like me quite handily […]

Video: When Is a Fig Ripe and Ready to Pick?

Video: When Is a Fig Ripe and Ready to Pick?

When is a fig ripe and ready to pick? For figs, the peak of ripeness is a magic state reached on the tree, not the kitchen counter. Picked too early, the fig languishes unripe and inedible until rot slowly takes its artful form.  An unripe […]

Orcas Pear: My One and Only

Orcas Pear: My One and Only

Orcas Pear: blush in a basket I just picked my first (and only) Orcas pear from the three-year-old tree in my orchard. (Just wait until next year’s bumper crop!) According to WSU, “Orcas pear is a seedling discovered by Joe Long, a farmer on Orcas Island, […]

How to Prune Raspberries: Instructions, Photos, and a Video

How to Prune Raspberries: Instructions, Photos, and a Video

Fallgold raspberry: a sachet of sweet and delectable perfume. Behold, the raspberry, the gold standard by which I judge other berries whether planted in my garden or in my mouth. As easy as this cane fruit is to grow, pruning can take good berries and […]

Pruning Fuzzy Kiwi: Taming a Wild Beast

Pruning Fuzzy Kiwi: Taming a Wild Beast

Little does Boz realize that as he stands (make that sits) watch… …a fuzzy kiwi vine kidnaps the napper.  (Later, Boz drags me out in a daring rescue.) Fuzzy Kiwi vines are notoriously vigorous, so vigorous in fact that I almost went missing one summer […]

How Do I Like Them Apples? (Pomologically Speaking)

How Do I Like Them Apples? (Pomologically Speaking)

Great Apple Trees for Western Washington (Seattle). While my pear and peach trees have forsaken me, my apple trees continue to bloom with promise. And after a year of promising, the goods are in. The following apple varieties seem well suited to our cool maritime […]

Avalon Pride: Sweet Peach With a Nice Nose

Avalon Pride: Sweet Peach With a Nice Nose

Peach fuzz and big noses: comparative profile analysis. Peach harvest was a bust this year; of seven varieties of leaf curl resistant peach trees only one bore fruit, and for that one tree, one fruit was its maximum output. Yes, I picked one peach for […]

Stone Fruit: Rock Your Orchard’s World

Stone Fruit: Rock Your Orchard’s World

How to Get More Fruit From Your Home Orchard Trees Talk about firm fruit! Actually these are homemade branch weights I add to encourage fruiting. Sometimes my young fruit trees get out of line, that is they send vertical shoots to the high heavens and […]

Every Time a Peach Is Bruised a Farmer Cries

Every Time a Peach Is Bruised a Farmer Cries

A quick press can leave a lasting and unpalatable impression Peach Perfect It’s no secret I love peaches–their rich flavor, succulent juice and heady perfume. I’m even starstruck (and foolish) enough to try to grow them in the maritime Pacific Northwest.  This year my eleven […]