Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tutti Frutti With Cream (and a cameo appearance)

I love fruit - nearly all kinds of fruit, although I'm not all that excited about lychees, but hey, we can't all be perfect. In order to indulge myself, I have planted a "home orchard" of sorts. Really, it's quite a big home orchard. In fact, I now have 60 fruit trees planted, mostly dwarf and semi-dwarf and a few standards. So, I now have a wide array of cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, quince, apriums and pluots.

Last year, I planted several apple trees, a couple of cherry trees, and pears. Here's what is happening this year with those trees! (I'm so excited!)

Here are some Burbank dwarf plums!

These are Stanley prune plums.

Montmorency sour cherries (I ate one, ohhhh so good!)

These are Cortland apples

Some Honeycrisp apples too!

And here is a baby Bartlett pear!!
I think it's wonderful to be able to grow and pick my own fruit trees. I can't wait for the coming years when I will see how they all progress and what kind of fruit yields I can get even here in chilly Iowa! Well, I mean in winter. Right now, it's sticky hot out!

In addition, I have rhubarb, black currants, red currants, white currants, pink currants, raspberries, blackberries, lingonberries, honeyberries, gooseberries, not to mention grapes. I'll have to do posts on some of those as the summer progresses.

So, what's up with the "cream" part of this blog post title? Well, as I was out there photographing my young fruits, I couldn't help but notice the antics of little Cream Puff, our 4-way-cross lamb, as she cavorted around the sheep pasture. Oh, she's a firecracker! Here she goes! Bounce!
Oh yeah! She's a jumper lamb! See her fly!!
This is her flight platform. Sometimes she looks like she will just take off!
Other lambs walk. She bounces.

So, after all that lambie excitement, there I was, all ready to go back in the house, and I turned to look back as I walked, and then I saw her. Yup, you know who....always wanting to be in the spotlight! LUNA!!! What are you doing out of your pasture fencing, young lady?

"What? I'm busy....eating..."
"I'm just picking up the mess from when you unloaded the hay from the trailer."
Luna has picked up the habit of squeezing out of the cattle panel fencing, going for little foraging walks, checking out the chickens and ducks, and then going back into the pasture with the other goats. She doesn't run away, she just goes on walkabout.

"I can't believe you put me back with the other goats. I was HELPING you clean the yard! Besides, you NEVER feature me on your blog any more. My fan base demands my appearance!"
Sven says "See Mom, see how well behaved I am? I'm nothing like that naughty little goat! And I have beautiful horns too. I am the future herdsire! Worship me!!"


Karen said...

oh, too funny! someday I hope to have an orchard, too... more than I can grow on my little double-wide city lot!! Not so sure how much dh wants the same...

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, you have a LOT of fruit trees and bushes! Do you keep them all sprayed? That's the part we don't do, partly because I don't want the chemicals and mostly because Rick isn't motivated to do it. I had two red currant bushes at the first house we owned, and loved them. No care or pests, tons of fruit. Had a great pie I made from them....

Mom L said...

The fruit looks exquisite - I wanted to reach into the screen and pluck a plum! In CA many, many years ago (Diane's babyhood) I had an apple tree I almost killed by overpruning, a cherry tree I never got to harvest because the birds got the cherries first, and a nectarine tree I ignored because I don't like them. Sheesh!

Cream Puff really does look like she's flying. You must have so much fun watching them. I can hardly wait to meet your farm! I'm a Luna fan, so I was really glad to see her again. And is that Sven in the bottom photo? OMG, I can't believe how he's grown, especially his horns!!


Becky Utecht said...

Wow, I can't believe how big your apples, plums, and cherries are already! Lucky you to have pears too.

Nancy K. said...

I've thought about planting some fruit trees. The one apple tree I had always had plenty of apples but they were always ruined by bugs/worms. How do you protect your fruit???

Claire said...

Michelle & Nancy - so far, I haven't done anything to protect the fruit in terms of sprays. I do use the wraps around the base of the trunk to prevent winter damage. I have noticed a few cherries and apples have little holes, so I do have some bug visitors, but I am trying to be as organic/sustainable as possible. I have read about buying cheap nylons and making little "baggies" for the fruits out of them. Totally organic and prevents the bugs from entry, but allows the fruit to expand within its "sock" so that it can ripen normally. I thought I would try that although it will take some time to cover everything. When I have enough fruit coming, I may only do that selectively. It is all a learning process!

Mom L - I just love nectarines! How sad that you didn't. I have wondered about my cherries but remarkably, the birds are not going for them (yet). And yes, Sven is just huge now!

Flartus said...

Oooo, Miss Chef would be so jealous! I bought her a blueberry bush last Christmas, and this spring she went out and bought 2 more, along with blackberries, raspberries and figs. Now guess who gets to mow around them all? And she'd like to plant peaches, cherries, apples, and hazlenuts, but most of them don't grow too well here, and none of them FIT!

But the 2 raspberries a day we've been getting are mind-blowingly delicious. Wow! I'm curious; how much maintenance do/will those trees require? Other than mowing around them, that is.

Hellooooooo, Luna! She's still incredibly adorable. She sure holds her own with all them lamby-poos hopping around. For shame, neglecting her like that!

flickerslair said...

It is good to know that it isn't just me, I seem to have taken something of a 'one of everything' approach to fruit, which is driving my husband a little crazy! But how can you resist!

We also have a little escape artist, she is very small and doesn't like playing with the larger lambs so spends her time chasing chickens, which often results in her on the wrong side of the fence!

Deborah said...

We haven't had much trouble with bugs, although we do have Japanese beetle infestations ever year. We go out to the peach trees and knock them into buckets of soapy water where they drown. I have also placed a "turkey tractor" near the peach trees and placed a Japanese beetle lure on it. The beetle fly over there, and the turkeys eat them!

I know some people use kaolin clay (Surround) to spray on their fruit trees, but it hasn't been bad enough for me to feel that I need to do anything. I should buy it though to have on hand. It just creates an unpleasant flavor on the fruit or something like that. It's not a poison.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh My! Leaping Lambs! Too funny that one photo with little cream puff bouncing between the two brown lambs. lol! That's a keeper!

Lucky you having so many fruit trees on your property! Do you ever need help gathering all that fruit?
I only have two apple trees, one apricot and one peach tree and all that fruit is overwhelming for me to pick all on my own. Thankfully my kids love to eat fruit right off the tree. And so healthy, too!

I look forward to reading and seeing more about your fruit trees as they grow and produce.


d/iowa said...

luna is so big! where have i been??????????????????? i love marshmallow and her diaper too!
and the fruit looks fab :)