Of Fruit And Flowers.... - Nature's Pantry Blog at Allrecipes.com - 99003

Nature's Pantry

Of fruit and flowers.... 
Jun. 2, 2009 7:24 am 
Updated: Aug. 12, 2009 7:36 am

My husband and I are trying to eventually be able to grow almost all of the produce we will be eating . Of course we will never be able to grow citrus and peaches but we are expanding our little orchard each year. We have small trees that we planted several years ago. We are adding new varieties yearly as we learn about pollination needs and what fruits produce best without pesticides and will withstand bitter north woods cold for months at a time. We now have 22 trees !! We added a few this year. We have several varieties of plum,cherry,and pear. And 7 different varieties of apple trees.

I speak NOT of rhubarb patches again  for fear of  an uprising from them!!!   :)

I feel fully blessed that we also have huge patches of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries growing around our property.These are all wild varieties but with a bit of pruning of the sturdier bushes and a bit of watering during dry spells, they have produced lots of juicy and delicious fruit! The  blueberries are going  to be a bumper crop this year by the look of the number of flowers on the bushes. Still too early to tell about the raspberry and blackberry bushes. Choke cherry trees are scattered in our woods and if we can beat the bears to them they make a great syrup and are a nice addition to mixed berry jellies or jams.
I have currant bushes that I swear grew 2 feet higher and wider this spring. I have never been able to get more than several currants from these beautiful bushes. The leaves and fruit are a favorite of grasshoppers and by July they are forlorn and stripped bare of any green. If anyone knows of a natural deterrent I would appreciate any advice!

I am getting more excited by the day about gardening and enjoying the bounty and  beauty that our little neck of the woods provides for us!

Enjoy your week and HAPPY GARDENING!

blueberry blossoms
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blueberry blossoms that get more sun and are few days older. We have about 1/2 acre of these
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Wild strawberries are everywhere!! They take awhile to pick but their tiny goodness is well worth it
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Wild plums. These are super heavy producers!
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Candy Crisp apple blossoms
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Honey Crisp apple blossoms
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Braeburn apple blossoms. My favorite apple!
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Ranier Cherry blossoms.Another GREAT fruit producer.Wines,jellies,and syrups!!
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Jun. 2, 2009 8:32 am
We will not speak of said "R" word.TOO funny! But I have to say, I really love the taste of braeburn apple! I don't really like the mushy apples and Grannies are too sour,good, but sour non the less. Braeburns are just Right crunchy, sweet,tart all at the same time Kinda spicy. The Perfect apple. In my humble opinon!
Jun. 2, 2009 8:58 am
That's what I think Patty! I love them and am not a big fan of mushy or mealy apples unless I use them for apple butter or sauce. The Candy crisp and Honey crisp were added because they were highly recommended by our local Mennonite bulk/health food store. They have UNBELIEVABLE baked goods so I am fully trusting in their advice. The people there have held my hand so to speak through a lot of my choices of what to grow that will produce well.
Jun. 2, 2009 9:15 am
Braeburn is a great apple, so is the Honey Crisp, I don't know anything about the Candy Crisp one so I can't offer anything there. Another good one, don't know if you are familiar with it, but it's Pink Lady....oh my that's a great apple too.
Jun. 2, 2009 9:21 am
Thanks Avon! We are always looking for suggestions!!I will have to ask around and see if it is available in our area. I can sometimes 'sneak in' a zone 4 tree but feel safest with zone 3 hardy trees . I have my fingers crossed! :)
Jun. 2, 2009 9:29 am
Rachael, what a beautiful group of pictures of the springtime blossoms on all of your favorite berry bushes and fruit trees. It makes me miss the Midwest in spring AND the berry season to come! As for the grasshoppers, I have heard of people planting a sacrificial crop next to the one they are trying to save - something that is tastier and more attractive to the grasshoppers, there are also organic pesticides out there, and setting up a chicken run around the crops you are trying to protect is supposed to be good too. Best of luck protecting those plants!!
Jun. 2, 2009 9:42 am
Thank you for the idea of chickens! I knew there would eventually be a GREAT reason to convince my husband we should get a few chickens. If he is still not convinced, I will do some research on what other crops those green menaces will munch on.Thanks for that tip also! It's so weird that they leave everything else alone. The currants are on the corner of my veggie garden.
Jun. 2, 2009 10:05 am
Wow! That is wonderful! I need more land.... :) There is land that was once part of my great-grandparents' farm that is just sitting there...my dream is to buy a chunk of it and do exactly what you're doing! Just have to talk hubby into being uprooted and moved 40 miles away! (Oh, and I just need a million bucks or so...) ;)
Jun. 2, 2009 8:06 pm
wow I wish I could do that for my kids they would love that,we have a veggie garden and its growing very nice
Jun. 3, 2009 6:17 am
Veggie gardens are great! My kids were always excited to help and they were way more willing to eat vegetables if they got to see them growing and helped pick them.
Jun. 4, 2009 7:57 am
I applaud you and your hubby for going back to the basics. You can always live off your land if times get really bad. Even if they don't the satisfaction of knowing you grew it and knowing that it is pure, unadulterated produce has to be satisfying. I like the idea of chickens - think eggs and meat. One more step in self sufficiency. Oh, I also love pink lady apples, and Figi apples are a tad sweeter than Braeburns - very good for just munching.
Jun. 4, 2009 11:46 am
I love the pictures of all of your berries and apple trees. Reminds me of the apple and peach trees my family had as a child growing up in Southern Indiana. Congratulations on your bumper crop of berries and fruit trees. Will you be making any jellies or jams?
Jun. 4, 2009 1:53 pm
That is fantastic! I love all the beautiful trees and plants you have. You are truely blessed, I plant and they die... I plant and my dog eats.. I plant and the bugs attack. I have tried herbs, cherry trees and all types of plants. I salute you! I know it is a lot of work and I am so happy that your labour has paid off. Not just in the fruits they bear, but the beauty of it all. Enjoy!!
Jun. 4, 2009 5:57 pm
It has been wonderful to be able to plant and grow some of our own produce! I am really thankful that we have an abundance of wild berries too. I plan on canning a lot of what we pick as jams, jellies, syrups and sauces. I freeze and dehydrate a lot of apple slices. I am happy to say that my husband is great at peeling apples and a willing berry sorter also! I am hoping to get some nice pictures posted when the fruit starts to ripen. For now, the bees think the blossoms are wonderful!
Jun. 5, 2009 11:36 am
Beautiful pictures, I wish I could grow plants like that. Unfortunately, I am a bit of a 'black' thumb. Everything dies. :) My favorite apple is the Cameo apple, always crisp and extremely juicy!!!
Jun. 6, 2009 7:37 am
I'm totally jealous of your Rainier tree!! I just finished blogging about going cherry picking each year with my daughters at a local orchard and my favorites are the Rainiers. Enjoy the "fruits" of your labors!
Jun. 6, 2009 9:15 am
So beautiful! I love nature, trees, flowers so much. Wonderful pictures, Rachael!
Jun. 6, 2009 6:42 pm
I am so happy that people have read and enjoyed this blog and shared ideas with me! I was thinking, as I was taking pictures of the different blossoms in our yard and scattered around our property how I would be able to make a blog from what I enjoy. I have new ideas for trees to plant now and realize that even with the not so great photography folks are interested in what I have to post! Thank you for the advice and for just stopping in to take a look and drop a line! And Keri, stop by anytime the fruit is ripe and help yourself! :)
Jun. 6, 2009 9:21 pm
Rachael, thanks for sharing all your beautiful pics and plans! I must say, I was 'in love' with the Honey Crisp apples when they hit the market here in the North West a year or so ago... I thought they were unique to our apple growing capital in EAstern WA. wow! And, I have been wondering why they aren't in the stores this year... I wonder if there was a problem with the crop. You are an inspiration with all your growing expertise and love for the natural wonders God has given us. Thanks again for sharing with us.
Aug. 11, 2009 8:32 pm
I am so jealous and "gardening" vicariously through you. I'm dying to plant some veggies, but need more time to tend to it. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to more of your blogs.
Aug. 12, 2009 7:36 am
Update on apple trees..... We had a hard frost late in the Spring and all of the blossoms on the Candy Crisp tree fell off several days after I posted the pictures..Yesterday, August 11th, I noticed that there are new blossoms on the trees! The fruit will not have time to mature but the poor little trees are trying their hardest! :)
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About Me
I live in the northwoods of WI. I always have an ample supply of venison and fish in my freezer! Altho our garden season is a short one, I really like to have the whole family get involved in planting in the spring. I am married to my best friend and we have 2 kids. Hubby and I used to live in Minneapolis,MN but we prefer the rural life. The only things I miss about city living are the ethnic food stores and huge farmers markets...
My favorite things to cook
Canning is a passion! I often have 2 pressure cookers going and I have been known to pull "all nighters" when it's corn and tomato season.. I grill as often as possible and am really enjoying exploring new vegetarian recipes grilled or otherwise. During the winter, (about 7 months here ) I can usually be found making bread and cookies. I experiment with lots of different flavors when making yeast or sour dough breads. I try and not use commercial foods because I want to know EXACTLY what we are eating. My hubby will eat anything,my son is a vegetarian,and my daughter is a picky eater. One thing the whole family agrees on is SPICY!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Each year I can about 500 lbs of tomatoes making sauces and salsas. My kids love getting right in the middle of helping chop and dice. Christmas baking and candy making has become a family gathering time. Lots of fun and laughs in the kitchen !
My cooking triumphs
I was about 11 or 12 and I made fresh bread for when my grandparents came. They asked if it came from the bakery in town. I was thrilled! To this day I am not sure if they really didn't know but that statement all those years ago set me off on a good foot for bread making!
My cooking tragedies
I was pressure cooking venison ribs and the pressure release valve "blew" on my cooker! What a mess! I had greasy liquid everywhere. Anyone who has cooked venison ribs knows that the tallow (fat)hardens like wax when cool. I even had to repaint the ceiling from that disaster.... I also have a habit of melting rubber spatulas....
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