Saturday, December 10, 2011

Grafting Update - The Unveiling

The only step involved in grafting that no one on the Internet seems to agree on, is when to remove your grafting tape. Too soon and the graft union may not have formed completely, also removing the significant strength the tape adds to the join. Too late and the graft may 'girdle' as the scion bulges or 'muffin-tops' as it is called these days, over the tape. Is there a worry free solution? Certainly. Special grafting tape is available that works like dissolving stitches, protecting and supporting the graft, then bio-degrading when its job is done. However, if you don't feel like paying $45 for a roll of special sticky tape, normal stretchy grafting tape will do the job. But you will have to angst over when to perform the unveiling. Luckily, I have twenty apple trees and can designate one as a sacrificial lamb. I chose this one because the graft looked virile and bulging under the tape and I am photographing it every day to observe its progress. Everything is going well 4 days in and the graft appears to change colour as it reacts to the air.

The mop-graft will be unwrapped shortly if everything goes well with the test graft.

Early Pro-duce

'Story' Apricots

Big Fig

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Morrello Madness

As a child I hated the flavor of cherries. I attribute this mainly to the irresponsible flavoring of so many child medications with artificial cherry flavor and the association I made between the pink milky vile imitation and the real glorious cherry itself. Besides that I was just terminally fussy and if anything had more than three ingredients, I wasn't having a bar of it. As an adult I still hate many things. Arguably more than in my earlier years, but cherries are no longer on that constantly growing list! The day I discovered the ideal breakfast delicacy in the sour cherry danish, I knew it was my destiny to grow these little living Warheads.
Only in its second year now, the morrello sour cherry tree has yielded a respectable crop of around one hundred cherries. Immune to the dreaded splitting that happens to their sweeter counterparts and adequately netted against the birds, morrello cherries are just plain easier to grow.
When I am a really old man I look forward to making really sour cherry cordial, giving it to small children and watching their smiling faces morph and wrinkle into disgust and regret.

I was instructed to wash in chilled water to apparently firm the skin of the fruits, so I did as I was told.

For a split second they look like they're going to explode when pressure is applied to them with the cherry pitter. But then they relax as they yield up the small law-suit-promoting pip within.

The entire 'harvest' has been dry frozen to await me nutting out how to make danish pastry dough. Sleep well my little sour minions, sleep well.