Fall Closure, Garden Update, & New Podcast

Winter is coming and you can feel it in the air. While Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on the east coast Michigan got hit with serious winds, heavy rain, and some hail. That storm swooped away the remaining tree leaves bringing a conclusion to the beautiful display of fall colors. Now the bareness is kicking in. I’ve been struggling to find time to write amongst the busyness of closing down the gardens and getting everything ready for winter. You have to make hay when the sun shines- soon enough we’ll be snowed in.

A LOT has been going on, though. Many renovations  have been made in the garden/orchard as well as some new plantings. My company has been doing well this fall and we’ve hosted some exciting workshops and secured some enthusiastic new clients that are ready to take on and transform their own landscapes. The elections have just passed, thankfully, and obviously everybody has their different views on voting…but we can all use this time as a reminder that perhaps the most effective way to vote and cast your voice is with your everyday actions. ‘Vote with your dollar’ is a powerful saying. We all have an opportunity to be the change we wish to see. Make positive changes in your own community, small or large.

Thats a wrap for my political rant; this is after all a website about fruit and orcharding, not politics. I vote for apples. Speaking of apples, I just finished the latest episode of the The Fruit Nut Podcast with Michael Phillips, the author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard. It was a great conversation and Michael shared so much valuable information. We talked about holistic fruit tree care, community orchards, and more. CLICK HERE to listen to the interview. Unfortunately the past three episodes have been recorded with a low quality microphone so the audio on my end breaks up a lot and doesn’t sound that great. HOWEVER, I am investing in a new recording system to produce much cleaner audio. Look forward to episode 4 with Lee Reich.

Here are some recent photos of field trips, events, and happenings in the garden…

Spacing out blueberries for the new blueberry bed. 10/9/12

Planting potted blueberries in the ground. 10/9/12

Vibrant blueberry fall color. 10/17/12

Sheet mulched blueberry bed complete…ground level rose some 10″. Organic matter is the name of the game when it comes to blueberries! 10/27/12

Golden raspberries are best when the weather gets cold and sugar levels increase. 10/27/12

Giant daikon radish doing it’s work building soil at a client’s site in Plymouth, MI.

Mike Levine of Nature and Nurture sharing the remains of his hardy kiwi crop.

This was my first time eating fresh hardy kiwi…I’ve hard store bought but these put ‘em to shame!

These little kiwis are extremely sweet with a complex flavor. They have smooth skin and can be eaten whole…much tastier then fuzzy kiwis in my opinion. Plus they can grow in zone 5!

Ken Asmus of Oikos Tree Crops shares a lovely presentation at a recent Roots To Fruits edible forest gardening weekend intensive. 10/20/12

 

Ken talking chestnuts and explaining the benefits of ‘rough mulch’ in an orchard setting. This means leaving pruning in place beneath the tree they came from. Nutrient cycling at it’s finest…

Ken and I feeling accomplished after leading a successful edible forest gardening workshop. Beautiful hickory color in background. Photo courtesy PJ Chmiel

‘I-94′ American persimmons tree ripening at Nash Nursery in Owosso, MI. 10/13/12

Ripe ‘I-94′ American persimmons…this variety comes from the breeding work of the late James Claypool.

Beautiful stand of pure American chestnuts growing free of blight in Owosso, MI. These were planted some 30+ years ago. 10/13/12

Elegant variegated silverberry, E.pungens… 11/7/12

New seedling persimmon planting from a seedling tree grown from ‘Morris Burton’ fruit. The parent tree had lovely deep red, very sweet fruit. 11/7/12

Latest persimmon planting featuring several grafted D. virginiana varieties. More on this later…