Antibiotic on organic sunset list

  • July 1st, 2010

Organic tree fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest are concerned that the National Organic Standards Board might drop its approval of the antibiotic Mycoshield (oxytetracycline or tetracycline) for organic production in 2012. The product is used to manage fireblight in apples and pears.

The NOSB has a list of more [...]

  • Apple growers need good niche apples

Apple growers need good niche apples

  • July 1st, 2010

Nothing adds spice to a horticulture meeting like a discussion of new, upcoming, promising apple varieties.

Some growers—those depending on commercial packing houses and wholesale distribution—may be looking for that one new variety that could someday transform the industry. Honeycrisp comes to mind.

Growers who have more direct access to local [...]

  • A grower reaches out to consumers

A grower reaches out to consumers

  • July 1st, 2010

Rosa Lynn is a chance seedling discovered on Washington’s Royal Slope. The fruit stores well.

If you discover an exciting new apple variety and want it to succeed, it’s going to take more than just delivering it to the warehouse, a marketer says.

Dain Craver has been traveling the country promoting [...]

A direct marketer’s directory of apple varieties

  • July 1st, 2010

Harvest date*
Variety
Comments

8/20
Zestar!
Crispy, juicy, nice sweet/tart balance, good flavor for an early apple, firm slices

8/20
Dandee Red
High acid, good keeper for its season

8/20
Sansa
Excellent sweet/tart balance and crunch, disease resistant

9/1
Ginger Gold
Stores into late January

9/3
Gala
Sweet, mild, crisp, slices stay firm

9/15
McIntosh
Read More

  • Last Bite – Low-grade labels highly valued

Last Bite – Low-grade labels highly valued

  • June 1st, 2010

Labels of “cooker” grade or C grade apples were usually green, yellow, or white. Today, collectors will often pay more for these rarer labels.

The color of an apple box label generally determined the grade of the fruit. A blue label meant Extra Fancy, a red label meant the second [...]

  • The instant orchard

The instant orchard

  • June 1st, 2010

Dale Goldy explains how large branches are removed and upright branches tied down to prevent competition with the central leader. This Honeycrisp block was planted in 2008 using nursery trees.

Dale Goldy, horticulturist with Stemilt Growers, Inc., in Washington State, has the same objective as Auvil Fruit Company when establishing [...]

In the Box

  • June 1st, 2010

Starting new trees
Dear Good Fruit Grower:

Kudos to you and Tim Smith for helping growers get their trees started right. Regarding your article “Getting trees off to a good start,” in the May 1 issue of Good Fruit Grower, you are spot on with the recommendation “to apply just [...]

  • The organized orchard

The organized orchard

  • June 1st, 2010

Each tree is allowed to have only one limb on each wire, and the limb is headed halfway to the next tree to avoid overlapping limbs. This results in a canopy with minimal structural wood and clearly defined windows.

It’s bloom time at Auvil Fruit Company’s ranch at Vantage, Washington, [...]

Wanted: Endangered apples

  • May 15th, 2010

Walking through the Maine Heritage Orchard in Unity, Maine, is like walking through a Noah’s Ark for apples. The orchard, maintained by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association, is filled with endangered apple varieties grafted onto stock apple trees, sometimes up to ten varieties on a single tree. [...]

  • Maine apples wanted

Maine apples wanted

  • May 15th, 2010

John Bunker examines an apple at the Sandy River Orchard, Mercer, Maine, with 90-year-old Francis Fenton, owner (in blue).

These are some of the varieties John Bunker is seeking:

Briggs Auburn: Originated on the farm of Thomas Record of Minot (then part of Auburn). The fruit is large and yellow with [...]

  • You hear that buzz?

You hear that buzz?

  • May 15th, 2010

SweeTango orchards like this one at Pepin Heights produced enough fruit last year to start the buzz, which could rise to a crescendo this August if a good crop and the marketing plan come together as planned.

SweeTango apples will, nature cooperating, begin flowing to market in commercial quantities in [...]

  • Geneva releases FOUR new rootstocks

Geneva releases FOUR new rootstocks

  • May 15th, 2010

This rootstock, commercialized as Geneva 214, is one of four newly released from the New York breeding program. Growers on tour with the International Fruit Tree Association waded deep snow to look them over at the Wittenbach farm in Belding, Michigan, in early March. Resistance to fireblight is one [...]