The asparagus is coming up nicely now. The warmer it is outside, the faster it grows, which means the more I can cut. But I should be able to harvest some just about every morning for the next month and a half or so.
As the trees are progressing out in the orchards, everything is looking really good. The damage I mentioned in my previous post does seem to be contained to just the few varieties of things that bloom the earliest. Everything coming on now looks great!!
Planting for the Future
As we do every year, we replaced some of the trees that aren’t doing well, and we added some new things. We continued to work on replanting some of our oldest peach orchard this year. We added another 350 trees of Honeycrisp, including some of a new early strain that should give us Honeycrisp by the middle of August. We also planted a few apples that we’ve never had before…although they’re definitely not new, just new to us: Wagener, Karmijn de Sonnaville, and Rhode Island Greening.
Wagener is an apple from New York in the late 1700s. It’s actually one of the parents of one of our favorite baking apples, Idared (the other parent is Jonathan). It’s excellent for baking, cider and sauce, and it’s flavor is similar to Northern Spy.
Karmijn de Sonnaville is a cross of Jonathan and Cox’s Orange Pippin. It has a great “apple” flavor, with a well-balanced sugar to acid ratio. It’s an excellent eating apple, and while I don’t have any experience doing anything except eating it, I would guess it’s going to be good for most other uses, too. Karmijn started being grown commercially in the 1970s, but it never really took off, supposedly because it’s “challenging” to grow. I like this one so much that I wanted to try it anyway. I guess we’ll see what happens.
Rhode Island Greening originated in, you guessed it, Rhode Island, back around 1650. It’s another excellent baking apple, tart and a little similar to Granny Smith.
We also added quite a few trees and varieties to our hard cider orchard. I’ve gone into that in more detail over on the Bent Ladder blog.