‘Belle Epine’ Sweet Chestnut (Castanea Sativa) harvesting 7th October 2018

‘Belle Epine’ Sweet Chestnut (Castanea Sativa) harvesting 7th October 2018

Fruiting can start 2-3 years but 4-5 is normal. Productivity is quite good because of very high fertility of female flowers. Male flowers 20 June to 2 July, female flowers 30 June – 11 July. A productive variety, quite widely adaptable, suitable for the fresh market and for industrial use.

Nuts are of medium size, but quite sweet. Reported to be the last variety to drop its nuts ?.

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Harvesting Sweet Chestnut (Castanea crenata x Castanea sativa) – ‘‘Marigoule’’ 5th Oct 2018

Harvesting Sweet Chestnut (Castanea crenata x Castanea sativa) – ‘‘Marigoule’’ 5th Oct 2018. A very prolific cropper this year, with masses of large nuts. As the burrs were more brown, the spines were a lot more spikey. Take care in harvesting them, but these had to be gathered before the squirrels took them.

As this Sweet Chestnut is a Castanea crenata cross with Castanea sativa, it is know for its resistance to root rot – Phytophthora ramorum. It is self fertile variety, this cultivar can be a pollinator for most of the pollen sterile chestnut tree varieties.

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Harvesting Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) – ‘‘Judia’’ 5th Oct 2018

We are just harvesting Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) – Judia, today 5th Oct 2018. We have got to beat the squirrels, mind you they do find it tough going with all those spines. Some of the nuts are still a bit white, but they will ripen up.

‘‘Judia’’ is extensively planted in new orchards in Portugal, mainly due to its better fruit size, (60 fruits/kg), good fruit appearance, flat shape, adequate for cooking, and excellent for fresh consumption.

Normally, farmers plant seedlings of C. sativa as a rootstock and grafting them with Judia material collected from self selected trees. In order to improve its valorisation. In 1994 there were created two protected designation of origin (PDO) called “Castanha da Terra Fria” and “Castanha da Padrela”. The first PDO corresponds to an area comprising between Bragança and Macedo de Cavaleiros and second one to a region with Valpaços being its centre.

In both regions there are chestnut trees growing at an altitude of 600 m to 1000 m. In “Castanha da Padrela” Judia represents almost 90% of total production.

However, Judia shows some adaptative constraints to summer’s high temperatures as it is
frequently happening nowadays in both regions as a consequence of climatic changes. According to studies the optimal temperature for photosynthesis in Judia is about 24ºC
being its production strongly reduced (above 50%) when temperature goes up 32ºC.

This ideal temperature range makes it very suitable for UK climates.

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Walnut – var Sejnovo – Beginning to drop 10th September 2018

Walnut – var Sejnovo – Beginning to drop 10th September 2018 (Very Early).

There are a number of spelling variations Sejnovo or Chenovo or Sheinovo. Originating in Serbia or Bulgaria for its walnut blight resistance.

Flowering period: May. Fruits medium-sized, that are oval, shell thin. Ripening time: September-October. The  flowers are protandrous (having the male reproductive organs come to maturity before the female). With a nut weight of 11.9g average and a kernel of 55.6%

I think the mice are beginning to get to them. This one was lying on the ground. Managed to control the squirrels.

Scion wood is available for sale at https://gb-online.co.uk/neweshop/139-walnut-common-scions

 

 

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One of the hazards of using a ‘Rough Mower’ in 100cm tall grass.

One of the hazards of using a ‘Rough Mower’ in 100cm tall grass. Its an age old problem with all mowing or topping of grass fields.

In this case we hit a length of fencing wire in the middle of our field. Not too sure where that came from. But it wrapped itself round the blade, ultimately locking the blade stationary. This with a big puff of smoke, and the smell of rubber being burnt, which then snapped the blade drive belt.

Luckily I had a spare drive belt, but it took nearly 2 hours in total to repair it, in the middle of our field.

Needless to say, this was Saturday afternoon in late July, with the sun beating down, and the temperature touching 30 deg C.

I had never felt so ill with ‘heat stroke’ or ‘sun stroke’. Spent most of Sunday in bed with, wobbly legs, splitting headache and dizziness. Had to take on board a couple of gallons of liquid with paracetamol tablets. A day later I am as right as rain.

Another problem that can also lock the blade drive shaft, is the long lengths of grass can wind themselves up around the shaft. A bit like a tourniquet.

 

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‘Vagabond’ fig variety from Bulgaria – fruiting now 6th Aug 2018

‘Vagabond’ fig variety from Bulgaria – fruiting now 6th Aug 2018

A large growing tree 4-5m tall, but having relatively small figs averaging 25grams, but 100’s of them. One of the best for drying and jam/preserve making.

Now being offered as scions or plants.

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Apricot Plum cross (Biricoccolo) Bolognese harvested 30 July 2018

Apricot Plum cross (Biricoccolo) Bolognese harvested 30 July 2018

The fruit is medium sized, regularly shaped, round or nearly round. The peel is pubescent, thin, delicate and ripe fruit cracks with ease. The flavor is sweet, with notes of apricot subacid. The flesh is yellow, tending to orange, sometimes tinged with red, moderately firm and juicy when fully ripe. Mature on July 10 onwards to end July.

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Plum ‘Biricoccolo Gigante di Budrio’ harvested today 19th Aug 2018

Apricot x Plum ‘Biricoccolo Gigante di Budrio’ harvested today 19th Aug 2018

Not exactly the largest of apricot x plums, the botanical Name is Prunus dasycarpa. It is very sweet and juicy with a high disease resistance. It is always a perfectly round sphere.

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Nectarine – Honey Kist® This is our only fruit for 2018

Nectarine – Honey Kist® This is our only fruit for 2018.

This was newly planted, so we did expect much this year. But the one and only fruit was incredibly sweet and juicy. No tartness. It was a bit small, but then again we have had no rain for 2 months.

We will see how this grows on Montclare rootstock, then we will have a think about regrafting onto VVA1

It is said to be self fertile, and the flowering is late mid season. Developed by Zaiger Genetics. U.S. Plant Patent No. PP9333.

 

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Blackberry – variety ‘Ouachita’ harvesting 28th July 2018

Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) – variety ‘Ouachita’ harvesting now 28th July 2018, sometimes referred to as ‘Quachita’

Easy-to-harvest, plump, sweet and juicy berries. These upright, thornless canes bear high yields of large sized fruit, probably twice the size of a wild blackberry. Early summer-bearing floricane. Heat-tolerant but is hardy to −17° C . Ripens in Late July/August. Self-pollinating.

This variety of blackberry originated from a hand pollinated cross of Navaho × Arkansas. Covered by US patent PP17162

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