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Re: [nafex] Re: mulberries

   I have had Ill. Ever bearing  for some time, and this will be the first 
year for my Wellington's. I am curious, as I was told they were better than 
I.E. My white is as big as the I. E. and to me taste somewhat like 
cantaloupe, good.

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Kieran or Donna" <redherring@tnaccess.com>
Reply-To: nafex@yahoogroups.com
To: <nafex@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [nafex] Re: mulberries
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 08:10:53 -0500

     Hector Black had a tree of Wellington that wasn't worth having.  Hidden
Springs, formerly his and now his daughters nursery was selling them.  He
seemed as puzzled as me about the tree, now that you say it was a Geneva
selection, I think was he was sold originally was either a seedling or a
failed graft.  I have eaten from plenty of seedling trees that were much
better.  The 2 Illinois Everbearing trees, by contrast, were so good and so
productive that they went from being full of kids stuffing themselves to the
kids finally losing interest before the 6 week crop was finished.  Now
that's generous!
     In Athens GA I found a really nice lavender mulberry that I liked and
planted seed of (couldn't see grafting it that time of year).  I doubt I
will get anything like what I planted.  The berries were big and firm. A few
blocks away, I heard a lot of bird racket, and found a tree loaded with
small squishy mulberries, and a lot of bird poop.  I had been told that
birds preferred small soft berries, and this was definitely confirmed by
these two trees, as the nice big firm berried tree was ignored by birds.
Mulberry texture was brought up by the former sweet cherry consultant Ross
Lilliard, in a discussion was about luring birds away from cherries.  He
said that the softer Russian mulberries were the only ones that worked.
Hmm, if I ever see a tree like it, I suppose I should save seed for you all,
plus myself in case my sweet cherreis ever crop.  The late freeze got the
first crop, this year.
     I guess I will have to console myself with the two plum trees I have
found in town that are loaded with fruit.  One is a huge tree, a purple leaf
plum.  The other is a neat compact tree that has puzzled me no end.  It has
pretty bark a little like a cherry, and flowers that didn't look plum like
at all to me.  They looked more like pyracantha flowers up close.  I don't
know how to describe it.  They weren't as white or as airy looking as the
plums I see around.  (Most of the local plums in people's yards are probably
american or chickasaw.)  The flower clusters were compact.  The whole tree
had a dense look while in bloom.  But the fruit is undeniably plums, and
quite fit to eat.  The person who probably planted it also planted an
antique rose and perennials that imply he wasn't looking in any ordinary
catalogs.  I am baffled though, as ornamentals are often selected not to
crop, whereas if this tree was sold for it's cropping talents, why haven't I
seen it before?
     Dr. Lillard had many words of wisdom for me, he was very helpful.  He
was in Virginia, which made me hopeful that what worked for him would work
here.  I realize sweet cherries are a stupid thing to collect, but these are
from local trees that aren't dead, and that's saying a lot in Tennessee.
That's my criteria for something doing well here, if it's not dead.  Few
plants from nurseries fit it for long.  Two of my sources were trees that
would take 2 people to reach around, so they weren't exactly languishing.
Dr. Lilliard told me about a sweet cherry that had a tendency to make root
sprouts, same as the sweet black cherry I have been given by two locals.  He
also told me that during the dust bowl, it did not rain normally in the
eastern US for 12 years.  At the end of that time the Blackheart cherry had
vanished entirely.  It was not rediscovered untill the late 80's I think.
He said it was distinctive, because if you chewed some up and spat out the
juice, it looked black like tobacco juice.
     The dust bowl story has haunted me since he told me about it.  After
enduring 4 years of drought in the 80's, I wonder how we would stand 12
years of it. The sensation was one of chronic boredom and desperation both.
A friend said that in 88, the final and worst year of that drought, that she
felt depressed and had this constant high pitched noise in her ears.
Eventually she said she realized it was the trees screaming.   Research
indicates that plants under stress emit a high pitched noise that the bugs
home in on.  We lost 1/4 of the forest trees on the southfacing slope we
lived on.
      I have read that in 1928 the Mississippi flooded a little worse than 
did in 93, so I have wondered if drought would follow the 93 flood.  We have
lost 30" of rain here in Tennessee in 3 years.  We read that 1/3 of the US
is in drought now.  During the dust bowl, 2/3 of the country was in drought.
     Droughts like the dustbowl have long been linked to sunspot cycles.  If
you aren't keeping up with current sun events, there is some funny stuff
going on with this one.  We've had fast hot cycles the last 5 times (55
years)  This time we had a real low low, and then a long slow rise without
the nearly sunspots expected.  I remember my husband thumping the shortwave
18 months ago and cussing about the reception and wondering where all the
sunspots were that were supposed to improve it.  That was supposed to be the
peak about then.  Well, it's peaking now. Or that's what they keep thinking,
but the sunspots just keep coming.  A quote from an article:
"NOAA just released their latest sunspot count which registers at 100 points
higher than NASA's prediction for what they claim to be a regular 11 year
cycle. This solar cycle is named "Cycle 23" and was to have a highest
sunspot count of 150. As you can see the count has jumped today to 250."
     This is not normal stuff.  I am all for not rocking the environmental
boat, but there have been noises made that it's the sun, not us humans, that
are doing most of the global warming. This report makes me just want to
hunker down somewhere cool for the summer.  It calls for more mulch for
sure.  Even though we have had regular rain for a whole 3 weeks now
(whoopee), the ground is powder dry in places.  Someone who digs ponds says
the ground is dry as deep as he digs.  Here in Tennessee we can at least
hope for the occasional hurricane or tropical storm like that one that just
watered us last week.  My apologies to you guys further south who had to
boat your most prized possessions to higher ground, but we needed it.  In
fact, I wish you'd have let us have more of it.
     I guess that's all you'll hear from me this week. Donna

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