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[nafex] huckleberries

At 12:00 PM 06/25/2001 +0000, Ward  wrote:

>  I had not thought of the huckleberry in several years.
>   We used to pick and eat what we called the huckleberry in North Florida.
>It grew wild in the woods, head tall in dappled shade in very sandy soil,
>slightly sweet in taste with an open eye on the dark purple fruit.

While visiting my parents last week, back in Sweet Home Alabama, I picked & 
ate a few handsful of 'huckleberries', while the kids and I were out 
roaming the woods and hunting arrowheads.  I think, in actuality, that they 
are more correctly identified as sparkleberry/farkleberry - Vaccinium 
arboreum, if I'm recalling correctly.  Tasty little morsels, but boy, it'd 
take a long long time to ever pick enough to do much with them.   Almost 
succumbed to the temptation to bring some cuttings back to KY and attempt 
rooting them (but I didn't).

>Last year I sent a post on the "bug free apple" (variety unknown) growing in
>my orchard.  I have been observing it closer at the request of several NAFEX
>members and have the following to report.
>The apple this year has shown some minor (but much less then the other
>trees) damage to insect attack, pin hole bites with a small worm inside.
>This same insect attacks the other apples in the orchard with heavy damage
>if not sprayed several times early in the season.
>The apple grows very closely to the limb, is red in color and without
>thinning is 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter.  Bloom is within a few days of the
>other apple trees.  The tree is upright in growth with very little natural
>spread in the limbs.
>I will report on this apple later as the season progress.  If this indeed
>turns out to be a bug resistant apple I will be asking for others to
>evaluate it as well.
>The orchard is one mile from the Rappahannock River and 5 miles from the
>Chesapeake Bay, located on higher ground than the surrounding area.  Even in
>times of very heavy rain no standing water is observed.
>Ward Barnes
>Wake, VA.
> >So far, the season is very promising.  The 3 year old Crandall currants
> >are covered with fruit.  I haven't noticed chipmunk damage yet - maybe
> >because I tied them up to a trellis this year, or maybe because there's
> >so much fruit I haven't noticed the decrease, or maybe the critters got
> >tummy aches last year from too many underripe currants - whatever, I'm
> >grateful.  The redstart currant (2 or 3 years old) has a nice crop, and
> >the better of my feral red currants is looking good, too.  The Consort
> >black currant that I exiled to the woods is growing vigorously, and even
> >has a small crop!  It is in dappled shape, with no full sun.
> >
> >The everbearing fall red raspberry, now in its fourth season, has come
> >into its own.  It is taller than I, and so bushy I wonder if I should
> >have thinned it last fall.  I have just been removing the spent canes.
> >Last year caneborers had destroyed the summer crop by now.  This year,
> >I've only had to cut out a couple of canes.
> >
> >I netted the currants and raspberries today, as the first fruits are
> >showing color.
> >
> >After a bit of nibbling, the tomatoes are doing well.  The early one is
> >in bloom.  (Jet something).  Sweet 100s and Brandywine look happy.
> >
> >The blueberries set more fruit than leaves this year.  I was
> >disappointed, but a little relieved when a lot of it dropped.  The crop
> >is still looking promising.  I continue to be pleased with St. Cloud.
> >The new Rubel is growing nicely despite close proximity to plants that
> >like sweeter soil.  (It is in the same bed as the raspberries, tomatoes,
> >etc., but I amended its corner with lots of peat and oak leaves.)
> >
> >I planted a bunch of evergreen huckleberries this spring in the shade
> >around the edges of my property.  I experimented a bit, planting some
> >with soil amendments, and just dropping some in the ground, planting
> >some where they would be easy to water, and others in difficult spots,
> >putting some in dense shade and others in light shade.   I thought I had
> >lost them all to transplant shock, but it's now clear that a few have
> >survived.  I think I killed the others by adding peatmoss to the soil
> >and not waiting long enough for it to be fully hydrated.  The two that I
> >just threw in a hole, and the one that got planted two weeks later are
> >all looking good.  (One of these was in a spot I forgot about, and
> >didn't get watered at all during our April drought.)  I'm very excited
> >by this fruit exploration:  A blueberry-like plant that grows in the
> >shade and is attractive to boot - I do hope it works out.    I'm
> >thinking of covering one or two of these with cloches over the winter -
> >such little plants, and I am one climate zone further north (zone 6)
> >than they are usually rated.
> >
> >I also put in some cornus mas this year.  So far, so good.
> >
> >The three year old canadice grape is now safely above convenient deer
> >browsing, and is well on its way to covering my trellis.  Alas, the one
> >fruiting tendril was eaten by something, but I remain hopeful for next
> >year.
> >
> >The chipmunks have had a bountiful harvest of strawberries.  I give up.
> >I think I will dig them out and replace them with flagstones, as they
> >are too close to the raspberries anyway.  I wonder if it's easier to
> >exclude critters from one of those "strawberry jars" I see advertised.
> >I know that if I don't pin down my nets, the chippies just walk
> >underneath, and it I do pin them down, I snare a lot of chipmunks and
> >junkos, but the strawberries disappear just as fast.  Hope springs
> >eternal, and I'm thinking of expanding the garden and putting some in a
> >more convenient spot.
> >
> >I put my Myers lemon out in the garden this summer.  It looks a bit
> >yellow - maybe too much rain?  It has good drainage, but there's only so
> >much soil can drain if it rains every three days.  The net has kept the
> >squirrels off the fruits, though.  My baby apple is holding its own
> >after assault by caterpillars earlier this season.  Some of my grafts
> >took, and some died.  Many of my late grafts seem to have done neither.
> >These were whip and tongue grafts done a bit too late.  Do you suppose
> >they might grow next year - like dormant buds?  Do you suppose the buds
> >are dead but the wood's still alive?
> >
> >All in all, a good spring, and a garden full of hope.
> >
> >Hoping for more great growing weather,
> >
> >Ginda
> >eastern Mass., zone 6
> >
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Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY


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