Grafting plums and pears
Every year, I treat
myself to $100 worth of perennials. This is my big splurge so I squash
my usual skinflint tendencies and allow myself to be experimental. As a
result of my whims, maybe a third of the perennials bought during these
splurges perish and I learn that almonds are beloved by Japanese beetles and get a lot of diseases to boot (making them unworthy of babying on our farm) and that honeyberries taste more like sour blackberries than honey. On the other hand, I also discover that Bocking 4 comfrey is indeed the very tastiest variety from a livestock point of view and that Caroline red raspberries are both delicious and extremely prolific.
My main grafting episode, though, involved pears. We've decided to add a couple of rows of high-density pear trees
since our high-density apple trees are growing so well...and since the
high-density system makes it much more feasible for me to try out a
large number of varieties in a small space. I mostly aimed for disease-resistant pears, but
I added in some other varieties as well when swappers offered types I'd
never heard of. If all of my grafts take, Moonglow, Leona, Hosui,
Warren, Blake's Pride, Potomac, Honey Sweet, Shinko, Maxine, and Carl's
Favorite will be joining the ranks of our farmyard pomes. I'll be sure
to tell you how the trees fare and the fruits taste...by 2022 at the
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