The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Future fruit

Developing strawberries

Young gooseberriesI went out in the drizzle Friday afternoon to retie a few training lines that had come loose around our fruit trees...and ended up spending half an hour dreaming of the fruit to come.

My father is already eating strawberries out of his South Carolina garden, but our "June-bearers" aren't due until mid May.  On the other hand, the alpine strawberries (the right hand photo above) might ripen sooner --- the tiny fruits are pretty much full-size.

Our gooseberries are swelling so fast that I could almost imagine popping one in my mouth.  Meanwhile, there are tiny flowers on the grapes, budding flowers on the rabbiteye blueberries and everbearing red raspberries, and full blooms on the northern highbush blueberries.

Baby peach

Tiny nectarine fruitOf course, it's the tree fruits I'm really watching with an eagle eye.  I love this time of year when the tiny fruits start pushing their way out of the faded flowers.  The photo above is one of the many, many fruits gracing our kitchen peach, the back peach seems to be nearly as loaded, and there are even some baby fruits on the nectarine this year.

Dropped pear flower

Young cherryThe pear --- as I suspected --- is just a tease.  She's a little young to be bearing fruit anyway.

The cherry, on the other hand, is an old maid.  She must have heard me mention that this was her last year on earth if she didn't start producing, so she killed back half of her branches to gather up enough energy to make half a dozen fruits.  I guess she'll get another year to prove herself after all.

Apple blossoms

And look at this!  Our first real apple flowers!  (We did have blooms on our Stayman Winesap last the fall, after it had lost all of its leaves to cedar apple rust and then leafed back out.)  Surprisingly, this isn't our biggest, oldest, or happiest apple, but the Yellow Transparent is in second place and (I seem to remember) tends to fruit at a young age for an apple.  Maybe next year the tree will be past the teasing stage and ready to give me fruits.

Our chicken waterer is flying off the shelves --- thanks to everyone for spreading the word!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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