Savage Farming

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Grapes in flower

The grapes fill the air with a sweet, musky perfume that brings me a sense of peace and contentment.

Saturday mornings we spray pre-emergent weeds on last Tuesday's planting of corn. The very first planting of 65 day sugar-enhanced corn has gotten taller than my ankle so we should be good for a mid-July harvest in that field.

I did some soil surfing on the terracer this afternoon while dad was working the settling pond. Not as fun as the full out cultivator run but still cool.

Mom wasn't feeling so hot today so dad and I vetoed Saturday night pizza and went with microwave tv dinners instead. Not the same as the old aluminum tray dinners of the mid-70s by a long shot but still some pretty good chow. I love the 21st century.

Have a great evening.


  • I've never smelled grapes in bloom, but it sounds nice. And I remember those old aluminum trays. That reminds me of ZZ Top's old video in the early 80s called "TV Dinners."

    By Blogger Rae Ann, at 7:52 AM  

  • Oh, yeah, and I meant to add that I think most of the Lean Cuisine dinners are pretty decent.

    By Blogger Rae Ann, at 7:54 AM  

  • Hi, Nice to imagine the grapes in bloom. Can anyone tell me whether the varieties of -cherries- over the decades has changed a lot? As a kid in California, I remember the (I think Bing) cherries as being a inty bit smaller, with a deeper more distinct cherry flavor than what I buy now. I live in Massachusetts, and buy Bing cherries. They seem sweeter and blander than 25 yeras ago. Am I imagining this? How can one find out - thanks!

    By Blogger Ann, at 1:29 PM  

  • Hi Rae,

    Yeah Lean Cuisine aint bad at all. The cheapy Banquet brand meals are pretty decent too albeit a bit salty.

    Hi Ann,
    Sort of some mixed up questions there but I'll try to sort you out.

    There are many new types of cherries in the last 30 years or so but a mainstream variety such as Bing has undergone little or no changes. What you are (possibly) noticing are variations in quality due to many factors. Weather ranks pretty high, when I was a kid here in southern Oregon cherries weren't usually ready until July, now we are eating them on June 1st and that speaks to significant changes (which are not man-made no matter what Al Gore says.)

    I think the biggest difference for you is where you are living. Mineral profiles are dramatically different between Massachusetts and California. If the orchardist who raises your cherries doesn't adjust his trace minerals correctly many differences in quality will occur. Add to that the huge difference in latitude between Ma and Ca and the tangible differences are inevitable.

    By Blogger The Guy, at 8:42 PM  

  • Thanks so much for information about cherries! This time of year the cherries we get in Massachusetts are all from California, I should have mentioned that in the previous post. Interesting about the earlier ripening periods nowadays, June versus July. And -how refreshing- to hear someone else express some doubts about Al Gore's climate pronouncements!

    BTW, can you suggest some new cherry varieties that are good eating and/or baking? I may not be able to get them here back east, but it's always nice to keep in mind. Thanks!

    By Blogger Ann, at 8:10 AM  

  • Hi, guy. Don in Social Circle. I was checking your blog again..good stuff! Speaking of grapes, got a question. I have some grapes that died "back to the root stock" I suspect.. they were suppose to be Concord grapes. Now when they grow, they are in nice bunches like grapes ought to be. However, when they ripen (when the deer don't get them first!) they have the consistency of muscadines..not grapes. You know how that "flem" center can be...that's not grapes. Any idea of what's going on??? Special kind for wine, perhaps???? Puzzled....

    By Blogger Don, at 12:56 PM  

  • Hi Ann,

    Rainier cherries have been delightful lately. They mostly come out of Washington. The commercial cherries you get from California are almost certainly different than those you got fresh as a kid. Different method of cultivation, fertilizing etc. I encourage you to find some local grower in Massachusetts to buy from, you'll find quality greatly improved just by the freshness factor.

    Hi Don,

    Sounds like your Concords were grafted to a wild or muscatel rootstock. When the tops died the rootstock took over. You got 2 choices: buy a new plant or get some cuttings to graft from a friend or neighbor. It might be a bit late in the year for grafting though. Grapes do usually graft quite well so it's a good place to try your hand at that ancient arborist's craft.

    By Blogger The Guy, at 8:07 PM  

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