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Most Recent Blog Entries

  • Orchard - Grafts Popped

  • Kayak is Ready!

  • Forget-Me-Nots

  • End of May

  • Music - Fur & Feather

  • Orchard - Grafts Done

  • Orchard - Enclosed!

  • Orchard - New Fence 1

Archived Blog Posts / Links


Orchard - Grafts Popped! - June 16, 2017

grafted scion growthThe most exciting point in grafting, to me, is that moment when one finally sees growth in a scion's bud(s), and you know there's a very good chance that your graft was successful. Many amateur grafters admit they check their grafts often (weekly? daily? hourly?!) for that little bit of green emerging from a bud that holds such wonderful promise. It could be a week, or two, or four, sometimes longer before that magical event occurs but it is a great cause for celebration, even if (and probably best if) only the birds and bees see the jump and shout of joy that happens upon that discovery. It has been three weeks since we grafted and 2/3 of our grafts show green growth now, from a little bit to significant leafing. Some others are close (buds swelling), others are holding out, not committing to growth yet. But there is still time. Our unusual (very unusual!) hot (to us) (days near 80) first half of June, with PLENTY of rain, making everything grow with unbounded enthusiasm has likely helped our scions grow faster than usual. Later I'll start dreaming of the fruit that these little trees will someday produce, but for now it is enough that they have decided to grow.

In the photo above it is the part above the wrap that is the scion growing (a Patten pear). The growth below the wrap is the rootstock growth. Those shoots will be pruned off later when I'm sure the scion is firmly attached and growing as part of the rootstock.

Post by Steve  Kayak is ready for the water...  - 6/6/2017

Mobjack Bay KayakOur Mobjack Bay Greenland-style kayak is done and sitting on the trailer, ready to head for the lake or river. This build went much more quickly than either of our two other skin-on-frame boat building projects. Spring is a busy time here on the homestead so it is all the more amazing to me that the boat is done. And the boat-shop is empty. I'll write more after we have a chance to see how the boat handles on the water. Here's a link to the building process. Next up, the shop is empty, after all, maybe a skin-on-frame rowing/sailing camp cruiser. Maybe let the dust settle in the shop and just go boating in the boats we already have.

Spring Garden - June 6, 2017

spring gardenIt's so satisfying when the garden gets to the point in the spring when the fall weeds have been relegated to the compost bin, the plots have been neatened up for planting, and early crops are growing, providing food and color in the muted shades of dirt. In another month the beds will be full of well mulched growing plants, soon to be sprawling outside of their boundaries (if they haven't already), and there will be little bare ground to be found. But for this short time in the spring much of the garden gets to soak up the sun and rain unencumbered by mulch or vegetation, as we all anticipate the lush abundance to come. Happy June!


Forget-Me-Nots - June 3, 2017

Forget-me-notsWhen Steve was growing up his family spent Augusts in a small cabin near AuTrain Falls. He loved that time and is why we ended up moving to the U.P., though quite a few miles south of that area. But visits to the Falls are special and one spring in our early years I dug a little Forget-Me-Not plant where it grew abundantly near the Falls and River to plant on our new homestead. It and its future generations liked it here (as do we!) and some 40 years later we are blessed with beautiful patches of  these cheery little blooms every spring in the shady edges around the shop and outhouses.

rainbow May 30 End of May Gift - May 30, 2017

It's been a bit of a challenge this month getting outdoor work done with the often rainy weather, and today was a particularly on-again-off-again interrupted work-day. But when Steve stepped out the door this evening to do one last thing out in the shop there was this reward for the wet intervals of the day. Happy end of May!

MUSIC - Trenary Fur & Feather Swap - May 28, 2017

WCW at Fur & Feather 2017Fur & Feather posterWe had a great time yesterday playing music with our friend Sharon Vierk (as "Wild Cherry Wine") at the "Fur & Feather Swap & Bazaar" in Trenary at Holmquist Feed Mill. The weather was beautiful, there was a wonderful array of beautiful furred and feathered creatures for sale or swap (as well as related non-live items), the event was smoothly and friendly organized, and we were happy to do our part with the entertainment. They were happy with us and we were happy with them so we'll be back playing music at their June 24th Swap! This is a long running 3 times a year (May, June, Sept.) popular event.

ORCHARD - Grafts Done! - May 26, 2017

pear graftThe weather came through with temps in the 60's and a mostly sunny day for our Grafting Day. We had 26 grafts to do, the most we've ever done in one year -- apples, plums, pears, cherries -- and it went well. Steve does the knife work (all whip and tongue grafts except for a few very thin scions where there simply wasn't enough wood so we did a simple splice graft). Then I do my best to hold them carefully in place while wrapping first with a slightly stretchy Parafilm tape, then with regular rubber electrical splicing tape. The W&T technique really helps hold the two pieces together with the thin layers of cambium lined up (scion with the rootstock) while wrapping. The tape keeps the two firmly together until the graft calluses, fusing the scion to the rootstock on its way to being a new tree. I realize you need a good imagination to see how I could be excited about the stick in the photo! But that is a Patten pear scion (just a piece of last years growth cut from a Patten tree) grafted to a Ussuriensis pear (very hardy) rootstock. Some time in the future we will be eating tasty pears from a full size tree that started as this little stick. I have an old photo of a Patten Pear growing at the Chatham Experiment station in 1945 (back when they had an experimental orchard). Patten is a cross from the Univ. Minnesota introduced in 1922.

waxing scionsIf you look closely in the photo above you can see the scion piece looks a little odd. One trick towards successful grafting is to keep the scion from drying out before the graft calluses (and is then attached, connected and growing on the rootstock's root system). We don't have the problem with that here that they do in drier and windier areas, and didn't cover our scions (except for the top cut tip) the first five years of grafting and we've had very good success rates. But I want to give our grafts the best chance so at the recommendation of more experienced grafters I decided to cover the scions. Last year I wrapped the scions in Parafilm as we grafted. That worked well but was a little chancy as it's easy to wiggle the scion out of alignment (though we had excellent success rates last year, too). This year I decided to try dipping the scions beforehand in melted wax. (Some folks wrap their scions with Parafilm beforehand, too.) I liked the wax method. It was easy, spread out the work a little, and didn't interfere with the grafting. The buds pop right through the Parafilm or wax when they start growing.

The little colored clips on the scions in the lower photo are quilting/sewing/craft clips to attach labels. It's too easy to get the scions mixed up! They worked well and were easy to remove and re-attach.

Grafting is a lot of faith, quite a bit of skill, and a whole lot of magic!

ORCHARD - New Garden/Orchard Area Enclosed! - May 15, 2017

new orchard mapThere is still a lot of work to be done on the new fence (and removing old fence posts) but the new area is now enclosed, and it feels good! We've been working on it over several weeks but the big day was when we had to take dcorner fence postsown old fence and re-install it in the new form. Once we started it had to get done that day to keep the old garden/orchard secure from interested deer. These things seem to always take longer than one thinks, but it was done before dark. And we're satisfied with that.

ORCHARD - New Fence Stage 1 - April 30, 2017north fence line cleared

Buds are swelling, daffodils and Spring Beauties are blooming, wood ticks have arrived, and in a few weeks it will likely be warm enough to graft all those seedlings and trees waiting for new varieties. There’s still snow in the air sometimes, frosts at night, many cold north winds, and many beautiful days. Spring comes slowly up here, but that’s just the way I like it. And now Stage One of our new orchard fence is complete. This has been one of the big projects for both of us this month -- clearing the fence-line. A lot of large chainsaw work, small lopper work, and a fair amount of chopping and digging; cutting down/out trees, shrubs and brush, hauling it off to create yet another new brush pile, just in time for the sparrows and other small birds (and other creatures) to claim as new home territory. Pre mosquito and black fly time is great for this type of work.

At the north end I had to move an old brush pile that was in the line and discovered a gold mine (if one is a grower of plants and trees) of well rotted stuff at the bottom. Well worth the work! At the south end I found (unfortunately with the lawn mower!) a nice rock, maybe 10” sticking above a raised area. Since we’re collecting rocks for our someday pond this was a good find. It was mostly buried, and I had to flatten that area anyway, so I got the shovel to dig it out. Surprise! Turns out it is maybe 3 feet across, and who knows how deep -- I didn’t go that far! So I dug out around it and we have a nice “point of interest” along that part of the fence. Thankfully the chosen fenceline runs just north of it. The large rock is a companion to our old “snake rock” about 100 ft away. This one is mostly above ground (actually, we don’t know how much is below ground). In our early years here we saw a garter snake sunning itself on this large rock and henceforth it has been Snake Rock.
Lilli in pear tree
This new area adds about 30% to the size of our current garden/orchard, making it about one acre total. I think this will be a nice size and we’ll certainly be eating well when all the new fruit trees start producing! The next step now is to move some of the old fence and install new fence posts and fencing. Steve’s had to fit this work into the building of his kayak so it’s been a busy month. It’ll be nice to have it completed before the weather warms up, the kayak is finished, and we’ll be wanting to get out on the water. Plus the swallows and blue birds returned to find their old nest boxes moved in anticipation of taking down part of the old fence. So It’ll be good to get the fence done and the boxes put back up before they get too serious about their nest building work. It sure was great to see and hear these old friends again.

Photos - Every project needs a friendly supervisor. Lilli enjoyed the job for a short time. But what I was doing just wasn't that interesting for very long.

ORCHARD - Spring Pruning - April 14, 2017

Apple prunedToday I finished pruning the last apple tree on my list, a wild apple in our yard, a little more than 2 wks from when I started working on the apples and pears. The many young trees I have in the orchard need very little pruning, if at all, as they need to keep all of their early growth of branches and leaves to build a healthy root system. The real pruning starts (and continues!) when they start bearing a crop. This is when I spend almost as much time looking and studying a tree as I do clipping and sawing. We have only one apple tree, a Haralson, that has anywhere near a “standard” (according to the drawings in books) shape, and moderate growth. It doesn’t take long to prune him. All the others are quite independent minded in how they grow. They aren’t so easy. It’s a lifetime learning to prune well but I’m enjoying the challenge, especially as my skills are improving.

We have four producing “tame” apples and one pear. These are all trees we planted. There are also a half dozen wild apples with varied fruit quality but I usually make use of the apples in sauce or cider. Some of the trees I’ve been working on for many years to get them to a manageable size and they are all now finally coming into shape, each in their own way. But all can now be reached standing on the top of my 8 ft ladder for pruning and harvesting. Though not as impressive as the 30 ft standard trees we used to have they are much easier to care for and give us better fruit. I’m happy with the new 11-12 foot heights, and I hope the trees are, too.

As I have many dozen small trees coming on it’s particularly nice to have the older trees easier to manage, and the new ones being shaped as they grow. When I look at my map I wonder just what we’re going to do when they are all of bearing age?! Last count there were 58 trees total, most of which we have grafted or will graft soon. Not all are apples and pears, the total includes plums and cherries (which I won’t be pruning until after blossom time, when growth is strong and healing from the cuts fast) (apples and pears are not so sensitive so can be pruned before growth starts). But the higher proportion are apples, and they take the most pruning to keep them open enough for good air circulation and for healthy new growth, and healthy fruit. They don’t all produce each year, of course, but it will be great when we have enough bearing trees to have an abundance of fruit all year--fresh, stored, dried, or canned, and enough to give away. Along with our many berries we are well on our way to that pleasant state.

I do enjoy spending this time with the fruit trees. Pruning requires significant attention to each tree that it doesn’t always get at other times of the year. And it’s a great time to be outside working--post snow (well, most of it anyway) and pre mosquitoes and black flies. And the anticipation of the coming growing season and potential fruit is delicious indeed.

The tools for pruning are simple -- a ladder, hand pruners, loppers, pruning saw. As with most jobs, the quality of the tools can make quite a difference in the quality and joy of the job. What I have is quite adequate, and all are nice upgrades from previous tools. And I thought my old hand pruners were just fine. But some folks on the GrowingFruit forum talked highly of their favorite pruners and I wondered if there might be a better pair out there for me. Mine were a gift years ago, much appreciated and well used, being sharpened almost to the point of needing new blades. They are on the large size but it never occured to me that there might be smaller ones out there, nor that it might make a difference. But the seed was planted, and I wondered...looked online...mmm, those sure sounded nice. But really, mine were working just fine. Then I won a nice 50/50 raffle at a polka dance...and I ordered my new 7” (small size) ARS Hand Pruners the next day. And wow! Are they ever nice! Sharp right out of the package, very comfortable in the hand, easy to use. I couldn’t wait to start pruning, and when I did I realized what a big upgrade these were. The quality of the tool is high, the cuts clean and easy, and having a hand pruner that fit my smaller hand definitely made a big difference in comfort for many hours of pruning. I really do like my new hand pruners! So does Steve. When we were asked recently to do some bench pruning for friends Steve decided to use the new pruners instead of a knife as he usually does for the cuts because they do such a nice, clean, straight cut. They made the grafting job just a little easier. (He does the knife work; I do the wrapping and follow-up). Plus, they gave us four apples fresh from their root cellar (this is in mid April!). What a treat to have a good home-grown apple this time of year. They were from an old apple tree on their farm and we brought home scions from that tree to graft onto something here. Certainly a tree (and fruit) to look forward to.

SEWING  - Dance Shoe Bag - April 4, 2017

We have stacks of the reusable sturdy cotton “shopping” bags which have a variety of uses. One of those had been to carry our dance shoes into a dance. It’s a courtesy to change into clean soled shoes before going out onto the dance floor (keeps the grit off the floor which is good for the floor and the dancers).   But it is also important for dancing (for fun, ease, and the knees!) to have clean, dry soles. And if you have suede leather soles (as I do) they’re pretty much useless for dancing if they get wet. So even if they’re everyday shoes other times, for a dance they get brushed clean and carried inside. dance shoe bag 4    
     There’s nothing wrong with a generic bag. It works and is what most people use in some form. But invariably it seemed my smaller, soft, light dance shoes would end up being squashed by Steve’s larger (understandably) sturdy leather soled “dress” shoes, especially as water bottles and other odds and ends got added to the pile. Even that wasn’t a real big problem, except that most of the dances we go to use “dance wax”, which is great stuff when the floor is at all sticky. It makes twirling and turning as one polkas and waltzes and two-steps around the floor possible. But it does get on your shoes, which, when tumbled into a bag at the end of the dance, ends up all over everything. It easily rubs off shoes, but a shirt or sweater doesn’t fare so well. And the jumble in the bag was just plain messy. What I wanted seemed always at the bottom. I envisioned something better.

So for Christmas I decided to make Steve a Dance Shoe Bag. OK, it was for both of us, but our Christmas gifts are often like that. I thought about what I wanted--separate compartments for our shoes, small enough to keep them upright but large enough to easily slip the shoes in. A separate pocket for carrying a water bottle, upright. Another pocket for a shirt or tights or extra socks. Yet it needed to be of moderate size, easy to carry and stash in a corner at a dance, and the back of the car between times. I’d been designing it in my head for some time, now it was time to get down to work and make it.

I dug out some nice linen fabric left over from something, collected the shoes that had to go in, a few cotton bags for inspiration and sizing and test fitting ideas, pencil and paper for designing. Then waited dance shoe bag 2for Steve to be gone long enough to figure it all out. It took some time, I re-designed as I sewed. Iit was a bit of a challenge to decide what to sew first before sewing something else, so as to not “paint myself into a corner”. But it was a fun project. It would have been easier with one layer of sturdy cotton and a simpler design, and I’m sure that would have worked and been plenty strong enough. Or I could have simply retro’d an existing bag. But the fun was in the making. I used the two layers of linen because I liked the fabric and the colors, and I had it on hand. And I liked coming up with something that specifically fit our needs and desires.

Basically it is a cloth bag with handles, with an inner piece sewn in to create a pocket halfway along one side, then across to divide the bag in two, then along the other side to create another pocket. It could be made much simpler than I made mine. The two sections are sized to fit our shoes (Steve’s getting a larger space). The pockets are of a size to hold a water bottle. Sewing the bottoms of the panels to the bottom of the bag (which had an extra layer sewn on) was a challenge but it helped to make the bag sturdier and keeps things from migrating. It all worked out as I wanted, keeping things organized anddance shoe bag 2 easier to manage.

But there was one more thing needed to make this the top banana of shoe bags for me -- a small zippered pouch for the small stuff. I’d planned on this being inside, just below the top of the bag but there really wasn’t room So I sewed it to the outside and I likedance shoe bag 3 it there; it's easy to access.

So now our shoes have their own comfy mobile home, and get to travel to the dances in style. Humble though they may be, when you’re dancing for 3 or 4 hrs you come to really appreciate a good pair of dance shoes. And even more a good polka band!

yellow crocus SPRING ARRIVES!  - March 29, 2017

For many of you I know that the official start of Spring was a week ago. But for us it just arrived:
     * The first "really nice to be working outside" days. It even reached 50 yesterday!
     * The Sandhill Cranes arrived! Their calls are really the Sound of Spring for us.
     * First scout Robin seen checking out the territory looking smartly decked out in fresh feathers atop the 40 ft tall chokepear tree.
     * I hauled out the tall ladder, Steve sharpened my loppers, and I got to try out my new ARS hand pruners as I started seriously pruning the apple trees. (I really like the new hand pruners! Small size that fits my hand, well made, works smoothly, clean cuts and are sharp-sharp-sharp).
     * First trees arrived to plant! 5 hardy Harbin/Siberian pear rootstocks. Thankfully, the frost just came out of the last planting spot. I was going to take a photo but a small 3 ft seedling whip against the early spring muted neutral landscape just wasn't very photogenic. But I was excited about digging in the dirt and imagining the someday tall pear trees they'll be. We'll be grafting a number of varieties on these rootstocks in May when things warm up more.
     * And Steve has been spending long days in the shop working on the kayak with some fancy fine-tuning and adaptations. It's really looking nice!
     * Plus - one brave cheery beautiful little yellow crocus - the first spot of color! There's still snow in the woods but it's receding and it won't be long now before there will be a bit of green to keep that little yellow spot company. Happy Spring! 

BOOKS - New Direct Sales - March 26, 2017

We decided we wanted to sell our print books ourselves, giving folks the option to buy directly from us instead of from Amazon (or CreateSpace which is owned by Amazon). We have missed that personal contact with readers. So, we arranged it so we can now do that! The new update of our Books section is complete, with the addition of our own Add-to-Cart buttons (for those who want the online convenience), and a Print Order Form for mail-order sales. Check it out by clicking HERE. Any comments or suggestions on the new re-do are welcome!

GREENHOUSE - Greens & Lights Update - March 13, 2017flat of greens

So how did the LED lights work out in the greenhouse, and the "regular" LED light for the herb/flower seedlings in the house (see February 5 post)? We didn't know if there would be enough light to be worthwhile to help the plants grow more and greener since these weren't "grow lights", just regular white lights. In the greenhouse they are supplements to the sunlight--turned on for a few hours morning and evenings, and during the day on cloudy days. The seedling light (just one of the regular shop lights) inside was on the plants all day, except on sunny days when the greenhouse was warm (above 50) when I'd put the little seedlings out there for some real sunshine (well, through the window sunshine).    

Now, a month later--they all did great. The lettuce and greens in the GH grew faster and were the seedlings in potshealthiest and stockiest I've ever had this time of year. We've been enjoying salads every day. And the herb and flower seedlings also did well. I just potted most of them up into their own 3" pots. I normally wouldn't try to start seeds so early because of the lack of light and the cold GH. But these got their own light and in the comfort of the warm house. Next year the GH bed will get a light bar as well and I'll be able to grow more early greens there, probably spinach which will appreciate the deeper soil. All in all, we're all happy with the project!

garden orchard March 7 March 7, 2017

Or is it MAY 7? Nature is doing her best to shake up our pre-conceived notions of what the weather should be doing based on our calendar dates. It's almost like having a different month every week, or every day! It was close to 40 degrees today, with a forecast for temps near zero later this week. I don't think I'll start planting yet.

Post by Steve  And yet another boat building project...  - 3/6/2017

This week I began building a Greenland style skin-on-frame kayak. Last spring we built a 14' kayak for Sue so this spring it is my turn. The boat, a 'Mobjack Bay', was designed by Dave Gentry, the same fellow who designed our Chamberlain Dory.

   Dave Gentry's Mobjack Bay kayak         kayak on March 5th, 2017

The left photo is of Dave's pretty red Mobjack Bay prototype. On the right is my kayak as of  March 5th.
You can follow the building progress here.


daffodil in greenhouse March 4, 2017

It was ten below this morning outside but when I went into the greenhouse to turn on the lights I was greeted by a fresh new daffodil bloom! Sunshine in the greenhouse before the sun was even up.

snow in bushes

HAPPY MARCH! - March 1, 2017

May it be as interesting and enjoyable as this year's weather has been.

<-- the view out our kitchen window. How very nice to have snow.

WEATHER TO REMEMBER - February 23, 2017

How interesting weather is. Like most (all?) of the country we’re experiencing the record highs, and for us, record lack of snow cover for February. But the Great Lakes are keeping those highs less extreme than others are having. Here is the view of our garden and orchard areas today:
garden February 23,2017     orchard with bare ground 2-23-2017We had reason to be outside in addition to just enjoying this unusual day for February (post coming) and we much appreciated the warmth (relatively speaking--a warm above freezing anyway) and an occasional spot of sun to cheer us and the world. Our big project a success and done, I had a wonderful time simply wandering around on bare ground or slushy snow without needing snowshoes, looking at the orchard trees, encouraging them to stay dormant, planning spring grafts, marveling at green spots in the garden that hadn’t planned to be out in the open for a feworchard area winter 2004 more months (and will likely be very happy to be covered with snow again soon), looking for little chores to be done outside. Steve was in the shop getting ready to start building his kayak. It was a rare and special February day. Not as warm as some of the previous ones but we were home and there to enjoy it. But we also recall those more “usual” Februarys, when our outside world is a beautiful, cold, muffled white (photo 2004). The contrast keeps one alive and happy. Winter is returning though and now I’m quite content to wait for spring when bare ground is welcome and normal.

ORCHARD - Beacon Apple - 02-17-2017

beacon apple bloomingI really had to post something today, just so I could type 02172017. I like it when numbers fall in interesting patterns. It wasn’t hard to come up with a topic. Here it is, the middle of February, and we have a new apple in our orchard. Now the weather has been, and continues, unusually, oddly warm for this time of year. We only had maybe a foot of snow and that is settling and melting fast. (However we appreciate that we have any snow at all!) And I didn’t go out and plant a new tree, or find a new growing seedling (hopefully all of our trees are, and will stay, dormant during this warm spell). Our ‘newest’ apple is our oldest. Our original, reliable, hardy, delicious Prairie Spies, that turned out not to be Prairie Spies. And now I have discovered (or decided), after forty years, that our trees are actually Beacons. And beautiful red beacons they are!

These are three of the trees we planted in 1978, when we first moved north to our to-be homestead. We bought them from a nursery downstate along with some other apple and pear trees. We were told they were Prairie Spy, a Univ. of Minnesota introduction. I knew nothing of pruning and such back then and only these three thrived, to grow into healthy large trees with little care or attention early on, giving us a lot of very good apples over the years. My first note of a harvest was in my canning records in 1987 with the short but momentous "70 apples, mostly spys but some macs, good”. This may not sound like a lot of apples from 5 trees but I’m guessing this was our very first fruit from our small orchard.

A few years ago I saw a photo and description of a PS and realized that wasn’t what we had. Prairie Spy is, I’ve read, a late season, long keeping, somewhat tart red-green winter apple. Our trees were late summer, red, sweet, short keeping, dessert apples, great for fresh eating, drying, sauce, cider. I searched the internet off and on but every time I found a photo that looked similar the description didn’t fit; or visa versa. Unfortunately, when I discovered ours weren't PS's we were just finishing a many year program of cutting the trees back severely to get them down to a size I can manage. Subsequently, no apples to get a better photo and description. But I was curious and finally put the few photos I had along with a description on the GrowingFruit forum and asked if anyone had an idea. And someone did! Beacon, introduced by the Univ. of Minnesota in 1937.apples in baskets

Now I had run across Beacon before and considered it. But the UofMinn. photo really didn’t look like ours, nor was their description real close. But with that suggestion I did some more searching and found several sites with photos and descriptions that fit our apples right on. With an apple that has been around as long as this one there is sure to be quite a bit of variety. And all apples have their own innate variety, growing and showing up differently in different parts of the country and different orchards. But all the accounts I could find does point to our apples being Beacons.

In the most important of ways the name doesn’t matter. I couldn’t have asked for a better apple for us for all these years. We have a great deal of appreciation for these three trees. Most of those years it was the only apple variety we had, other than quite sour wild apples. The years they produced they fed us well. When they really rained down with apples we made a lot of cider in addition to sauce and fresh eating. There was always plenty of not-so-great drops for the deer and other wildlife, too (dumped in the woods, not in the orchard!). We are going to be so happy when we have these apples again. And even though I now “know” they are called Beacons not Prairie Spies, I think in my mind they will always be PS. It’s hard to change a name after forty years. But I better get used to it because I ordered a ‘real’ (I hope!) Prairie Spy scion to graft this spring. A taste adventure to look forward to.



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