Friday, July 27, 2012


I started picking blackberries this morning.  They are not dead-ripe and falling all over the ground quite yet but I'm trying to get picking before they go bad.  I've already canned ca. 210 jars of juice and jam this summer and I'll planning on getting going on the blackberries soon.  The paths that I made through the patch this spring have all grown up to briars.  The red raspberries were poor this year and the blueberries so-so--they are pretty much over.  Red currants weren't so great but gooseberries and black currants did quite well this year--they are all harvested now.

My daylilies are at peak now- I have alot of newer, truer red tetraploids, some lemon yellow and golds but I'm still into oranges.My 'Tuscawilla Tigress' crossed with 'Alabama Jubilee' are setting seed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Currant and Gooseberries

All my black currants and gooseberries are picked, as of last Sunday and I thought I could relax but no.  The Blackberries are ripe- all of a sudden- and pickable.  I've canned several hundred jars of juice and jam at this time.

Friday, July 13, 2012


My Hemerocallis are coming into it now.  They were one of the first plants I collected and after losing interest in them I'm now into daylilies again--especially orange ones.  I first liked lemon yellow ones which I still do- perhaps Big Bird and Hyperion are my favorite.  Then I got interested in pink and lavender ones which I have since gotten tired of .  I went through a period in which I was trying for true red ones-- Chicago Apache, Baja, Poinsettia are some of my favorites of those and I have a row of about 10 outstanding ones.  Now either orange or gold are my favorite.  In orange I like Rocket City, Tuscawilla Tigress, and Alabama Jubilee (the latter two being my 2 favorite daylilies of all at the moment--I'm making crosses of those every day).  In gold or yellow approaching gold, I like Buttered Popcorn and Ophir--also Ping is excellent.  I'm also interested in exceptionally tall Hemerocallis such as Autumn Mineret and Autumn Prince.  I've gotten 3 new ones so far this year but the year is not over.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Black Currant Juice

We made plenty of black currant juice this past Sunday and Monday. Fifty jars that are quarts or whatever size it is that "Classico" spagetti sauce comes in.  All of a sudden my black currants, red currants and gooseberries need to be harvested and used before they fall off.  I've noticed that once they hit the ground they are not the same--insects get them or they just shrivel by themselves and taste bad.  I've been planti ng daylilies among my bushes so there is something pretty to enjoy as I seem to be spending alot of time there while the daylilies are blooming..

I'm going to a "conference" or "work shop" on Ribes in a week at Cherry Hill Farm in Springfield, VT.

I notice thrips on my 'Alabama Jubilee' this year and none on the other varieties.  I hope I didn't pick a favorite that is susceptible to a problem.  I'm continuing to cross Alabam Jubilee and Tuscawilla Tigress.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Black Currants

All of a sudden my black currants are ripe- they are starting to fall off the bushes and I have quite alot of them.  I started havesting them this morning and my daughter is picking now.I have invited people to have them, so maybe they will.  I'm trying the Scottish method which a customer told me about which is to cut the whole branches with the fruit and them pick them off while sitting comfortably.  they need to be pruned any way and this kills two birds with one stone.  Three really because they are growing out too far into the path and need wacking for that reason also

Friday, July 6, 2012


Hemerocallis are one of the first plants I started collecting.   They are very easy and showy and come in very bright true colors.   Also they propagate quickly.  I got sort of overloaded with them and a little bored by them before I had my infestation of Heracleum mantaganianum-- at that time when they put my property on the world map of the range of that plant and the Vermont noxious weed people told me it was the worst case they had ever seen.   I sprayed round-up on all the Heracleum and accidentally took out alot of my daylilies and my rhubarb.  Since then I got a bunch of late blooming (and mid season) true red ones from Ollolie Daylily Farm in Newfane, VT and got some other big yellow ones and since then, I started collecting orange ones and gold or cadmium yellows 

Right now my favorite of all is Alabama Jubilee but I also love Tuscawilla Tigress(orange).  Other favorites are Ophir(a diploid gold with good grace and fragrance), Hyperion (lemon Y and fragrant and gracefull), Ping (huge gold), Turned On (red orange), Poinsettia (an old, old red-red orange), Buttered Popcorn (gold),Rocket City (tall orange), Bright Sunset (burnt orange)H. lilioasphodelis (H.flava) or lemon lily, Big Bird (huge lemon yellow).

I'm growing some seedlings of Alabama Jubilee fertilized by pollen from Tuscawilla Tigress.  I won't know for a few years if any are outstanding.

I often prefer the older, diploid varieties as they are more gracefull.