First Apple Blossoms


Apple Tree Blossoms

Our apple trees are blossoming. Apples are best planted on the eastern slopes because that way they don’t blossom too early and lose their flowers to a late frost. Our slope is just such a slope and long ago had an orchard. In addition to the trees we planted there is also one very old apple tree which we liberated from the forest seven years ago. Since freeing it the old apple tree has been gradually putting out new growth. This year it is covered with blossoms.

I explained to our son Ben that we would pluck off most of the small setting fruit this year before they grow. He was shocked, “What ever for!?!” The reason for removing most of the fruit is because the trees don’t have the resources to support large numbers of apples yet. The heavy load could break their branches. Also, with fewer apples on the branches they’ll put more energy into the remaining fruits making those ones larger and healthier.

Outdoors: 66°F/36°F Overcast, some rain, hard rain yesterday
Farm House: 67°F/50°F Butcher class yesterday
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/58°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to First Apple Blossoms

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello Walter,
    It is hard to believe we live in the
    same state- weather differences. We raise Tamworths on pasture over in the Bannana belt,Champlain Valley.
    The pigs were munching apple blossoms the first part of May.
    What elevation are you at? We lived in extreme Northern Minnesota before ending up here and I sure miss the remoteness at times as the Valley is a bit tame and filling up ,good for business but…
    Thanks for all the great information. It is remarkable and our good fortune that you are thus compelled.
    A pig question:
    One sow gave birth in a very dusty depression she had designed.
    The ten healthy piglets wound up with what seems to be clay mud caked on the ears and tales. It seems to be having an effect on the skin. If picked of the skin comes with it and they bleed.
    Could this be something else? Any idea what could soften this up for removal? Maybe I should just not fixate on such, but they appear so unsightly when gathered with their
    clean shinny cousins.
    Thank again- Mike

  2. Mike says:

    ello Walter,
    It is hard to believe we live in the
    same state- weather differences. We raise Tamworths on pasture over in the Bannana belt,Champlain Valley.
    The pigs were munching apple blossoms the first part of May.
    What elevation are you at? We lived in extreme Northern Minnesota before ending up here and I sure miss the remoteness at times as the Valley is a bit tame and filling up ,good for business but…
    Thanks for all the great information. It is remarkable and our good fortune that you are thus compelled.
    A pig question:
    One sow gave birth in a very dusty depression she had designed.
    The ten healthy piglets wound up with what seems to be clay mud caked on the ears and tales. It seems to be having an effect on the skin. If picked of the skin comes with it and they bleed.
    Could this be something else? Any idea what could soften this up for removal? Maybe I should just not fixate on such, but they appear so unsightly when gathered with their
    clean shinny cousins.
    Thanks, Mike

  3. Our land varies from about 1,400 to 2,300 feet above sea level. The result is our fields are significantly behind those that are down in the valley. We get snow earlier and it stays later. That’s why I do the Albedo trick with ashes in the spring. It melts our snow a little earlier than otherwise.

    On the piglets, I suspect that what you are seeing is sunburn. Do they have plenty of shade? Is the sow’s nest in brush? That helps. We see a little sunburn occasionally on the white pigs.

    There is disease called erysipelas [1, 2, 3] which I have read can also cause scabbing like you describe. We have fortunately never had it but I have heard from two people who raise pigs over in your area who have had erysipelas in their herds. Read about it at the above links to make sure that is not what you have. The 2nd link above has photos.

  4. Podchef says:

    ‘Another thing you can do to reduce apple load on trees is to pick some the blossoms and then make tastey apple blossom fritters. . . .

  5. Mike says:

    Ok it is out of the bag anonymous and Mike are the same person. Sunburn is exactly what it is, thanks Walter.
    I forgot my apple comment yesterday. We backed onto the land over here through commercial apple production. I have often said to folks that the trick to successful apple growing is not growing as many apples as possible, meaning most of the potential fruit is chemically thinned off the trees shortly after bloom. In order to get an annual bloom producing big apples the tree is pruned extensively and fruit is thinned
    That said, there is a natural thinning,fruit drop, shortly after fruit set usually with the first hot weather.
    As you guys are bringing back old trees that, depending on condition, could drop none to all their fruit. Maybe waiting a bit until fruit begins to grow before completeing the thinning would be wise.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We have 3 steers and two heifers that we began pasturing last spring.

    One cool day last fall we went into the barn to feed the hogs and cows when we noticed that our brown Swiss was lying in an odd position and seemed to be panting. We quickly ran to his aid assuming he was stuck and had been trying to get up all night which had exhausted him. We got him up and he walked outside and ran directly into the large tree head first and quickly fell again.

    Upon further observation we noticed that our jersey steer (gizzy) was worse off than “trunk” (the brown Swiss) and was piled up just outside the barn door. I was giving “trunk” water and my husband and best friend were trying to get “giz” up. After a few gulps of water “trunk” got up and meandered off into the pasture a little wobbly but seemingly ok. “Gizzy” on the other hand would stand and run into things then fall to the ground. I was on my way to the phone to call the vet, when I said to my husband; “they act as if they are drunk”. Then we realized they were.

    We have several apple trees in our pasture. Our girls thought it would be nice to shake the trees to let several apples drop for the cows to eat. We grain them every morning and night so we are assuming that between the graining and the juices from the apples….they created some potent alcohol in their system and got them drunk. Well “gizzy” being the aggressive eater and pushing the others out of the way had eaten way more than the other four cows and was in some dire need of some potent black coffee…lol.

    He was very bloated and did not want to drink or eat anything. We had some pain meds from when trunk had pneumonia when he was young, so we called the vet and he told us what we could try the pain meds before having him come out. we had to literally pick him up and I would hold his hind end and my best friend would pull his collar in order to walk him to our yard, we chained him us in the back yard, gave him a shot of pain meds and just let him go to sleep….well after about 3 hours of a good sleep he finally stood up on his own and we walked him to the barn where he slept the rest of his drunkenness off.. He was fine but now we are much more careful when the apples are out. I never knew a cow could get intoxicated….it was a funny sight…
    I wonder if they will be a bit more tender when we go to have them slaughtered?…..I guess it gives a new meaning to the word “pickling”…lol

  7. Anonymous says:

    You get such stunning photos! I wish you would do a calendar……

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to let you know…we sent our 13 month old boar hog in for slaughter. His hanging weight was 688 pounds. The butcher said it was the largest pig he had ever cut. cant wait to eat those chops…

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