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The Yields of Acorns and Friendships

July 26, 2016 in News from the Farm , Recent Articles

When I first purchased my land, I needed a lot of seeds.  Acorns were my first seed obsession. You could find me in parks, strips of land along busy roads and front yards meticulously picking acorns one by one and taste-testing them.  When I asked my brother Chris and my ‘agri-buddy’ and musician Jesse to help me plant a few on my property, I purposely omitted the detail of having 400 lbs of them in my pickup truck.  When we met on a cold Saturday morning in September of 1981, the frost had ...

Farm to Table Part III: Dryland Blueberry Pie

July 26, 2016 in Recent Articles

One of the draws of the wild blueberry is a flavor that can only be described as “true blue.” This certainly describes the flavor of the Dryland Blueberry, recently harvested on our farm and currently in production for fall 2017. These bushes are self-fertile and very productive, with loads of smaller-sized fruit growing in clusters. Although most blueberry plants on the market come from swampy, wet areas, this blueberry was found growing on a sand dune. After fifty years, the ...

Farm to Table Part II: Thimbleberry Scones

July 12, 2016 in Blog , Recent Articles

Thimbleberries are interesting to harvest. You have to have very light fingers to not smush the fruit. The proper picking motion is almost like peeling a sticker off a bowling ball. After an hour, it will seem like you hardly have any in the bucket, but the fruit is dense. I was happy to harvest almost two cups, which is enough to make something delicious….like scones! I wasn’t sure how these would turn out, mostly because of the consistency of the berry. It was obvious they ...

American Chestnut Wood Bowls: The Celebration of Wood

July 11, 2016 in Blog , News from the Farm

American Chestnut Wood Bowls can be created using both diseased older trees and larger prunings from standing trees.

Farm to Table Part I: Raspberry & Mulberry Syrup

July 8, 2016 in Blog , Recent Articles

Is there any greater joy than harvesting fresh fruit or veggies, making a delicious dish and enjoying it with friends? Last week we harvested a batch of Japanese Mulberries, Northern Red Raspberries, Wild Black Raspberries and Yellow Black Raspberries at the farm. Picking Japanese Mulberry It was a hot day, and the bees were out, but we enjoyed  marveling at what was produced over the growing season. 3 types of raspberries (left), Japanese mulberries (right) We had a small harvest of about ...

Shining a Light on Blight: PART 2

July 8, 2016 in Blog , New Plant Discoveries , Recent Articles , Tips for Healthy Plants

More on the people behind the plants and the origins of blight… (To read Part 1, click here). The Plum Guy The Story Behind the Plant:  Ralph loved the idea of a tree crop farm. Having worked in the paper industry his whole life, he purchased 30 acres of land and began planting large amounts of heartnuts, butternuts and English walnuts, all of which he purchased from Oikos Tree Crops. He planted over 10 acres of walnuts alone.  He also planted a few types of Japanese plums from ...

Shining a Light on Blight: PART 1

June 27, 2016 in Blog , New Plant Discoveries , Tips for Healthy Plants

Chestnuts: Immune to Blight In 2010, we received an email from a long-time customer who conducted some research he had done on our trees. The research used a group of hybrid American Chestnut trees from our farm, (namely Timburr American Hybrid Chestnut and Ken’s Select Hybrids), to determine the amount of blight resistance and cold tolerance. From his control group he knew that if blight had struck the tree, it was usually within the first few years of growth. After studying over ...

In praise of discovery and the spirit of sharing

June 24, 2016 in Blog , New Plant Discoveries , Recent Articles

Recently at Oikos Tree Crops we have been reflecting on some inspiring stories of plants and people we admire for various reasons. Here are three short stories we think you will enjoy. Mirabelle Plums represent one of the most widely distributed and highly coveted plums throughout the world. Part of the mystique is its label as an ‘illegal’ plum with a Protected Geographical Indication, meaning the fruit is protected in the French region of Lorraine. Despite the PGI, Mirabelle can also be ...