Sunday, November 15, 2009

Goombas, victory garden

Today's Fruit Minute here at Goomba's Victory Garden deals with the various problems faced by you apple growers. We're still searching for a treatment for the condition shown in this photo from Woodsterman. Hang on, Odie, we can help...

But for now, if you're troubled by sobriety and bag worms, take this advice from S.W. Cole's "The American Fruit Book" (1849). To rid your trees of the worms, their larvae in the web, or to prevent the worms from crawling up the trunk in the first place:

“Dry ashes or fresh slacked lime thrown on the tree when the dew is on…One pound of WHALE OIL SOAP to 4 gallons of water…canvass or thick paper (old leather is better) around the tree and apply tar to it. Mix train oil with the tar or India rubber dissolved in whale oil. Burn India rubber, any viscid substance can be mixed…”

Then, to get rid of worms in your apples, let the apples fall and “let hogs run in the orchard and eat the fallen fruit”.

Environmental and whale issues be damned! Find train oil at your local train store. Find old leather and hogs at the next Barbra Streisand concert. And what to do on your Sunday afternoons? Damn the temperance reform, get hammered on New Jersey cider!

“CIDER is valuable for vinegar, though the temperance reform has almost banished it as a beverage. The farmer no longer toils hard in Fall to fill his cellar with cider, nor works hard all winter to drink it. Yet cider is valuable for vinegar. Apples for cider are better for growing exposed to sun and air; hence those from a young orchard are best….The Harrison and other fine cider apples of New Jersey produce about 1 barrel to 10 bushels.”

To hell with vinegar!

For those of you noodling on the name for that baby girl, consider apple variety names like Red Siberian Crab, Winter Sweet Paradise, Bellflower or Beauty of Kent. For boys, consider the pests, like Bag Worm, Borer or Bark Louse.

Odie writes to tell us that he's got four new hybrid apples he's named Russian Bride, English Dentist, Iranian Author and Hungarian Inspector!

See you next week here at Goomba's Victory Garden!

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