I’ve also gotten a slew of catalogs from some of the smaller nurseries … and I’ve discovered some “berry” nice varieties, indeed! Makiefski Berry Farm (Dept. TMEN, 7130 Platt Road, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197) has a number of introductions from Ed Lowden, the Canadian bramble-breeder. Included are Lowden Sweet Purple raspberry (it’s full-flavored and almost seedless) … Mac Black black raspberry (disease-resistant and with an extended bearing period) … Lowden “LBR” black raspberry (extremely hardy to northern Minnesota, even north of Lake Wobegone–and not susceptible to anthracnose) … and “LBB” blackberry (low in acid, and almost immune to orange rust).
Located on the chilly north slope of the Adirondacks, St. Lawrence Nurseries (Dept. TMEN, RD Z Potsdam, New York 13676, catalog $1.00, refundable) specializes in cold-hardy fruits (apples and pears) and nuts (black, Manchurian, and Persian walnuts … hazelberts, the cross between the American hazelnut and the filbert… and the Ashworth bur oak, which produces acorns that are almost tannin-free). There are no dwarf trees offered by St. Lawrence, though: The rootstocks just won’t stand up to the region’s once-in-a-decade – 50 deg F cold! For next year,
however, be aware that St. Lawrence has scionwood–for grafting–of some 95 varieties of apples (until March 1 of every year), at $1.00 apiece (of course, standard trees are also available). Keep your eye on this outfit: It’s got some exciting projects under way that willforgive the expression-bear fruit soon … including coldtolerant (to 60 deg below!) kiwi fruit, edible-fruited purpleflowering honeysuckle, and truly hardy dwarf apple trees. Some of these are still a few years off, but they’re well worth waiting for!
Folks in warmer climes, where inadequate chilling can sometimes be a problem when growing apples and peaches, will be glad to learn that a source new to me has issued an extremely attractive catalog of “tropic tolerant” fruits. Eastville Plantation (Dept. TMEN, P.O. Box 337, Bogart, Georgia 30622) offers low-chill apple varieties (Anna, Dorrsett, Ein Sheimer, Yates, and Granny Smith) and peaches (Flordawon, Flordabelle, Flordasun, and the rest of the Florda series … plus Sunbrite, Suwannee, and others), as well as Muscadine grapes, Rabbit-eye blueberries, persimmons, pomegranates, pecans, and pawpaws.
Finally, among the “new” apple varieties from our old friends at Southmeadow Fruit Gardens (Dept. TMEN, Lakeside, Michigan 49116) are Edward VII-regarded by British connoisseurs as one of the finest culinary fruitsand two excellent cider apples: Foxwhelp and Kingston Black. The former is said to produce a fine beverage that -under the proper storage conditions-will last for many years.
Here’s a short final note: To help folks develop expertise in gardening and farming, Penn State’s cooperative extension service hasfor many years-offered a very inexpensive program of correspondence courses. For a free catalog of these fine offerings, drop a line to Bulletin, Dept. 500-TMEN, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did!