Friday, 15 April 2016
A Visit to Whiffletree Farm & Nursery
Well, it was a very flying visit, I'm afraid, as we were on our way to see Meeting Place Organic Film. I have to mention Whiffletree Farm though; they have become such an interesting source of unusual fruit trees, shrubs, vines, and canes in just a few years.
Above, Lowell Martin trims one of the trees we had ordered for pick-up. It's a shipova; an unlikely cross between a pear and mountain ash. I guess (hope!) we will know what they are like in about 10 years. We've never had one! Most people haven't, I would say.
While we were there, we got a Meader male kiwi (actinidea arguta) to replace one of the 2 male kiwi vines we have in our planting. All the females are growing quite nicely, but the males are not doing much. We will replace the weaker of the two and hope that this puts the fear of yanking into the other.
Whiffletree Farm & Nursery is located north of Elmira, on 8th Line West. It looks like a pretty typical farm as you drive in, and even once you are in it doesn't look like a major nursery. It is though!
Blueberries, kiwis, and something I didn't check out - oops - sit out, enjoying the lovely spring weather. (*snort*)
I've seen this set-up before for bare-root trees, but it's always a little shocking to see all those bare sticky things.What a way to treat a plant! But ours have always done well, or if they haven't it hasn't been the fault of the nursery. (Subsequent to planting 'orrible weather is the culprit, usually; followed by picking a spot that was too wet.)
Lowell said that they grafted 10 to 15 thousand trees last year; this year they expect to do 20 to 25 thousand. That's a lot of trees!
Ooo! It's another impulse purchase opportunity. These nice (not so) little lingonberries were $15 each; a bargain, I thought, considering how good they look. We bought two, which we will plant with our existing single lingonberry plant, but in a different location as the one we have now is plainly not too happy under a giant spruce tree. The acidity is nice, but too many roots and too much shade. We also bought some blueberry fertilizer/acidifier for our only semi-happy blueberries. Seriously; these guys have everything!
Their print catalogue is actually a little more wide-ranging than their website; and full of all sorts of marvelous things: almonds (oh damn, we swore we were not buying any more trees), apples, apricots, aronia, blackberries, blueberries, butternuts, cherries, chestnuts and chums - I'm already omitting items - cranberries, currants, elderberries, and on and on to wintergreen, yarrow, and yellowhorn. Wow, they have Ivan's Beauty mountain ash-aronia cross. Please remind me; no more trees! Waaaaah! (But that doesn't mean YOU can't have them...!)