I just got done praying over my plum trees.
I clearly remember the first time I tasted a "California" plum. It was 1970. Michael Downs had climbed the maple tree in his front yard and had a bag of them. He was sitting up in that tree like a squirrel, eating those plums like apples and spitting down the pits.
He must have nicked more than he needed because he tossed one down to me. I had never seen or tasted a fruit like that. It was smooth and slightly rubbery. Taking a big bite filled my mouth with meaty flesh that was was more aromatic and had more substance than seedless grapes; the fruit that had been my choice of most exotic and perfect fruit seconds before I bit into that plum.
It was probably a Burbank plum.
2013 is the year of the plum.
My passions explode like starburst fireworks. In fact, I think the starburst pattern is an extremely efficient search pattern for finding optima.
|Shamelessly borrowed from Facebook Custom Covers
2005 was the year of the pear. Multiple iterations of the blindman's game led me to the belief that the best pears for Eaton County, Michigan are Shenandoah, Harrow Sweet, Potomac, and Korean Giant on Pyrus betulifolia rootstock. I don't want to elaborate on the length or the cost of the path that got me there.
2013 is the start of the year(s) of the plum.
I am currently in the hunt for scion or budwood of cultivars (cultivated varieties):
South Dakota Prunus americana
Terry Prunus americana
Wolf Prunus americana
Potawatomi Prunus angustifolia
Byron Gold Prunus Hybrid
Gaviota Luther Burbank Hybrid
Fortune or Laroda Prunus salicia (hybrid)
The picture in my head is a fruit with the size and texture of Fortune, the aromatics of Potawatomi, the freestone, cold hardiness and late blooming of South Dakota and the disease resistance and yield of Byron Gold.
I am trying to get a jump on the project by getting my hands on seeds of promising provenance. I had feelers out to a grower in California to get Laroda pits but that fell through.
I have feelers out to John Bunker of Fedco Trees in Maine. He suggested that I email back around August first. He said that this looked like a very good year for plums in Maine.
I received 15 P. angustifolia seeds from Lucky Pitman of Kentucky today. They are open pollinated seeds from cv. Guthrie
I received approximately 40 seedlings of P. americana this spring and a promise of seeds from the very finest selections from Northern Nebraska from Troy Miller of P.O. Box 152, Orchard, Nebraska. These 40 seedlings are the ones I intend to graft or bud over to South Dakota and Bryon Gold. Troy gave me permission to share his address in case anybody else wanted to purchase some plum pits.
|American Plum fruit. Picture courtesy of Guernsey Soil Conservation District
|After being prayed over.