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nectarines, winter bonus

Posted by harvestman 6 (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 6:38

I just finished the last of two bags of nectarines I froze from last summers harvest. Now I wish I hadn't given so many away as they are the best fruit out of the freezer I grow- at least this year.

I froze them on a tray, one bag as seedless halves and the other in convenient pieces. Most of the water stayed in the halves but there was a lot of ice around the pieces.

I also froze halves of apricots, but they were much the worse for wear from freezing- lots of oxidation and mushy. The nectarines were almost identical to fresh when barely thawed in the microwave- firm, brightly colored and delicious.

It seems that the Eastern Glo and Summer Beaut are almost as easy to grow here as peaches- they haven't cracked and a single SI fungicide ap keeps the rot away.

I have now planted enough varieties to span the nec season as far as varieties tested in the east. So far the later ones seem to have more tendency to crack and often much of the fruit is crap as a result. I still won't be cutting down those trees until I find better varieties in their season. I love the high acid-high flavor of nectarines and now I know they freeze great too.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

One of the reasons I planted peach/nectarine trees was the memory of my parents trees, and the frozen delights we enjoyed off the trees. We moved when I was 12 years old. My parents never planted trees at the new house. Obtaining some decent peaches was the turning point, and I bought trees. It will still be a bit before any harvest.
This winter I have been enjoying raspberries coated in chocolate. Ghirardelli makes a dipping chocolate, I actually like the dark cooking chocolate better but the dipping chocolate stays soft forever once heated. A joy to work with. The berries have a nice tart "pop"! I coat them frozen, excellent stuff! I still have a couple quarts left. More next year as some new summer bearers come into fruiting.
And Allen black will be fruiting. along with the new everbearing black just purchased!


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by eboone 6a - SW PA (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 12:24

I have about 30 quart bags of frozen peaches left in my freezer - hopefully enough to last till next summer. Raritan Rose, Carolina Belle, Hale Haven and Encore. We eat them mainly on cereal in AM, or made into smoothies. My wife did make a delicious white peach pie for Thanksgiving too.

I just planted my first nectarine last summer and plan 2 more this year - waiting to compare with my beloved peaches :)


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Over the past few years, i've actually come to prefer frozen fruit (especially blueberries/raspberries) to fresh. I like to let them soften just a little before eating. I was buying a brand of frozen peaches at the store (no longer carry that brand) that were outstanding... you could tell they were picked at the peak of ripeness. Some brands are no better then rubber. I plan on freezing some of my own.. the white peaches are almost better due to what I would assume is higher sugar content.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 15:40

That's interesting Frank. I can hardly eat frozen fruit myself. My wife freezes some peaches (and sometimes apples) but we only use them for pies.

Texture is a pretty big deal for me and I don't like the texture of any frozen fruit (blueberries, blackberries, peaches, anything).

In truth, I've always felt a bit bad about selling peaches to folks who planned to take them home to freeze. First, I always felt high quality dessert peaches didn't deserve that treatment. Secondly, I thought canned peaches (like Del Monte) tasted better than the best frozen peaches, so what's the point in freezing.

Hearing how people on this thread actually like frozen fruit is causing me to reconsider my prejudice.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 16:13

I quick freeze fruit on parchment paper to use in smoothies, and that's the extent of frozen fruit for me. They generally don't hang around too long in the freezer. Since I have fresh fruit year round, the frozen stuff can't compete head to head in that manner.

Since I started making homemade almond milk (and other nut and seed milk as well), smoothies are a huge deal at our house. Toss in some fresh kale or spinach from the garden, some whey or veg protein powder, and some frozen fruit, and you've got a healthy meal for on the go. I put everything in a 1/2 gallon mason jar and blend it up with an immersion stick blender. Good times! :)


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Wow, that's sounds terrible Mr Clint! Yuk! I need some vodka to get that taste out! I'm not a big fan of anything fresh. Most of my fruit is processed in some way. My wife is, but not me. I didn't now anybody actually used whey or veg protein powder, please people are eating around here, don't mention that stuff!


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 18:15

"I'm not a big fan of anything fresh."

Interesting. I've never heard anything like that before.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Mr. Clint, by Jan. the pickings are pretty slim even in S. CA. Loquats aren't happening until March, as I recall. What fresh fruit are you harvesting in Jan. and Feb. that compares with tree ripened nectarines?

Olpea, I've always found frozen peaches to be pretty mushy- that is why I was surprised by how the nectarines held so much of their texture.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

H-man, have you had any experience with Fantasia? I am trying to decide between it and Eastern Glo. I am in zone 5b north central PA.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Loquats are probably April (along with mulberries). Jan. harvest is likely the last of the nuts, pomegranates, persimmons and apples. Jan. - April is oranges, mandarins and grapefruit hanging on the trees.

I am grateful for the OP and others comments as I had not realized peaches would freeze well and as many as one has it is easy to set aside a few to try out that way.

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 19:18


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 19:22

Jan-Feb here, the yard gives me loads of Meyer lemons, Washington navel oranges and Lane Late navel oranges. Some Quinault strawberries also trickle in. I'm hoping that Page mandarin, which is excellent right now, will hold on into Jan-Feb as well (if we don't gobble them up before then). Dec-Feb, citrus is king.

Hey, I just noticed a bag of frozen figs in the freezer. I make a fig & balsamic vinegar reduction that really rocks with pork loin. Sorry if that also grosses anyone out. Who knew that my tastes ran so wild? :)


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

I can buy nice citrus, but it comes a long ways from satisfying my fruit cravings- no matter how good it is. Guess I'm just a spoiled child of the age of global food transport. I've even gotten addicted to a 12 month access to "fresh" tomatoes and pay a premium to acquire ones with at least a hint of sugar.

Next year I may require no nectarines from Chile if the frost god spares me.


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  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 11:28

Yes, we can all buy seasonal fruit, shipped in or grown locally year round. My goal is to eat seasonal fresh fruit from my yard every day of the year. Growing your own is also the point of this forum. I can tell you that dead ripe citrus can be an extraordinary piece of fruit, most of which I would consider dessert quality. And we can grow varieties that aren't readily available. Commercial citrus isn't any closer to peak ripeness as stone fruit or any other fruit we can buy through out the year.

At any rate, harvesting and enjoying fresh seasonal fruit and veg is fun and rewarding regardless of weather. Friends drop by and you have nice treats to share.

P.S.: I grow tomatoes year round. Some of the in ground locations I've used in the past now have trees in them. This Winter I started growing them in EarthBoxes up against a south facing wall on a section of patio. The radiant heat keeps them warm enough to bear through Winter.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Mr. Clint, I've told you I was raised a few miles from you in Topanga Canyon where I first was stricken with the fruit bug, so I know what you mean about citrus right off the tree, but we do get very high quality stuff here if you look for it in the markets, including wonderful seedless Clementines from Spain that kick the butt of commercially available CA specimens.

You live in one of the best locations in the world for growing fruit so you are smart to take advantage of it. The Valley has a shrinking amount of homes that have a yard adequate for serious gardening- not like when I first moved to Topanga in 1963. I went to Parkman Jr. High in Woodland Hills so I know the area well.

The best land in CA for growing fruit has mostly been turned into developments or vineyards. The first coastal valleys used to grow amazing stuff but now a lot of CA fruit production has been pushed too far inland.


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I grew up in NY and loved to eat citrus, especially those Spanish clementines. Moving to CA and having oranges off the tree is far superior, I've never had store bought citrus compare to off the tree (even here in CA).


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Far superior, in what way? Citrus is a good storage fruit that doesn't need to be sweeter than what it can reach in shippable form.

I have to admit, it has been a while since I ate any off the tree- a visit to Kauii almost 20 years ago. The fruit had a nice fresh quality hard to describe, but the difference wasn't quite all that.

Even when I lived in CA, the land I was raised on was at the base of a steep canyon and too cold for citrus, except lemons. I had much less experience with it than plums, apricots and figs, so maybe I just haven't had enough experience picking at the optimum moment.

I have to admit that most commercial citrus here- especially navel oranges, are picked too young and often stored too long.


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I have only been to CA once. When I think of citrus I think of Florida, a day's drive down I-75. The best citrus I had was fresh pineapple in Jamaica. Ya Mon! Been there 4 times. Lot's of interesting fruits there. Not as many as other places, but it's so different. The crickets make a different sound at night than the ones here. I want to go to Belize next offshore vacation.
Another former British colony where they speak the Queen's English.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 11:24

"I have to admit that most commercial citrus here- especially navel oranges, are picked too young and often stored too long."

That's the long and short of it, and most are soft and pale in color, which I never see fresh from a tree. Mine are always a deep rich color, firm and very juicy. Also, most navel oranges are labeled as such so they could be less desirable varieties than Washington navel. Some of the earlier and later varieties don't match up very well, but growers plant them to extend the season a bit. Lane Late is a particularly excellent later navel that I really enjoy. Lots of folks raving about Cara Cara these days as well. I went with Washington navel as it harvests at the same time as Cara Cara.

Most oranges are gassed because they are brought in early and still have some green on them. We get enough overnight chill in my area that ripens them beautifully. This was historically considered a minor citrus producing area for some reason.But I do remember a lot of orange groves when I was growing up.

Yeah, like almost all fruit --you can't always measure citrus by what you can buy at the market. High quality citrus has a sweet/tart/acid balance that really dances on the taste buds.

Small world! I went to Parkman as well. :)


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Mr. Clint, do you mind if I ask what years? I was there starting in 1964.

There were still a lot of abandoned orange orchards in the valley when I was around there- not in Woodland Hills but nearby. At least, that's my recollection. There was also plenty of cattle around Thousand Oaks and Calabassas.


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Hmm, I thought I put a reply here but I don't see it. I think I am going to try a couple more nectarines, I had a lot of failures but it was mainly with west coast and heirloom varieties. Harvestman have you had experiences with other varieties? Any duds to avoid, etc? A standard list is the NJ list, see below. I don't care about the white ones, its yellow or bust for me.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: NJ Nectarines


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Hmm I go into my dining room (where I keep my small citrus grove) this time of year and start picking my sweeter than store bought, Meyer Lemons. My Key Lime will be in bloom soon. Nothing tastes as good as fruit off of the tree. My Meyer Lemon pie is delish! I will give freezing peaches a try this summer! Mrs. G


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Scot, I think you can pretty much disregard their flavor evaluations- all the nectarines I've harvested here have some really great fruit on the tree if trees are open and thinned. Strange how they do no evaluations on cracking which is the main issue for me.

As I mentioned, Easternglo and Summer Beaut have yet to let me down in this regard, maybe because they are pretty early. I've had Redgold work as well but it cracked like mad last year and it wasn't very wet. Ambre looked promising but something got the little crop before it got ripe. Next year the tree will be large enough for a significant crop. Sunglo was delicious but cracky.

I ordered a Jade this year because it is supposed to be high acid. Can't assume all whites will be bland. So far I've had best results from the earliest varieties and Jade is the first of Adams varieties.


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  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 21:31

In the NJ nectarine evaluations they consider speckling a defect. That's my marker for a high brix, high flavor fruit. Maybe things are different back East.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 8:01

Scott,

I don't know how much of a problem bac. spot is in your area, or if you even care about it, but some nects can get it pretty badly.

I saw a block of Redgold here in KS and it was pretty overwhelmed with bac. spot. This block was next to other blocks of peach cultivars which had no evidence of bac. spot.

It left an impression on me. For this reason I've not tried to grow Redgold here.

I'm currently trying about 10 different nect. cultivars. I did plant some varieties highly susc. to bac. spot, like Honeyblaze and Fantasia, but that was before I knew they were prone to the disease. As you know, sometimes information about disease susc./res. can be so conflicting. One list will report a variety resistant., another report it as susceptible.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Olpea,

This thread peaks my interest in growing nectarine.

I just checked ACN. It rates Fantasia's resistance to spot at 8, the highest of any varieties. Glad that you mentioned your experience with Fantasia. You are so right that the info can be conflicting.

H-man mentioned Eastern Glow and Summer Beaut (sold out). I'll keep that in mind. I wonder anyone grows Nectafest. It's from WV program. The write-up looks good and it's from the East Coast.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Thanks for the comments. Olpea, I have not had a major outbreak of spot since I started doing fall and spring copper sprays. This fall I missed the fall spray because the leaves all stayed on through November and then it was cold for a long stretch. We'll see if I get it worse next spring; I may do a copper before shuck split if I see signs. Anyway I still pull out the extreme spot magnets but the other ones do OK for me.

My Mericrest speckle and generally look ugly; I don't care, they have brix off the charts and taste great. If they sized up better I would call them a perfect nectarine.

I once grew Venus which is a child of RedGold. It cracked and rotted badly and that has turned me off from RedGold even though it might be fine.

fruittreefarm.com, Johnsons and Grampas Orchard sell many east coast nectarines, so even though ACN is out there are suppliers. I can't find Eastern Glo but most of that NJ list can be found.

Scott


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Scott,

I'll hope to find disease resistance nectarine varieties with good taste (if possible). I'll be interested in your choices, in addtion to H-man's. Please keep us posted. Thank you.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Summer Beaut always seems to sell out quickly at Adams, which may speak volumes. It was the first one that I grew besides Mericrest which I planted over 20 years ago.

Mericrest cracks like crazy and doesn't have adequate vigor to produce decent sized fruit no matter how much you thin. It is a wow flavored fruit though, but the others I grow are close enough in brix and flavor. I can't even get a decent bite out of about half the Mericrest, even on dry years and yet it is good enough to hold its place in my orchard.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 14:18

scottsmith, I was surprised to find that the white nectarines contain more phytonutrient content than the yellow varieties. As discussed in previous threads, best to grow and eat what you like and view added nutrients as a bonus.

Harvestman. thinking back through the smog of time... my first year at Parkman was more like '68-'69. I do remember some eclectic folks who lived in the Canyon. Some were deep into the FFA (Future Farmers or America), and others were unabashed hippies. By and large most were good people.

Regarding orchards, open spaces and the like, I remember going to what we called the "end of Victory" to ride dirt bikes. That location is now around Shoup Ave and Victory Blvd. It's all suburban sprawl now, I'm not even sure where Victory Blvd ends any more! Rewind back to my Dad's youth and they hunted Jack Rabbits and such right there. :)


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Scott - Schlabach's Nursery (Amish based out of eastern NY) sells Eastern Glo. You have to order by snail mail only through their catalog. To get their catalog, you need to call them and leave a message. Let me know if you need the number.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Scott - Schlabach's Nursery (Amish based out of eastern NY) sells Eastern Glo. You have to order by snail mail only through their catalog. To get their catalog, you need to call them and leave a message. Let me know if you need the number.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Last year Schlaback's catalog offered Easternglo, Flavor Top and Fantasia. I have not gotten a new catalog yet. It is usually sent out around Christmas time.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

I threw away my Schlabachs catalog but I have 5 nects on order from Grampa already.. no more room. Thanks in any case, maybe someone else can use the tip.

Scott


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 1:48

"Glad that you mentioned your experience with Fantasia. You are so right that the info can be conflicting."

Mamuang,

I can see my post was a bit confusing. I'm trialing about 10 different cultivars, but none them have fruited yet. I was always a bit hesitant to try nects because I'd seen and heard how difficult they are to grow commercially around here. I finally decided to put some in after hearing all the positive comments about flavor on this forum.

Quite a few of mine will be in their third leaf this summer. Even so they are too young to experience bac. spot. I rarely see it on peach leaves until the trees are old enough to start fruiting.

It gets worse with age as the foliage gets more dense and leaves/fruit are slower to dry out from rain/dew.

My comments about Fantasia and Honey Blaze are strictly from bac. spot susc./res. lists put together by people who are supposed to know what they are doing.

For example Fantasia is rated as medium to highly susceptible by the NJ list Scott linked. Honey Blaze is rated as highly susc.

I got both of these varieties from Adams and they rated them much more favorably (which at the time was why I bought them). I've since read other sources which rate those two cultivars poorly in terms of bac. spot resistance, so I'm inclined to believe Adams is somewhat overly optimistic when it comes to some of the bac. spot ratings. Or maybe it's simply not much of a problem in PA.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Olpea,

Thank you for clarification. I, too, have been hesitant to grow nectarine for its reputation of being more difficult than peach (which is not easy to begin with).

I think I'll give it a try next spring. I'll start with Easternglo.

Wish you all Happy Holidays!!


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Here is a Rutger's pdf about bacterial spot resistance, although the main focus is peaches.

I'm now thinking I should try Fantasia as well- I didn't realize it was so widely planted here. It must be crack resistant as well and the quality is considered the best.

Here is a link that might be useful: peach and nectarine bs resistance


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Mr. Clint, I was definitely one of those hippies Topanga was once famous for. There's even a photo of me in the Topanga Historic Society's book on the History of Topanga, with hair below my shoulders and a flute in my hands. It's in the chapter about the '60's, of course.

My brother Douglas was at Parkman when you were but a year older. Only my second oldest brother went to Taft as the rest of us opted out of the valley for high school.

I owe the rugged chaparral hills of Topanga for my earliest lessons in horticulture, where I would hide small stands of Topanga's only cash crop. I've been fighting squirrels for 45 years now.


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 23, 13 at 13:50

Hman,

Thanks for posting that bac. spot resistance list. Fairly comprehensive.

Interestingly, they post Fantasia as medium susc., but the NJ publication Scott linked shows Fantasia as medium to high susc.

I see I have several new varieties planted which are on their list in the high susc. category. Interesting to see how they do.

I have Lady Nancy (in their high susc. category), It hasn't shown symptoms yet, but is still a relatively young tree (only fruited for two years).


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RE: nectarines, winter bonus

Olpea, I guess bacterial leaf spot is not such an issue here with peaches. Lady Nancy has remained healthy at all sites I manage it. It's a very vigorous grower and I manage some trees as old as 20.

I'm working under the assumption that I do get it extensively on my apricots because its the only thing I can come up with that might be causing shot holes and very early defoliation that tends to weaken but not kill the trees. They live but don't bear much fruit on my site. Most other sites I manage them don't suffer it much until last season.


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