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Midwest Fruit Explorers
Garden Club for Backyard Fruit Growers
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Introduction Blueberries North Apple Bed Panaromic View Dwarf Conclusion
Gene's Answers Train a Mini-Dwarf Favorite Apples Map of Backyard

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north Now let's proceed with this virtual tour. Continue walking until you reach the southeast corner. Please turn around 180 degrees. You're now facing northwest and have the view seen above. This picture was taken during the first week of September. Some of the earliest apples are already ripe.

You may wonder how Gene knows when to pick his apples. Gene offers the following hints: "You lift the apple up sideways and give it a quarter of a turn. If it releases from the tree, the apple is ripe. If you are not sure, pick one apple and cut it open. If the seeds are not fully brown, but more brown and white, leave the rest of the fruit on the tree for another week or two.

"If you want to store the apples, you pick them when they're full size but not perfectly ripe. You might have to twist the apple and then hold onto the branch so you don't break the fruiting spur."

Before we finish, there is one big misconception Gene would like to address right away.

"Based on the large number of trees in my yard, people assume that I must spend an enormous amount of time maintaining my orchard. Let me tell you how easy it is. Spraying for all of my trees takes under an hour from the time I start mixing my spray and putting on my spraying gear, till the time I'm done cleaning up, including taking the sprayer apart and oiling it.

"In the spring we are talking about twenty minutes for pruning the whole orchard, and the late summer pruning takes a maximum of thirty minutes. So if you can spare only an hour a week, you can enjoy one of the greatest hobbies in the world and the great satisfaction of tasting the fruits of your own labor. You can have fruit that you can't buy in the store at any price. You can become your own gourmet and enjoy those things that are just not available except to those people who grow them."

red Our virtual tour concludes with a short stroll from the southeast corner to the southwest. Here's the view as you stand against the south fence and face northeast on a warm spring day.

Continue to the next page of the tour
Midwest Fruit Explorers, P.O. Box 93, Markham, IL 60428-0093
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