Eric Thompson

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since Apr 23, 2011
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Longview, WA - USA
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Longview, WA - USA
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Recent posts by Eric Thompson

If they are soft enough that you can press the flesh and dent them, they should be pretty sweet!  I don't some across many bitter plums when ripe and soft.  You can look for little holes and leaking sap that are signs of worms.  But a very ripe plum will be soft and drip juice when you bite it.

As for managing the thicket, try to cut off growth that is sideways and below 6 ft or so.  Plums will overgrow vertically and break branches if not cared for.  If you dig small seedlings in the winter when dormant, you will quickly find out if they are true seedling or root suckers.  Probably most of them are root suckers..
3 weeks ago
I have battled Pseudomonas syringae quite a bit -- it thrives as things get warmer but stay wet.

This can often take out whole branches by affecting the bark around young trees enough that it destroys the bark all the way around, effectively girdling the branch.
4 months ago
It looks like an essential oil distiller -- did they used to grow peppermint?
5 months ago

Bethany Brown wrote:I have chips. I’m guessing I have about 200 cubic feet, hopefully there will be more tomorrow. My orchard area is about 6000 square feet. I know the cops won’t be able to cover all of it. What do y’all think? Should I use it closest to the trees, make paths, or just mulch well at one end of the orchard and hope to get more chips later to do another section?

I would prioritize mulch for the young trees that need to do the most development - about 6" deep in a 2' radius.  Also good to establish some comfrey at the edge of the circle -- it will take over as the living mulch in a few years.

If you want to establish raspberries, shape the chips to the place to grow and plan then 3' apart.  Or if you're tired of hauling chips, just spread the pile into a foot or less and plant into the soil beneath it..

Try to get it done before April to suck up some water and really help this summer!

7 months ago

Jenny Wright wrote:

Hans Quistorff wrote:  should I dig up the extra crowns so they are nicely spaced? What kind of distance do you have between crowns?

Leaving the root in the ground in a god area is best - as tough as the blackberries seem, they really don't transplant very well.  
As Hans said, if you tie up the first year canes it separates them from the 2nd year canes for easier berry picking the the 2nd year canes can be cut when they brown out.  The long 1st year canes can be trained along a wire or wrapped in a big circle like a blackberry wreath on a pole - just keep the tips off the ground to prevent a thicket from forming..

1 year ago

Mathew Trotter wrote:There's literally a flood advisory. In June. We don't even get rain in June! I don't even understand this climate anymore...

In May and June there is snowpack melt.  When there is a burst of rain, that fills the rivers AND increases the snowpack melt so the rivers that drain this can get high.  Our well on the Columbia River bottom lands is fully artesian now, running out of the wellhead!
1 year ago
We band our own and I think this is easy for a small operator to do.  The small bander with the small bands is fine for calves up to 4 months old or so - we band as soon as practical.
We also have a large bander with the rings for older animals, annd those bands are also fairly effective for removing large horns without a lot of trauma.

I don't have experience with the Callicrate banders.

A related joke my father always told: If you want to be a cattleman, you need to learn enough math to count to 2.
1 year ago
I have a bridge crossing a drainage slough on my property and after a few years of open access I closed the gate on it.  The next day a deer fawn had been taken down by coyotes at the gate..
1 year ago
You can graft another plum onto that -- it's best to pick one that is a good pollinator match if you can, the the remaining branches may start fruiting better.  
To graft, select one of the large branches and cut it, then do a "cleft graft" with another variety.  

The lack of fruit may be from the variety (some ornamental plums are more flowering than fruiting), the pollination availability (if nothing compatible is nearby) or just the season and conditions (too cold and rainy for the bees when it flowers)

The grafting part needs a lot more detail than what I outlined, but it will be a fun project if you can research your way through it.

1 year ago
Opening up in April at $1200/month - would love to find someone that also integrates into surrounding 100 acre farm.

Quiet location at end of road. 3BR/1BA older house on large lot with fenced yard, chicken house, space for gardening, parking.
Surrounded by operating cattle farm - possible work trade for portion of rent: agriculture, construction, mechanic...
Possible space for animals, ag business...

Purple Moosage me for more details or questions.
1 year ago