2017 KSV Spring News Update

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Happy Daylight Savings Time everyone,

It’s hard to imagine that spring is just around the corner as we hover in single digits.

For those interested in home and garden projects this coming summer I want to share with you this coming week's annual NH Home and Garden Show starting this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 17th, 18th, and 19th at the Radisson Hotel Conference Center in Manchester, NH.   You can find all of the details here, https://www.nhstatehomeshow.net/.   If you do visit the show, please stop by and say hi.  You can find King Street Vineyards in booth #611 which is in the smaller of the two Radisson Expo areas, called the  Armory Ballroom Section (not the main/large exposition room.)  The times are listed below.

Spring News and Fruit Tree “Tip” of the season

Or “How worried should I be about this year’s fruit production”

Most conversations I have with home orchard owners these days include their fear and concern about the winter weather’s impact on this year’s crop.  This is especially true after we were all devastated by last winter’s -14 and -15 degree February event which killed off most stone fruit harvests in our region.  Well, we find ourselves, once again, in the midst of another series of cold wintry days with lows hovering around 0 degrees.  The question is how this current weather event will impact this season’s harvest. 

2016 New England's Summer of drought

2016 New England's Summer of drought

To begin to answer the question there is an event that occurred last summer that continues to linger this year and which will probably have much more impact on 2017 fruit production than the current temperature event we’re all experiencing.  The event was last year’s serious water drought.   Please note that we are in no way clear of last year’s drought which continues right into this season.  Water tables are nowhere close to where we should be in a normal pre-spring setup.  Just look around and what you see is no snow and lots of bare ground.  In fact, over the past month we’ve had less than 1/10 of an inch of moisture.  This is not a good sign for the start of this growing cycle. With that said we can only hope for lots of snow to fall over the next few days and through the rest of March and lots of rain through April.  We really need it. 

So why was last year’s drought going to impact this season’s fruit production. The simple answer is that the drought impacted our plants bud production process (of last summer) which should have been dedicated to preparing itself to produce fruit the coming year.  Instead of doing this, our plants focus was to allocate its limited water for staying alive.  We have no way of knowing and It’s impossible to predict how significant the impact from last year’s drought will be until we harvest our 2017 crop. 

Drought impacting both this year's harvest and next year's

Drought impacting both this year's harvest and next year's

So what lessons can we take away from dealing with drought conditions?

One lesson I personally took away is that starting this Spring I will be adding additional irrigation capability to my home orchard.  If it was in place last year and attached to my concrete tile well I dug and built over fifteen years ago I would have started watering my plants mid-August when the plants  normally would begin the process of growing its next year fruit buds.  I point out that I would be using my dug well because my town, as many towns in New England severely limited watering using public water.

I do want to point out, however, that I do not intend to add irrigation to my grape vines.  Why?  The reason is that grape vines have a central tap root which grows aggressively down to and through its water table.  I know this because I’ve dug up my share of grape vines and can tell you that I’ve pulled out tap roots that are at least 6 to 9 feet in length.  I also experienced along with many other backyard and commercial vineyards an incredible grape harvest last year while all other fruit production was severely impacted. 

Of note see single tap root on each

Of note see single tap root on each

So, let’s look at the impact our current 0 degree weather will potentially have on this year’s crop. 

One of my customers told me last week that his brother told him that his apple buds were all dead because of the warm weather spell we had a few weeks ago that encouraged his apple fruiting buds to begin the process of coming out of their dormant stage.  I visited his backyard orchard and we took a look at his trees and buds.  Based on my observation, the apples were in the latter phase of dormancy (see #1 picture below)  however, the buds did have pronounced slits along their sides.  However, on the positive side, there was no sign of silver matter (#2 stage, Silver tip) growing out of the slits. This is important because the buds had not actually entered the “silver tip stage of growth.  If they had, the current zero degree weather would absolutely have impact on his fruit tree production this season.  In addition, here’s some good news.  Every fruit tree bud is made up of 4-5 fruit buds.  The benefit being that some fruit buds may die off due to cold temperatures and not make it through a hard winter but there is always a good chance even with cold weather like we are currently experiencing  that at least one of the 4-5 buds will survive.  That’s basically all that is needed for a normal production year of fruit from that tree.

Without getting deep into the subject and with a goal of getting us all on the same page using a standard naming convention of budding stages, I’d like to refer to a paper written by P. J. Chapman and Gertrude A. Catlin, “Growth Stages in Fruit Trees—From Dormant to Fruit Set”, NY State Agricultural Experiment Station, A division of the NY State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithica, NY Food and Life Sciences Bulletin No. 58 February 1976.

As we know, deciduous fruit trees pass through a series of definite growth steps or stages in the spring. For our goal of establishing a common standard naming convention let’s use the one presented in the well respected and referenced paper above from Cornell.  One final note, The bud growth stages are different for each individual fruit tree, apple, pear, cherry, plum, peach, etc...  For our purposes, please review the 9 stages of the apple bud growth below. You can use it to track your fruit this Spring. 

1. Dormant

2. Silver tip

3. Green tip

 

4. Half-inch green

4 Half inch green.JPG

5. Tight cluster

6. Pink

6 Pink.JPG

 

7. Bloom

 

8. Petal fall

 

9. Fruit set

Final reminder:

For folks who want to learn to prune their fruit agriculture don’t miss joining me here at KSV, 25 King Street, on Saturday, March 25th to learn the art of pruning fruit from  one the very best New England fruit specialist, George Hamilton, from UNH Extension Coop. George will be at KSV all day to answer your questions and to show you in person how to prune, fruit trees, blueberries, and grapes.   The day’s schedule of specific demonstrations is posted right here. 

By the way it’s free and we’re doing it rain, snow, or shine, below zero or above zero. In other words, we never postpone or cancel these workshops. It’s part of the fun of being a home farmer.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email.  Wishing you a Happy and Great growing season!

Best regards,

Dave

dave.quigley@kingstreetvineyards.com - 603-672-7000 (office) - 603-490-2558 (mobile)

2017 KSV Winter News Update

          25 King Street, Milford NH 03055       From the desk of D. Emerson Quigley

          25 King Street, Milford NH 03055 

     From the desk of D. Emerson Quigley

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is looking forward to this coming spring as much as I am, although I haven’t been really waiting.  I’ve been outdoors pruning apples over the past two months in a large Hollis NH Orchard. Here’s one of my favorite 8:00 am morning pictures and another to show the density and beauty of an apple orchard.

The breathtaking natural beauty found in a NH Orchard - BTW, these are peach trees.. and they're looking real fine for 2017... ("knock on wood")

The breathtaking natural beauty found in a NH Orchard - BTW, these are peach trees.. and they're looking real fine for 2017... ("knock on wood")

Its amazing to think that year after year in the case of these trees for over 45 years these trees have been producing tons and tons of delicious healthy food. 

Its amazing to think that year after year in the case of these trees for over 45 years these trees have been producing tons and tons of delicious healthy food. 

I’ve had a great time in the orchard but Its quickly becoming time to schedule pruning calls for my customers, old and new.  If you’re interested in having me prune your fruit trees, plants, and vines please call me at 602-672-7000 or email me to schedule a visit.

Hard to go indoors to write this News Update after being happily outdoors pruning over the past two months.

Hard to go indoors to write this News Update after being happily outdoors pruning over the past two months.

For those “Do-it-Yourself” customers, we have something to offer you as well – and its free.   If you are planning on pruning yourself and want to learn the finer details of cutting up your fruit trees and grape vines join me here at KSV, 25 King Street, on Saturday, March 25th when one the very best New England fruit specialist, George Hamilton, from UNH Extension Coop. George will be here all day to answer your questions and to show you in person on my personal backyard orchard and backyard Vineyard.  The day’s schedule of specific demonstrations is posted right here. 

Call to order

Call to order

KSV just released its 2017 Fruit Trees, Bushes, Grape Vines and Outdoor Living Catalog. Find it online here to order your fruit trees and plants as soon as you can before we sell out this Spring.  

This is a UNH Extension Pruning Event Sponsored locally by KSV

This is a UNH Extension Pruning Event Sponsored locally by KSV

By the way it’s free and we’re doing it rain, snow, or shine, below zero or above zero. In other words, we never postpone or cancel these workshops. It’s part of the fun of being a home farmer.

Last time the UNH Extension pruned at KSV we were experienced a late March Blizzard. 

Last time the UNH Extension pruned at KSV we were experienced a late March Blizzard. 

Winter News  Fruit Tree “Tip”

Winter is a great time for your fruit trees to take a break and get a long sleep in order to really produce for you this coming year.  Winter can also be absolutely disastrous to an upcoming fruit bearing season I.E. Last year’s very cold periods.  The worst of these cold periods is in late winter, early spring when the sun is stronger and lasting longer into each day.  The temperature at the base and up the trunk of the tree directly inside of the bark can easily reach into and above the 40’s if nothing is used to counter the sun’s reflection off the snow.  The problem is when the sunsets for the evening and temperatures drop into the single digits or further. The damage is done when nutrients from the roots begin their climb up the tree to initiate spring growth and early in their pre-mature journey they freeze.  Without getting into detail you can imagine this is probably not good for a healthy harvest of fruit.  

As you can see in the picture below, I’ve addressed this issue by painting the trunks of my fruit trees white.  I used interior latex white paint, the cheapest I could find at a local hardware store.  The white paint reflects the sunlight and minimizes any increase in temperature.   

There’s also another benefit of painting your fruit trees white – it disguises the tree from pests including the borer, vole, and mice who inherits their attraction to fruit trees by the color of the bark.  When it’s painted white they typically move on to other trees.

This is a picture of what a cherry tree looks like when attacked by a fruit borer.  Painting it white reduces the likelihood of it to reoccur.

This is a picture of what a cherry tree looks like when attacked by a fruit borer.  Painting it white reduces the likelihood of it to reoccur.

The KSV 4IN1 Fire Pit

There aren't many fire pit units in the market that is as eloquent a table top as it is a fire pit. 

There aren't many fire pit units in the market that is as eloquent a table top as it is a fire pit. 

You can grill anything on our New England Soapstone.

You can grill anything on our New England Soapstone.

I’m really hopeful and excited about 2017 and what it might mean for the patent pending KSV 4in1  Patio Accessory.  I’ve significantly increased the number of manufactured kits which in turn has allowed me to significantly drop the price.  I’ll be selling the fire pit frame, the stainless steel pan and sleeve, your choice of colors of inch thick granite tiles, a handsome soapstone grill with grouted hand grips, a beautiful new hard plastic cooler pan with a bottom brass gate valve for easily removing water from the bottom of the pan, and a eloquent powder coated black table top.  I’m selling the entire set of four functional patio elements (i.e., fire pit, grill, cooler and coffee table) for under a thousand dollars.  That’s almost a 50% drop from last year’s price making it a great buy for a patio accessories in a class by itself.

The above is my five year old test fire pit that has been outdoors for the entire time with hundreds of fires filled with nice memories of friends and family and has never once been cleaned or brushed with a stainless steel brush and showing no signs of planned obsolescence. I expect this system will last for many years to come.  And when I get a little tired of this particular color, I can easily switch out the granite for a new color. 

On a personal business goal,  my hope is to establish a sales channel of a half dozen (or more)  retail outlets around New England who will actively promote and sell the unit.  Regardless, I will always promote and sell the units directly from my vineyard.

And on a special effects goal I plan building and adding this device to my booth to catch the attention of show attendees at the upcoming March 17-19 Radisson Hotel Manchester, NH.

Designed and built for the NH Farm and Forestry Department by Invasive Species Coordinator, Division of Plant Industry, Douglas W. Cygan.  It is so incredibly realistic I think it will look awesome inside a KSV 4in1 Fire Pits at the upcoming March 17th-19th NH Home and Garden Show at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

Designed and built for the NH Farm and Forestry Department by Invasive Species Coordinator, Division of Plant Industry, Douglas W. Cygan.  It is so incredibly realistic I think it will look awesome inside a KSV 4in1 Fire Pits at the upcoming March 17th-19th NH Home and Garden Show at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

Come visit me in Booth # 611 in the Ballroom (NOT THE MAIN EXPOSITION ROOM).  To get to the Ballroom go into the main lobby of the hotel and pass the Reception area, turn left and you’ll see the entrance to the Ballroom.  Hope to see you there.

KING STREET VINEYARDS - WINE TASTING AND TAPAS

Preparing for an evening of great fun, wine, entertainment and tapas. Come join Vintner and Private Tapas Chef E. Emerson Quigley some Friday or Saturday evening from 7:00-9:00 pm for a very unique experience in beautiful Milford NH.  Call 603-672-7000 to make your reservations.

Preparing for an evening of great fun, wine, entertainment and tapas. Come join Vintner and Private Tapas Chef E. Emerson Quigley some Friday or Saturday evening from 7:00-9:00 pm for a very unique experience in beautiful Milford NH.  Call 603-672-7000 to make your reservations.

We're now offering a Unique weekend experience at KSV for adults.  It's a private NH Wine tasting and tapas served by both the KSV Vintner,                 D. Emerson Quigley who is also serving as your private tapas chef.  He will make sure that you leave after having a very memorable special evening out in Milford New Hampshire. You'll be introduced to a number of wines that he has made over the past few years that will surprise you of how good New Hampshire grapes can be for making wine. You will also be served four home-made courses of tapas along with homemade sourdough and artisan breads.

The cost is $15 per person and there is no cost for the wine.  We only take reservations at least one day in advance. Menus for each of the evenings are posted on the KSV website here. 

Savoring the benefits of a Backyard Vineyard - KSV Wine and Tapas Tastings every Friday and Saturday evening from 7:00-9:00. Open for private reservations up to 8 mature adults.  Immature adults must find something else to do.  

Savoring the benefits of a Backyard Vineyard - KSV Wine and Tapas Tastings every Friday and Saturday evening from 7:00-9:00. Open for private reservations up to 8 mature adults.  Immature adults must find something else to do.  

Recent Tasting visitors

Please don't hesitate to call (603) 672-700 or email if you have any fruit planting or growing questions. I'm more than happy to help make you a very successful backyard vineyard Vintner or home orchard practitioner.  

All my best regards,

D. Emerson

Milford NH, Wine Tastings and Tapas at KSV

Starting on Friday, and Saturday, January 20th and 21st, and running every Friday and Saturday through the winter KSV will open its front door, dinning room, kitchen and den to couples, small groups and very small wedding parties.  There is only one seating per evening 7:00 - 9:00.  

A home vineyard wine tasting and tapas evening with a private chef and vintner, David E. Quigley. Costing $15.00 per person and includes home made wine, tapas, desserts and sweets - four individual courses spread between tasting KSV home vineyard wines. There is no charge for the wine samples. $15. covers the appetizers. 

A Warm New Hampshire atmosphere with...

A Warm New Hampshire atmosphere with...

...plenty of parking, front and side and, 

...plenty of parking, front and side and, 

... a warm and friendly inside... That's when the fun begins. Your $15 per person fee provides you with Four tapas courses and an assortment of NH grown wine that can be grown in backyard vineyards all throughout New England.   This makes for a great opportunity to have a lot of fun, eating great food and tasting the wine from grapes you could grow in your own backyard vineyard.  Dave Quigley is both your private chef and vintner.  He'll tell you all about the process in the ambiance of a winery. You'd be surprised to learn how easy it is to have your own Backyard Vineyard.  

... a warm and friendly inside... That's when the fun begins.

Your $15 per person fee provides you with Four tapas courses and an assortment of NH grown wine that can be grown in backyard vineyards all throughout New England.   This makes for a great opportunity to have a lot of fun, eating great food and tasting the wine from grapes you could grow in your own backyard vineyard.  Dave Quigley is both your private chef and vintner.  He'll tell you all about the process in the ambiance of a winery. You'd be surprised to learn how easy it is to have your own Backyard Vineyard.  

Learning to prune fruit and grapes - Save this date, Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rain or shine, snow or sleet we'll be teaching you how to prune here at KSV on Saturday, March 25th, 2017, all day long starting promptly at 9:00 AMSee pruning schedule below for specific fruit pruning demos. Taught by one of New England's foremost experts at growing fruit trees and grapes, George Hamilton.  

Rain or shine, snow or sleet we'll be teaching you how to prune here at KSV on Saturday, March 25th, 2017, all day long starting promptly at 9:00 AMSee pruning schedule below for specific fruit pruning demos. Taught by one of New England's foremost experts at growing fruit trees and grapes, George Hamilton.  

9:00 - 12:00 Apple, peach, cherry, pear 

Break

12:15 - 1:00 Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries 

1:00 - 3:00 Grapes

Coffee and home made donuts provided

As noted above the pruning demonstrations will take place regardless of the weather conditions.  Two years ago, March 28th 2015 it was 28 degrees.  Nothing stops this demo train, called George Hamilton, UNH Extension Fruit and Grape State Specialist, recognized as one of the most influential and experienced fruit expert in New England. 

email or call to register

More Pictures from 2015 Pruning demonstration at KSV

Kicking off the New Year 2017 with The King Street Vineyard, "Backyard Vineyard" Blog.

This is the first video of a series of  short 2017 posts to get folks excited about creating their own eatable landscape at their home.  This first series focuses on growing grapes, building a grape trellis that will last a life time, and some things to think about in selecting your site. 

For this site I used an existing trellis line and the road as two key elements to help position the new trellis.  The main point that I wanted to make in this recording is that the home owner, in making their site selection for their backyard vineyard should frequently take a step back and take a perspective look from a distance.  That combined with accurate tape measurements will ensure that your trellis will look beautiful when finished. 

The next video of the series will highlight the value of reusing the grass that was removed for the trellis somewhere else on your property.  It's so easy to replant the grass and saves you the cost of grass seed and the time it takes to grow new grass.