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wow gold Cultivator an apple fan to the core

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Dołączył: 09 Maj 2014
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PostWysłany: Wto Maj 13, 2014 03:09    Temat postu: wow gold Cultivator an apple fan to the core Odpowiedz z cytatem

Cultivator an apple fan to the coreIf an apple a day keeps the doctor away, consider Axel Kratel a man on his way to immortality. A member of the California Rare Fruit Growers , Kratel cultivates 800 varieties in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If he's in the mood for "hints of banana," he reaches for the sweet, substantial 'My Jewel.' If it's a note of strawberry he's after, the marbled flesh 'Pink Pearl' fills the bill. And when he's looking for spiciness, the anise-flavored 'Priscilla' is his pick. On sloping orchard terrain in the backyard of his 3/4-acre home in the gated Pasatiempo Golf Club , established apple trees, some with up to 20 grafts, are dense with green leaves and ripening fruit while their younger neighbors are starting to lose their color and defoliating. Thanks to cold winters and mild summers, Kratel's orchard produces apples 10 months out of the year, some a little larger than a golf ball, others as big as a grapefruit. Unlike their waxed and polished supermarket cousins, they sport spots, stripes, russeting and colors that range from yellow to deep burgundy. During the peak of harvest in the middle of September, orchard yields surpassed 400 pounds. "Most people think that apples ripen only in the fall," he says. "But in our orchard, apple season starts in late May with the first summer variety that ripens then and goes all the way into early February." All varieties welcome While unquestionably a connoisseur of apples - he eats three to five a day - Kratel's no snob and somewhat of an equal-opportunity collector. "I have mostly unpatented varieties. Some are from modern breeding programs, some are as old as 1200 A.D., and many are chance seedlings that someone found and propagated." Over time and with a little help from friends, varieties have just accumulated. "When I trade scion wood, people send me things I didn't ask for but I graft them anyway - a variety shows up and gets grafted on a branch somewhere in the orchard." He no longer keeps inventory but is "slowly" documenting some apple information on Cloud Forest Cafe ( ), his gardening social network. Started as a garden forum in 1998, it now highlights discussion, features and a Facebook-like profile/news-feed page with friends. About 15 varieties account for 90 percent of apples grown commercially in the United States, yet there are about 7,500 known apple varieties grown worldwide. Kratel says there's an apple tree that will thrive just about anywhere in the Bay Area. Three factors gardeners should consider: the amount of winter chill (hours below 45 degrees needed to set fruit), pollination requirements and taste. "Pettingill is low chill so it grows statewide," says Kratel. "It is an excellent choice for San Francisco, and it truly makes the most delightful, best-flavored apple pie I have ever eaten. <a href=" of Warcraft - EU.wow_eu.Gold.Info.aspx">wow gold</a> " Wearing rimless eyeglasses, Kratel could pass for a high-school science teacher were it not for the chiseled limbs nearly bursting from his own trunk. A physicist for high-tech company Kaazing Corp. in Mountain View, his interests branch in many directions, but at his core, Kratel is a self-described "plant man" - a sucker for things that climb, leaf and fruit. Known for his passion for the obscure, he's an expert on lost crops of the Incas. Crops of the Andes - cherimoya, white sapote and others originating in the high elevations of Peru and neighboring countries - are established in his backyard. But the plant doesn't need to be exotic to capture Kratel's attention, just throw some good flavor his way and he'll bite. "Just because it's an apple, it doesn't have to be boring," he says. The family orchard Of German origin, Kratel, 46, grew up in the countryside on the outskirts of Geneva, where his family maintained an orchard that included apples such as 'Belle De Boskoop, ' Berner Rosen ' and 'Transparente de Croncels.' At age 14, a non-English-speaking Kratel, who today bears no trace of accent, moved with his family to Santa Barbara. During graduate school at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, his dormant agriculture roots got a wake-up call when he purchased a passion fruit vine and planted it in his yard. It started fruiting and Kratel and a school chum "chowed down" with delight. From that point it was a "gradual thing to rekindle my interest in gardening with vines, tomatoes, bananas. I started to branch out. <a href=" of Warcraft - EU.wow_eu.Gold.Info.aspx">wow gold</a> " After Caltech, where he received his doctorate following completion of his thesis on decontaminating water in Superfund sites by applying plasma physics, Kratel moved to Half Moon Bay. There he attempted to grow subtropicals - fruit preferring mild climates that can take some frost. Kratel found that while subtropicals produced decent crops, neither the yields nor the flavors were anything special. "The fog chased us out," he says. In resignation he accepted that in particular, the super exotics such as longans, lychee and mango are not well adapted to their non-native climate and that they have limited appeal for most gardeners for a reason. "None of these things work here - it is just too cold." Kratel planted his first tree, a Jonagold/Mutsu just for kicks. When the fruit matured, he picked one to sample and found the flavor "jaw dropping." A few years later a friend gave him a book on German apples and sealed his fate. "I looked up the varieties online and started to track them down," Kratel says. "I was pleasantly surprised to find that pretty much all of them were available in the form of scion wood. Some could even be ordered as trees from various nurseries." These days, he considers 'Jonagolds' average and finds those with complexity and tartness "far more interesting." A yard of plenty His deeply recessed backyard is reached by steps framed by lush foliage that includes papayas, an ice cream bean, allspice, citrus and pineapple guavas. On site are 60 grafted apple trees; 30 stone fruit trees, four cherimoya, 15 white sapote, 12 kinds of avocados, mulberries, passion fruit, four chickens, two cats and a rescued German shepherd named Inga. His most recent addition - and the "apple of his eye" - is Lucas, a lively 8-month-old crawler with a perpetual, open-mouthed grin. Mom Michelle Kratel is an information technologist in Silicon Valley. Before meeting him, her exposure to gardening was limited. Now she's in the thick of it with the arrival of the electric crusher the couple rents each year. A batch of cider could include 30 varieties of apples that produce a fragrant mix with a smooth finish. There's a chest freezer in the basement room converted for storing apples and a bladder press for juice extraction. And the busy couple will cook apples when they can find the bandwidth. Michelle jokes still about an early period of their courtship when Axel arrived bearing a gift of fresh passion fruit in a sack that he set on the kitchen counter. Where it stayed - and stayed. The fruit, past its prime, became an insect magnet. These days, the Kratel home is on the map for fellow gardening enthusiasts from his horticulture networks who throughout the year are invited to potluck, glean harvests and help with projects that extend the fruit season. An adept communicator, Kratel is eager to share his horticultural knowledge with gardening colleagues or the public on stages small and large. When his horticulture explanations start getting technical, he is quick to acknowledge it and simplifies. At CRFG meetings and other events where hobbyists cross paths, he's usually spotted in the parking lot holding court on some facet of cultivation. He gave a presentation, "Heirloom Cider and Eating Apples," during the summer at the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa. "When Axel focuses on something, he becomes an expert," says Katie Wong, a state officer with the California Rare Fruit Growers. Yet the expert is no stranger to stepping back. During the seven years he's been building up his orchard, he's learned some apples just don't do very well. "You can't get too attached ... I'm going to bring the collection down." Growing apples Apples do best in climates with considerable cold and moderate summer temperatures. Unless they are "low-chill" varieties, most apples need 1,200 to 1,500 chill hours (the number of hours at temperatures below 45 degrees) to set fruit. Apples also need summer warmth to sweeten and, in many instances, cross-pollination to bear fruit. In most cases planting two varieties is recommended. Cultivation Apples can be grown in the ground or, if you select semi-dwarf root stock, pots. Good drainage is key to the success of apple trees. Avoid low-lying areas where water settles after rain or irrigation. Trees should be planted during their dormant period, January through March. Mettais, and Frequin Rouge, Gravenstein, Reine de Reinettes, Cooking: Belle de Boskoop, Bramley's Seedling, Pettingill, Gravenstein, Kirchwarder, Liberty Pests While codling moth has long been a pest of apples, recently the Japanese fruit fly (spotted wing drosophila, formerly known as the cherry vinegar fly), whose worm can eat away at young fruit, has taken over. Resources Apple trees can be ordered now through January for winter planting. Starts from Axel Kratel's virus-free apple varieties are available at the winter scion exchanges of the California Rare Fruit Growers (go to for event dates). Trees from his collection were acquired from: Tierra Madre Farm , Santa Cruz; (831) 252-0487. <a href=" of Warcraft - EU.wow_eu.Gold.Info.aspx">wow gold</a> . Trees of Antiquity , 20 Wellsona Road, Paso Robles; (805) 467-9909. Cummins Nursery , 1408 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, N.Y.; (607) 592-2801; Learn more Apples and Pears: Calendar of Operations for Home Gardeners: Publication No. 7258, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, three pages, download at anrcatalog.ucdavis. edu Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Deciduous Fruit and Nut Trees: Publication No. 3485 by Chuck A. Ingels, Pamela M. Geisel and Maxwell V. Norton. 2007, 202 pages. $25, order at (800) 994-8849. xboter 2014
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