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View Diary: Which book next? (97 comments)

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  •  Yeah, that's easy enough. (0+ / 0-)

    Take an orchard.  Plant it in an area without an endemic pest population.  Plant it in an area with humidity so low that it suppresses any bacterial and fungal diseases.  Drip irrigate.

    It works, but I wonder how much you could scale that up.

    It's always better to breed a better whatever than to have to constantly deal with innate problems.  High maintenance doesn't appeal to me because it means the design is bad.  I loathe bad design.

    Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

    by Fabian on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 03:05:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Could you scale it up? Try all of eastern (0+ / 0-)

      Washington, Idaho, Arizona, etc.

      Here I am in the Hudson Valley, the historic home of apple production. Breeding better apples is a long term project, either through selective breeding or genetic engineering. To date, pest resistant apples have been less than spectacular. If you can breed a pest resistant "Fuji", you can retire.

      •  Sometimes I wonder (0+ / 0-)

        if we should just scrap apples and do something else instead.

        My one pie cherry tree is very easy to deal with.  No spraying.  I get one pest and that's a fly that only attacks ripe cherries, so all I need to do is pick them promptly.  I prune once a year.  I pick three times a year.  I'll clean the tree tomorrow.

        I would love to grow apples, but I know they are a real PITA.  Just too damn much work.  It would be nice if we didn't have literally centuries of bad breeding to correct.  All those disease susceptibilities to breed out.

        Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

        by Fabian on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 04:15:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cherries make good eating! Our season is short, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian

          about three weeks. Cornell is working on controlled atmosphere storage which should lengthen the season to two months. I honestly don't mind the pesticide use on apples, most farmers use IPM, spray only when necessary. The EPA is also slowly taking away the worst chemical offenders. As far as traditional varieties and disease/insect damage, I haven't looked into that lately. Maybe "Sheepnose" or "Nonesuch" apples aren't as easy to damage.

          Hope your cherry pie is delicious!

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