Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting shows a mature goumi plant that has fruit ready to harvest, how to tell when it is ready to harvest and the method of harvesting.

About Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Elaeagnus multiflora is the botanical name of goumi and is in the same family as Autumn Olive and Russian Olive.  While autumn olive and Russian olive are sometimes considered an invasive plant because the spread so prolifically by seed, that is not really the case for goumi.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi is a Ukrainian plant and is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. It is a perennial deciduous shrub that grows up to 9 feet high.  It likes well drained soil and at least a half a day of sunshine.  It produces fragrant creamy white flowers in May followed by fruit in June.  It fixes nitrogen in the soil, which basically puts fertilizer in the ground for free when you prune it.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Bush

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Bush

Where is the Fruit?

The fruit is deep red when it is ready to harvest.  However, if you are just walking by the bush and not paying attention, you may miss the fruit all together.  The fruit grows on the underside of the bush and if your plant is very bushy, like mine is, then the fruit is almost hidden.  You actually have to push the branches and leaves aside to see the fruit.  But use caution as the shrub has long sharp thorns.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit 3

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Harvesting

Your fruit is ready to harvest when it is a deep dark red.  The darker red that the fruit is, the sweeter the fruit is.  The fruit will turn red when it is the size of a small marble or very small cherry.

To harvest, simply grab the stem holding the fruit to the branch and give a tug.  If you are eating the fruit right away, you could just grab the fruit and give a tug.  If you are going to try and store the fruit for a day or two, make sure you pull the stem with the fruit.  The fruit does not last as long without the stem.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit 2

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Don’t Store the Fruit

The fruit does not store well. The fruit will store for a day or two in the refrigerator but then it gets soft and rubbery.  I have found that the taste doesn’t change much when it is rubbery, it just looks better and has a better texture when it is fresh.

Sweet but Astringent

The fruit has a flavor like I have never tasted before.  It has a pleasant sweet taste but also has a slight astringency.  Astringency is where it makes your mouth pucker a little, kind of like eating a grape seed or the peel of an unripe banana.  It has a seed in the center that I generally do not eat.  Some folks on my plant tours have eaten the seeds and they say it has a nutty flavor.  I didn’t get that when I tried it.  The seeds have kind of a woody texture to them and I can’t seem to get past that.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Seed

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Seed

The fruit is claimed to have 3 times the lycopene of tomatoes and to be high in vitamins A, C, and E.  I have seen several recipes online for jams and jellies, but I can’t seem to gather enough to make jams or jellies, because I end up eating them raw because they are so good.  I just fill a baggie up and take them to work with me and snack on them throughout the day.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting YouTube video.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi YouTube

Sweet Scarlet Goumi YouTube

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Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal shows how to get rid of tent caterpillars on small trees. The video also briefly diverts to cedar apple rust.

The Hunt

Every morning I grab my cup of coffee and walk around the homestead.  This is therapy for me to just relax, take in nature, enjoy the work that I have done, and to look for items that need to be addressed.  One of those items that occasionally needs to be addressed is pests on the plants.  Recently on my walks I noticed that tent caterpillars have moved into my orchard and needed to be taken care of.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

These particular caterpillars are attacking my pear tree, apple tree, cherry tree, elderberry bush and a blue berry bush. The caterpillars build silk tents around the leaves and then they proceed to eat the leaves.  They do not eat all the way through the leaves but do eat enough of the leaves so that they turn brown.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Why not attack later in the day?

The caterpillars move like caffeine addicts on a coffee high in the afternoon.  They are also spread out to various spots on the tree.  I have found that the caterpillars are very slow moving in the morning and that is a good time to get them when they are all in the nest.  For this reason, I usually plan my caterpillar assault in the early morning before work.

The Attack!

My method of killing these little boogers is to drown them in water.  I take a 5-gallon bucket and add some dish soap to it.  Then I fill the bucket about half to three-quarters of the way up with warm water.  The warm water is for me, so my hands don’t freeze as they would with cold water.  The soap is to break the buoyancy so the caterpillars will not be able to “walk on water” – they will sink.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal - Bucket

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal – Bucket

The Cut

For my tree this year, I was able to cut the branches.  All of the caterpillars were at the end of the branches and there were not too many.  I just cut the end of the branches off where the caterpillars were and dropped the entire branch in the water and pushed it under with my hands (this is where warm water helps).  If they were in the middle of a branch or on a branch that I did not want to cut, I would pull the caterpillars off by hand, but you do risk missing some caterpillars or some eggs.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube video.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

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Yellow Spots on Apple Leaves

During my walks, I have noticed about half of my apple trees have yellow/brown spots on the leaves.  This is usually a condition known as cedar apple rust.  It is caused by having a plant in the cedar/juniper family close by and it having a fungus on it.  Cedar apple rust requires a plant in the cedar family and in the apple family to complete its life cycle.

Cedar Apple Rust

Cedar Apple Rust

The fungus does not usually kill the plant, but can cause a reduction or loss of fruit production.  The issue is worse on years when you have a very wet spring.  There are treatments that you can spray on the apple trees, but I don’t care to use chemicals and usually just let it run its course and it is usually better next year.

Cedar Apple Rust Resistant

There are cedar apple rust resistant plants available.  About half of my trees at the farm are resistant.  In 2017, the trees that were not resistant did not bear fruit at all because we had such a wet spring that the fungus went crazy and took too much energy from the trees to produce fruit.  The resistant trees produced just fine.


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Square Foot Gardening Update

Square Foot Gardening Update

This post and associated video provide you with a Square Foot Gardening Update.  The overall concept of square foot gardening is to put a different plant or grouping of plants in each individual square foot of garden soil.  This provides diversity of nutrients to and from the garden soil and plants, plenty of diversity for beneficial insects and confusion for pest insects.

The Garden Bed

My garden bed is made of 4×4 posts.  The posts are laid horizontally on the ground and stacked two high, giving me about a 7-inch deep bed.  Every foot I have nails put into the 4×4 posts so I can keep track of each square.  I write letters and numbers on the wood between the nails, which I will cover later in the post.  My beds are 16-foot long and 4-foot wide.  This allows me to be able to reach into the center of the bed without ever having to walk on the soil, which would pack and compress the soil.

Square Foot Gardening Update

Square Foot Gardening Update

Documentation

Each foot on the 4×4 post, lengthwise, is marked with a number from 1 to 16.  Then on the 4-foot side of the bed I have letters – A, B, C, D.  This means that I have one square that corresponds to 1A and one to 3C and one for 14D.  On a piece of paper, I make a grid and label it with 1-16 and A-D. This allows me to document what I have planted in each square and to easily find it. At the top of the sheet I write the year and bed location.  The bed location is because I have many beds and this allows me to keep them straight.

Square Foot Gardening Update Documentation

Square Foot Gardening Update Documentation

Year after Year

Each year I refer to the previous year’s drawing and make sure I mix the plants up.  What I mean by this is that I do not plant the same plant or type of plant in the same square that I planted it last year. This allows the plants to diversely give and take from the soil. If I had one type of plant in the same spot each year, it may deplete certain nutrients.  By rotating, it can replenish nutrients in the soil.

This rotating also reduces disease and pest pressure.  If eggs from a pest are laid in the soil around a plant that they like and the next year I put different plants there that the pest likely don’t like, then that makes my garden less palatable for the pest.  This also helps with diseases like tomato blight.  If the soil has tomato blight in it from last year’s plant and I put a tomato in the same soil, well, this year’s plant is very likely going to get tomato blight.  But if I put the tomatoes several feet away from last year’s location, the tomatoes have a much better chance of not getting tomato blight.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Square Foot Gardening Update YouTube video.

Square Foot Gardening Update YouTube

Square Foot Gardening Update YouTube

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Help support a small business:

One way to support us is by shopping on Amazon.  If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!


Here’s another way to support us: Great Escape Farms and Todd McCree are now on Patreon!  If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef. You can support us for as little as $1.