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Healthy Fruit 2009 Vol. 17:19

Sep 30, 2009

Upcoming meetings

December 15-17, 2009: New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference, Manchester, NH
The final program for the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference has been posted on the Conference website, There will be three tree fruit sessions. Please mark you calendar now for this important educational opportunity.

The way I see it

See apple maturity report. This will be the last Healthy Fruit in 2009. Check my blog for continued apple maturity updates. J. Clements

Apple maturity report

General comments on 09/28/09 apple maturity: All fruit from UMass Cold Spring Orchard, Belchertown, MA. Jonagold needs to be harvested ASAP. Morren's is a superior Jonagold strain. Macoun, Liberty will be good for the rest of the week, but should be done by the end of the week. None of these fruit were treated with ReTain. Empire was not tested, but should be ready by mid-week at latest. (If not now.)

date Cultivar pre-harvest drop color % red fruit diameter inches firmness lbs soluble solids starch index comments
9/28 Jonagold, Morren's Supra nil 65 3.5 14.2 13.9 6.5
one of the best apples, needs to be picked now!
9/28 Macoun some 90 3.3 15.7 12.8 3.6
just about right, although starch index seems low
9/28 Liberty nil 95 3.4 18.1 12.4 3.9
good for harvest
9/28 Jonagold de Coster nil 85 3.4 15.6 12.6 7.5 2nd leaf trees, so that may impact fruit quality

General comments on 09/29/09 apple maturity: Empire, except those treated with ReTain, are ready for start of harvest. Pick over the next week. ReTain-treated Empire could go another week. Royal Empire looks real nice, although fruit size is lacking on these rather weak trees on B.9 rootstock planted 2 feet apart. McIntosh and Honeycrisp harvest should be complete by now. I expect Golden Delicious, Mutsu, and 'Red' Delicious will be ready to pick next week.

date Location Cultivar pre-harvest drop color % red fruit diameter inches firmness lbs soluble solids starch index comments
9/29 Stow Empire nil 85 2.95 17.1 11.0 4.5
ready for harvest
9/29 Harvard Empire, Tome nil 95 3.0 18.5 11.3 3.5 one with water core; nice, very attractive on trees; could wait a week to pick (treated with ReTain)
9/29 Belcher-town Empire, Royal nil 95 2.9 18 12.6 5 somewhat small size on weakish (B.9 rootock) trees; otherwise, very, very nice
9/29 Harvard Pioneer Mac few 70 3.0 16.4 14 7 left on tree after last pick; pretty well shot even with ReTain at this point
9/29 Harvard Honeycrisp some 65 3.4 13.7 11.9 7.5 despite being treated with ReTain, should have been picked by now; hint of late-harvest off-flavor (alcohol) developing

from Tina Smith, 413-545-5306 Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture,
and Paul Lopes, 508-295-2212 ext. 24


Twilight Meeting at Atlas Farm – Corn Heat and Vegetable Production Systems

Date: Wed October 7

Time: 4:00 pm-7:00 pm.

Atlas Farm, 8 Pine St., South Deerfield, MA

Sarah and Gideon Porth grow a wide diversity of certified organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers on 40 acres in South Deerfield, MA. They market wholesale and at two farmers markets. Atlas farm recently installed a 165,000 btu Amaizing Heat biomass boiler in a new 35' x 144' ridge-vented greenhouse. The boiler is being run on locally grown corn, and provides heat for both a root zone radiant heating system in tomato troughs and a water to air heat exchanger. The system has worked well for greenhouse tomatoes and will be used for winter greens following the tomatoes.

Nutrition for Greenhouse Crops

Date: October 20, 2009

Place: Publick House, Rte. 131, Sturbridge, MA

Time: 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Nutrition for Greenhouse Crops will feature practical information on using water soluble fertilizers, options for organic growers, using controlled release fertilizers, identifying nutritional disorders and correcting them and interpreting water tests for fertilizer selection.

Cost: $40

Sponsored by University of Massachusetts Extension, University of Connecticut and Northeast SARE.

For more information, contact: Tina Smith 413-545-5306 –

Greenhouse and High Tunnel Tomato Conference

Date: November 3, 2009

Place: Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center, Sturbridge, MA

Time: 9:15 AM – 3:30 PM

Nationally recognized speakers will present information on different types of tunnels and costs, various components of greenhouse tomato production and leading growers in the industry will share their expertise.

Cost: $40
Sponsored by University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island and Northeast SARE.

For more information, contact: Tina Smith 413-545-5306 –

This is the last Healthy Fruit for 2009. As always, feel free to get in touch with any member of the UMass Extension Fruit Program if you have questions or comments, and we will see you next year.