P4030013It did not rain while the apricots were in blossom so we have a crop this year. Normally we get some rain and the disease 'Brown Rot' just wipes out the apricot blossom. We could spray with a copper fungicide as it is allowed for organic growers but I have seen copper levels increase in soil tests after its repeated use so I do not use it.
Apricots are much less interesting to customers now as there are early peaches and nectarines available at the same time. There once was a time not so long ago that apricots were some of the first fruit. The town of Winters just 7 miles to the west of us was a thriving hub of apricot farms. Train car loads would leave the tracks that ran through the heart of the town headed for Chicago and all places East. Sadly, the trees are almost all gone. I got a delivery of firewood last year which the delivery driver told me was from the last apricot orchard in Winters.
Apricots have been replaced by walnut trees. The soil in this area is rich and deep, perfect for English walnuts. Many of the walnut orchards are organic or on their way to certification. Russ Lester from Dixon Ridge Farms has over 200 acres of organic walnuts. He also processes walnuts for other growers and this amounts to over half the organic walnuts produced in the US.
I am looking forward to my first Apricot for quite some time. The early peaches do not taste the same as one picked in late July... Nigel