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Jackie Clay

Our fruit, both tame and wild is … well … running wild

Friday, August 9th, 2013


We are so tickled that we are getting plenty of fruit this summer. I’ve been making pin cherry jelly from our wild pin cherries. They are so RED and jewel-like that I love picking them. Yesterday, with my trusty Mehu Liisa steam juicer, I got a whole gallon of juice from a gallon of pin cherries. Now that doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. Wow, am I impressed! What a wonderful invention that is!

And our orchard is doing great too. Our apple and cherry trees are loaded in spite of being young — not more than four years old (all standard varieties, too). The Norland apple is loaded for its second year. It’s a tasty, crisp apple but doesn’t store well so I’ll be making plenty of applesauce and canned apples. Some of our trees that have never had apples for us to sample have fruit on them this year and we are so excited.



We still have six Manchurian apricots on our vigorous tree. I’m planting two more next spring to help it pollinate. Although self-pollinating, planting two or more ensures a much larger crop. And a big crop of apricots in Minnesota is a wonderful thing!

Just two weeks until our homesteading seminar and we are getting excited. These events are such an experience for us all. And for those who attended last year, it’s like seeing family we haven’t seen for a year. We can’t wait! — Jackie

6 Responses to “Our fruit, both tame and wild is … well … running wild”

  1. Holly Langevin Says:

    Hi Jackie,
    We are really enjoying this great season of lots of berries. I was just wondering if one is strapped for time, could you freeze pin cherries and make use of them later? Also, what are the steps for getting the seeds out of the berries for jelly? I get tired just looking at all you and Will do there!
    Your friend Holly

  2. stef Says:

    Beautiful trees. I have hopes our local orchard was not frozen out again this year as it had for the last several. Looking forward to honest to goodness tree ripened apples!

  3. Dennis Says:

    I enjoy your articles. We are having a good year in Georgia too. I pulled almost 20 lbs of red plums off 2 trees that have only been planted for 2 years. I was worried some of the limbs would break, but they held. Lots of plum jam.

  4. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    Yes, you can freeze the cherries if you’re pushed for time. You just simmer the cherries/berries using a tiny bit of water to get them started cooking down before they scorch. Then simmer and stir until they are very soft. Hang in a damp jelly bag over night to extract the juice. OR buy a Mehu-Liisa steam juicer!! I was given one as a gift from the folks who came to our last spring’s seminar and I’m getting three to four times more juice without the cooking, stirring and jelly bag! It’s well worth the cost.

  5. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    We are oh so jealous! Our plums didn’t get the care our apples and cherries did so they’re behind. But we do have hopes for the future! Enjoy your bounty.

  6. Brenda Says:

    Do you have any tips for keeping the fruit on the tr5ees and out of the deer’s mouths long enough for it to get ripe? My peach tree is on its 3rd year since I planted it and for the first time had not only peaches but was loaded. I was so excited to be able to can my own instead of buying from others, then one day I went out and the limbs were stripped, fruit and most of the leaves, all gone! I could have sat down and cried right then and there.

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