Phone & Mail
1408 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca NY 14456
Dr. James N. Cummins
from Cummins Nursery
Cummins >> A
family business >> Stories >> Dad's Corner
is a section of Cummins Nursery dedicated to stories (preferably
in some way connected to fruit and/or farming). We are open to stories
you send in as well!!!
Leaves in Mr. Gage's Orchard | The
Drive from Kinmundy |
The Yellow Transparent Orchard | The
Spray Crew |Hoodlin' |Loading
Reefers | Ben Davis | Thirsty Cider | Backyard Orchards
Peeling Apples | Little Pearl
and the Hot Box
Eddie Earles I have
a real soft spot for fruit trees. One of my earliest memories,
from about the
age of 3 or 4, is standing in my back yard on a beautiful morning, eating
pears that I picked up off the ground. There were 3 standard-size
pear trees there, big old trees that had evidently been planted along
a fence row when the place was a farm, before the houses were built.
I still love pears.
I was about 5 we moved to the other end of the street, down at the
bottom of the hill.
There were 2 apple trees in the back yard...a McIntosh
and a Stayman Winesap.
Dad built us a swingset under the McIntosh. I
spent many a morning
up in that tree, eating Macs, and those are some of the best memories
of my childhood. I don't ever remember Dad spraying or pruning
or or otherwise tending those trees, but they always had plenty of
apples. The codling moths took a few but there were still plenty for
me. To this day, those two varieties are my very favorite apples.
I was 12 we moved out into the country. We had a big yard, and
Dad ordered a passle
of trees from Stark's....apples, peaches, pears, and
planted them and tended them. After a few years, when they were
just about big enough to bear, we had an exceptionally hard winter,
with deep snow ('76-'77--you may remember). A rabbit (starving,
no doubt) found a gap in the fence and girdled most of the trees to
dine on their bark. I was heartbroken when I discovered it.
I grew up and went to college, started a career, and moved to
For many years I lived in circumstances that prevented me from
raising fruit trees,
but deep down I always wanted an orchard. In the fall
of '98, I got wind
of a good opportunity: new job in Maryland in my field,
I took it, and while house-hunting, found a nice house in a
rural area in southern
Maryland. There were three apple trees in the back yard, planted
some years earlier by the (now deceased) father-in-law of the
seller. The seller
(not a fruit man himself) told me one was a yellow apple, and he thought
it was a Golden Delicious. The other two were red, but he had
no idea which varieties they were. The house was right and we
bought it. I fertilized, pruned, watered and sprayed the neglected
trees; and despite a drought year, each bore a magnificent crop. And
guess what varieties those red ones were! -- Stayman Winesap and McIntosh!
We're a bit too warm for optimum development of Macs here, but they
were still good.
must be in a perfect spot for Staymans, because they were big as grapefruits
and exhibited magnificent flavor and perfect, fine texture.
been planting fruit trees right and left and now have only a few spots
excited about the Geneva series of rootstocks and hope to try
some trees on them.
I especially want to see Geneva 11 in my orchard.