Summer bud-graft lessons

Creating apple trees by grafting is fun and sometimes infectious when you realize how easy/successful it is. From Mid-July through August we make new trees for spring sales by ‘chip budding’.

Hands-on experience is the best lesson for new comers to this craft. Skipley Farm /Gil Schieber will involve you in grafting hundreds of trees @ $25 per contact hour. You can return home with any number of trees and varieties @ $3 each. All supplies included and available for sale in the event you want to go ‘pro’.

Calling ahead is recommended. Gil is around to perform most every day 8 to 8. Gil Schieber 206-679-6576

Charles Eisenstein, keynote, Global Earth Repair 2019

Global Earth Repair Foundation, created by 40 year friend, Michael Pilarski, had a conference last year with Charles Eisenstein as keynote, with his most popular book, in my library, ‘The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible’

My question, how to get off the Climate crisis problem. Service to life.


Almost certified.

I wanted to thank you for the prompt shipping of the order to Canada. I received the scions and rootstock a few days ago. The packaging was great and both the scions and the rootstock were in terrific shape. I will be sure to tell any persons that I know that your farm is a great source of supply. I will also be certain to order from you again!

This message was from out of the country. Here at Skipley Farm we are careful with diseases, trained to be an APHIS field inspector, I am very observant. Viruses are a whole different beast where most stock has some latency-like people- numbering in the hundreds or thousands. We are not a source of “clean stock” and I believe ‘clean stock’ is like a bout of antibiotics in your body where in the next days and years the stock is completely reinvested through piercing-sucking insect activity-unless you are extremely vigilant to excluding ALL piercing sucking insects. Growing in insect net for life, not happening.

But not to worry, viruses rarely exhibit themselves negatively.

2021 Apple Rootstock Confirmation

These are available for $2 to $3.50ea.

Seedless grapes, 2 months refrigerated, pushing another

All varieties proved to store about 6 months in a porous bag as well as a plate with loose seran over the top. Plump grapes are a luxury and difficult to get storage environment perfect. I believe humidity should run around 70%-80% with air movement. Raisining occurs naturally over time when there is the perfect condition-NO decay! Raisins are certainly doable in a heated or solar dehydrater.

Plant Sale 25% to Thumbnail Theatre

WINTER-SPRING 2020: Big blueberry bushes-little guys too, raspberry, kiwi, apple and pear trees, grape vines, ornamentals too. Free classes all day, top of each hour: 11am-edible garden design, 1pm-drip irrigation, 2pm-pruning, 3pm-diseases and insects, 4pm-fruit choices, 5pm-7fruit tasting, cheese, apples, crackers and cider.

Estimated Fruit Schedule

June 27-July 14: Currants, Gooseberry, Raspberry-

July weeks 1 to 3: Cherry

July weeks 1 to 4: Blueberry

July 3rd week to September:Blackberry

July 3rd week to-November: Apples begin with Lodi, Gravenstein, William’s Pride, Redfree.

August 3rd week-October last week:Grapes begin with Interlaken, then Jupiter, Reliance, Einset.

Bench Grafted Apple Trees

“Bench Grafts”: the term used when propagating at-the-bench versus in-the-field. It’s usually a warm dry environment, and practiced in the ‘off-season’. When I can, I get started in January but I typically don’t because the rootstock-that what I graft to-is not available until March, so I find myself squeezing in the last window of time-up through June-with all the other spring activities. “Grafting” is the main way to reproduce fruit trees. Fun and easy after a few trials; With everything layed out I can finish grafting a tree each minute, but after handling and caring for a few weeks that production rate bottoms out. Producing a hundred trees every day is enough sitting for me.

Why, why, why? so many apples? flavorful, disease resistant, heirlooms, “mini dwarf”, ‘dwarf”, “semidwarf”,”standard” The rootstock is what makes the ultimate height. Mini’s are maybe up to 8 feet, Dwarf to 12 or 14′, Semi dwarf can reach 25 feet, Standards to 40-45′. Why? Root area underground. Big trees have big roots, little trees have little roots. Dwarfs fall over when loaded with apples, thus trellising- they also need more attention to water and food-good soil management. Semidwarf and standards are more forgiving, you can be careless almost and in Western Washington they will be dwarf and drought tolerant. So plant a “big root” tree and walk away! Maybe as close as 8 feet. If you are limited in space and you like variety as much as I, use ‘mini’s’ or ‘dwarf’ and plant 1-2 feet apart, or, 2 or 3(or 5) in the same hole like a multi-variety tree but easier to manage because of imbalanced vigors when grafted all on one tree.

I have now about 300 varieties of apple-so many flavors, textures, aromas, keeping, cooking, juicing, buttering (apple butter), and eaters. My favorites are the “easy-to-growers” and the” keepers”:  Goldrush, Keepsake, Suncrisp, Fiesta, Wynoochee Early, Enterprise.  Earlies have the aromas like none other: William’s Pride, Liberty, Pristine, Sansa, Gravenstein, Zestar!, Yellow Transparent, Akane.  Plant them 1 foot apart and train-tie them/festoon to each other- they will stand on their own if there is a curve in the arrangement. We are doing just that with spirals at our new “country apples orchard”, 80 foot spirals, festooned to each other, a weaving technique. I’m counting on them standing up without support of expensive steel trellising. This should perform as designed.img_20190323_083656_8558680722190436604550.jpg

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