L.E. Cooke Blog

Monday, 14 February 2011 10:46

Seedless Blackberries

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Question: Is there such a thing as seedless blackberries? If so where can I find some plants right away.Thanks so much for your time, and your great website.Belinda - Lindsay, CA Berry farm worker picking blackberries. Answer: I wish!!! I thought the industry was doing well with all the new, yummy THORNLESS blackberry choices. To the best of my knowledge, there is no seedless blackberry plants - at least not that is worth eating. Given…
Sunday, 16 January 2011 02:00

Making Up Lost Time

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It's Sunday morning and this is a nice sight: Loaded trucks ready to roll (6 photo panorama stitched together - the original photo is huge) A week ago at noon on Saturday we completed harvest. After the 30 minute lunch break, we started to pull orders to load trucks. And yes it was a scramble in the office to complete prorates, print pull sheets and get the first line up to the shipping yard in…
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:00

Keeping Focus

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I found it hard to focus (the camera on the trees of course) when the day is so nice as this. Trees in sand beds ready to pull for shipping. I took the opportunity to escape the "War Room" where we line up and route all the trucks. I needed to rush some last minute order additions to the yard to pull for today's loads. Yes - we do add to your order right up…
Monday, 10 January 2011 02:00

Harvest Is Complete

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This was a sweet sight. Shipping Dock, Trucks Loading, Snow on Sierras, Winter Wheat Cover Crop Sun is out, rain is gone (for the moment) and even the fog has cleared - which usually means more rain is imminent. There are two things I like about what is shown in these images (besides the snow on the Sierras): 1) The winter wheat (cover crop on our rotated land) looks beautiful and healthy. Not many days…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 02:00

Rains Delay Deliveries

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Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that this is supposed to be a La Niña weather year. You know - drought conditions for the West. Digger and Tractors sitting idle this morning after night of heavy rain It rained again last night and this morning. Heavy. Added over 1.25 more inches as of this morning. The rainfall total is over 500% of normal - breaking the all time record for the Month of December -…
Monday, 27 December 2010 02:00

Weeping Pussy Willow

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Weeping Pussy Willow I wanted to show you the Weeping Pussy Willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula'). Until this year, we grew them in a two year field and I think the general consensus was they were too light of a caliper even though shaped nice. Phillip holding Weeping Pussy Willow from 3 year field This year and from now on, they are being grown in a three year field. Take a look at this representative sample…
Friday, 24 December 2010 10:54

Record Rains?

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Record Rains Slow Harvest Next Year's Seedling Field Twas the day before Christmas and all through the fields...people are working - finally after a water logged week of near record rains. I'm sure you saw it on the news. The West Coast was hammered with the "Pineapple Express" - heavy rainfall originating from the tropics. It started for us on Friday afternoon 12/17 and continued heavy until Tuesday with lighter rains on Wednesday. Now it…
Monday, 20 December 2010 16:02

Rooted Blackberry Tips

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Rooted Blackberry Tips What are "Blackberry Tips"? This question comes up whenever we offer some for sale and it is important to understand the difference between rooted tips and a one or two year plant. I took some photos to help: Rooted Blackberry from "Tipping" A common method of propagating new Blackberry Plants is by "Tipping". We take a "Mother" plant's long canes and bury the tips in the soil at the appropriate time of…
Friday, 17 December 2010 16:56

Low Budded Flowering Cherries - 3 Year

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Three Year Low Bud Flowering Cherries The L.E. Cooke Co grows Flowering Cherries several different ways. For many years they were only grown as "Top Grafted" on Mazzard (Prunus avium) rootstocks. Everyone is familliar with the top grafted Weeping Cherries like the double pink flowered Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula Rosea'. We also top graft almost all the upright flowering cherries as well. For some reason that was the expected form for the ornamental gardens of the…
Thursday, 16 December 2010 15:55

Yard Bareroot Processing in Fog

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Perfect Tree Weather Forklift in Processing Yard in Mid Morning Fog (9:30 AM) Fog. It can be depressing and cold for workers (or people in general) but the bareroot trees love it This Central Valley of California is famous for its Tule fog from late November through mid January if we have any rain soaked ground to fuel it. Today we have fog big time although weatherman predicts a week of rain starting tomorrow with…
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