Saturday, June 02, 2012

Arctic Star Nectarine Harvest, 2012

Right now, I'm about half way through my Arctic Star harvest, a harvest that has been nicely spread out over a few weeks and still has time to go. When I was thinking about this tree, I hemmed and hawed, considering this against other varieties. I'm not sure what made me choose Arctic Star over other white nectarines, but I am glad I did. Though the fruit sometimes scald and split, to me, that isn't a problem; the split fruit tend to be even sweeter. The splitting and scalding seem to toughen the skin and sweeten the flesh. The skin is a deep red all over, and some parts of the ripe flesh of a nectarine blush pink. They have a lot of lovely color for a white nectarine.

This tree is on Nemaguard, a rootstock that has very powerfully outperformed the more common Citation rootstock in my garden. The trees on Nemaguard are less precocious, but grow much more aggressively, and deal more effectively with both drought and gopher attack.

On my young tree, I had about four dozen fruit this year. The clingstone fruit are like candy: not sweet and insipid like some other white fleshed peaches and nectarines, but intensely sweet with a bounce of bitter to balance. It seems like bitter would be bad, but in this case it is so, so good, and it isn't much, just enough to keep the fruit very interesting.

This fruit can be eaten while still firm, and it will be sweet and crunchy, but I like them soft ripe and drippy with sugar-juice. I can't imagine a preserve that would maintain the integrity of the special flavor of this fruit, and the fruit is so good, I'm quite happy to eat my harvest fresh. I thought I might share some of these guys this year, but I've been greedy. E and I have been eating all of them except for one, which I gave to a friend while trying to convince him to plant his own Arctic Star.

Tree Details:
  • Arctic Star, a Zaiger introduction patented in 1995, has been in the ground at this property since early 2010.
  • It is on Nemaguard rootstock.
  • It is heavily mulched, and, during the warm months, watered twice a week on a drip system.
  • This is its second crop.


Felicia said...

Liqueur! If it has a little bitter in it, it could make a lovely digestif that you can enjoy with fond remembermance when it gets colder :)

Michelle said...

I'm with you, when you have fruit that good you shouldn't mess with it, just enjoy it for its own sweet goodness. But someday you may have more than you can eat fresh so it will be fun to see what you might do with the excess.

erik said...

I have a Panamint Nectarine from Dave Wilson, and it produced two fruit this year. It has terrible peach leaf curl, even though I sprayed it twice last winter. I also put it in the ground in 2010 - hopefully next year will be better. I am jealous!!

Christina said...

Felicia: I would consider liqueur if I wasn't enjoying these guys fresh so much. Maybe in the future when I have more than I can eat.

Michelle: Yes. Hey, are your poppies blooming yet? This year has been a very good year for me, and I am looking at multiple quarts of seed again--so much better than my no-poppy year of 2011.

Erik: if you can, remove and put in the garbage the affected leaves so you help eliminate the fungus from your property so it has less of a chance to carry over next year. Boost the fertilizer to get good growth to make up for all the diseased leaves that aren't doing much of what they are supposed to this year. With what did you spray this winter? I am really sorry to hear about your tree--so frustrating!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I take it you don't get your trees at Home Despot. And who is the genetic mixer of arboreal delights - this Dave Wilson?

I still haven't gotten my plants in the ground (including a Strawberry Guavea and a common variety pomegranate

Christina said...

Hi PA: Zaiger is the breeder of many of my newer varieties. The Zaiger family has spent a lot of time researching and hybridizing for California climates. Dave Wilson is a nursery that specializes in fruit trees. They are wholesalers who grow for retail nurseries. I also grow quite a few heirloom fruit trees, at least ones that survive in our mild winters. Nearly all of our fruit trees, even the heirlooms, are hybrids, perpetuated through time by propagation. As for Home Despot, no I haven't bought trees from them. The majority of my stone fruit trees I ordered through Trees of Antiquity as bare roots. Others I ordered through Dave Wilson's SOFT program. On a related note, OSH is, believe it or not, a great source for citrus. They have a nice selection from Four Winds Growers. And finally, I looooooove strawberry guava. I hope that pretty little tree grows well for you.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

My grandmother had a strawberry guava (I think she called them cherry guava) so it's a kind of nostalgia for me. I did recently purchase my Guava from orchards. The only one they had. The citrus is from the nursery on lLake and the pomegranate is from Present Perfect (under the power lines). The natives from the Pasadena outdoor market.

What I like about home despot is the generous return policy. They have an entire year they give you to kill your purchase - and still get your money back.

I'll have to look up these growers. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about them