Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Visions of Sugar Plums

Ladies and Gentlemen, Stanley is  In. The. House.

Stanley Plum, that is.


Thank you. Thank you very much!

Naturally sweet, Stanleys are also called 'prune plums' because, well, you guessed it. When dried, they become tasty prunes.

I've never gotten that far with our Stanleys. We eat 'em up fresh, and maybe I'll make a batch or two of preserves. 

Why am I so excited about the plums? Because growing them these past few years has been a tale of woe. This is the first crop from one of several new trees that we've planted since our tried and true Stanley trees fell victim to Black Knot fungus around 12 years ago.

Our original Stanley plum trees were propagated by Arpod Kiss, himself a transplant from Hungary. Arpod was a fantastic horticulturist who could grow anything. He started our trees with cuttings from his own plum trees.

When we got our first crop, we fell in love with the plums. So did all of our friends. When the trees up and died, a sadness fell over the orchard. It's been a struggle since then to establish Stanley plum trees. When this tree finally made a crop we thought we had finally nipped the problem in the bud (so to speak), but we were wrong.

Jim found the beginnings of our arch enemy, Black Knot, on one of the branches. He amputated the diseased area and burned it. We are hoping that the operation took care of the problem. Only time will tell. But for now, FINALLY, we get to gorge ourselves with sweet plums.

Marcheta *plum excited 
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