Wednesday 13 March 2024

Hand Pollinating Our Peach Tree

A few years ago I put in a peach tree. The first year I thought it had died, but the next year it came back - it seems to still be living through the neglect I give it. 

This is the first year I've seen any blossom on it though. As my middle daughter and I were cleaning the plastic on the polytunnel we couldn't see any bees. 

It's still early in the year and the polytunnel might not look very inviting to something buzzing around. 

I said to go and fetch some paintbrushes and we would pollinate the flowers to see if we could get some fruit this year. 

It's good to do things like this together, it brings up questions and other points to talk about. Like how we would have to do this for all our fruit if there were no bees in the future. Also how one tree didn't take long, but many would fast become a very boring job. 

 It was great to see the pollen on our brushes afterwards as well. I hope a few set so she can eat a fruit she pollinated. 

The whole tree needs pruning and tying back, but being a stone fruit I have been holding off. No doubt the amount of fruit set will affect how I'll prune it as well. 

How else has fruit trees under cover? 


  1. Apparently in China hand pollination across vast expanses of orchards is necessary and the fruit that sets so precious they encase each in its own paper bag as it ripens to keep birds off and ensure no sunburn.

    1. I watched a bit of a harrowing documentary the other day about how much F1 seed is produced around the world and how it has b=to be done by hand. Much of it in third world countries where labour is cheap, and some of it with child labour. Made me want to redouble my efforts to know where all my seed comes from, not just my food!

  2. It's been said poor land and a good farmer the land improves. With good land and poor famers, the land becomes poor.

    It's the extra work like hand pollenating, crop rotations and composting everything you can that makes the difference.

    Children working in 3rd world is real life. Now HOW they are TREATED is the concern, not that they work. EV batteries expose African children to toxic materials to get those all so "Clean" EV batteries. Seed hand pollinating maybe not so much?

    1. Unfortunately their conditions in the third world hand pollinating seeds is pretty terrible, expected to work long days for very little money in terrible conditions, with no shade. Also taking them from education at a young age and reducing their chances later at life, but needing to do it so they can eat. It's not like helping on the family farm, which is for the great good of the family, it's working on terrible wages so huge corporations can make massive profits. The farmers get told each plant is a number so they have no idea the final value of the crop. They pollinate the seed then get paid a couple of hundred per kilo at best. The big seed companies then sell this seed for hundreds of thousands per kilo, in one example it was $400,000 per kilo, while the farmer got $200 and then they wouldn't have enough to pay staff (although I'm sure they could pay more as well.
      I'll do a post and share the documentary. It's well worth a watch. It's not just EV mining (or any battery) that has dubious labour practices, but also that we don't stop these companies making huge profits at the expense of the people doing the work.


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