Posts Tagged ‘low chill’

With ten more weeks to go until the Santa Rosa Marathon, my training plan has kicked into high gear. This past week, I laid down my highest training volume ever with 13 hours of running, spinning, and strength workouts, capped with this ride to the beach and back yesterday:

That's a personal distance record on the bike!

That’s a personal distance record on the bike!

My legs felt great after the ride but my everything else hurt! Today my shoulders and neck remind me that they held a helmet up yesterday for four hours, but no other body parts register any complaints. I am still grateful though that the plan calls for just 30 minutes of core work today.

Generally with marathon training I put in about eight hours of exercise a week, so this plan is taking me into new territory. The plan actually called for about 10 hours of exercise, but I had to bump the long run to Monday instead of Sunday and that put the total for the week at 13 hours. I’m on high alert for overtraining and/or injuries but so far so good. Putting a lot of miles on the bike allows me to increase the training time without increasing the strain on my legs.

Bike: 105 miles (25 miles on Tuesday, 20 miles on Thursday, 60 miles on Sunday)
Run: 37.75 miles (long run of 18 miles that got pushed from a week ago Sunday to Monday, plus the killer 12.25 mile ladder workout on Wednesday, plus 7.5 “easy” miles on Friday)
Strength: 30 minutes (I’ve been doing at least two strength workouts per week for an hour total but this week I traded one of the strength workout days for the long run)

Saturday was a “rest” day if you call five hours of housecleaning “rest.” I celebrated the accomplishments of the day by harvesting the apples from our trees:

These are the low-chill varieties of apples called Anna and Dorsett Golden.

These are the low-chill varieties of apples called Anna and Dorsett Golden.

Yes you can grow apples in Southern California! The Annas grew to a nice size this year and the Dorsett Goldens are tiny but tasty.

How many hours of exercise do you generally get in a week?

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My kids and I love to pick apples in the fall. I find that children are far more likely to eat well if they are involved in the selection, growing, and/or harvesting of their own food. In keeping with that belief, one of the first things my husband and I did when we bought our house was to plant four apple trees to complement the existing avocado, nectarine, feijoa (pineapple guava), pomegranate, loquat, lemon and lime trees on our lot. Now I know what you’re thinking: apple trees in sunny SoCal? Yes, it’s true. You can grow apples even in the moderate climates found here in Los Angeles, Orange County and the rest of Southern California.

Did you know that there are over 8,000 apple varieties grown around the world, and several of those are “low-chill” varieties that can be grown in temperate Southern California? “Chill hours” is a term that refers to the number of yearly hours a climate has below 45° F (7° C). Most varieties require 500-1,000 chill hours, but there are low-chill varieties that can thrive with 500 or less. For greatest success in Southern California, the University of California Cooperative Extension has the following advice:

To ensure successful apple production in mild winter zones of Southern California, select from the following varieties that need less than 300 hr. of chilling: Beverly Hills, Gordon, Tropical Beauty, Anna, Dorsett Golden, and Ein Shemer. Gala has recently proven itself in Southern California except for the lowest chill areas near the coast. Recent U.C. variety evaluations in Irvine, CA determined that the best flavored apples were Fuji, Anna, and Gala. Gala was superb. The most vigorous growers were Pink Lady, Gala, and Jonagold.

Right now on my trees I have some gorgeous, tiny Galas:

Gala apple on the tree

One tiny Gala treasure

and big-but-not-so-pink Pink Ladies:

Pink Lady apple on the tree

Not-yet-blushing Pink Lady

Earlier in the year, we harvested the Annas and Dorsett Goldens. Tip: Most apples require cross-pollination from different varieties that flower at the same time. So, for best success, choose apple varieties that are low-chill and bloom at the same time, and plant them within 50 feet of each other. I always buy organic (and local when possible), and thus get my bare root fruit trees from Peaceful Valley (I have no affiliation with them, I just like ’em!)

While I was out looking at the trees, I took some other pictures in my yard. While we might not have traditional fall “color” in SoCal, we sure have some colorful beauties:

Southern California fall flowers

Clockwise from top: Bird of paradise, red hibiscus, white hibiscus, red “carnation” hibiscus, plumeria

Do you grow any of your own fruit? Have you had good luck growing apples? My own trees are not that big yet, but we’re getting more and more apples each year.

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