Long John finally produces
Our long, dry and warm growing season produced an outstanding plum crop and Long John finally showed its stuff. At several sites the variety bore heavy crops of outstanding plums.
The flavor is not quite up to the finest of desert plums, even of its type but when allowed to get soft ripe the brix are there and it's very good. In fact the dry weather allowed it to almost turn into prunes on the tree and once the fruit begins to shrivel it gets a quality almost like a tropical fruit.
The huge size of the fruit and it's oblong shape make it just an amazing physical specimen. I'm sure it would be sought out by consumers at fruit stands.
I would still recommend Valor over it for its season (Valor's a few days later) even though Valor's fruit is not so amazing to look at. Its flavor is more complex and the plums are quite large, but more oval. My only complaint about Valor is that it gets more PC stings then any plum I grow. Best to leave half thinned in a low-spray program.
Actually I'm not ready to recommend LJ at all unless the trees I manage start to produce plums consistently from now forward. I'm hoping that the meager production of previous years was because the variety takes a long time to mature.
I do regret cutting down most of the LJ's in my nursery. It may have been premature.