"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Expanding Orchard

Trees of Antiquity is a fantastic nursery that specializes in heirloom fruit trees. After drooling for several days over their online catalogue, I wrote to them asking if they could help me pick some apple varieties suitable to my microclimate (wet n' windy) and needs (cider, lots of it!). I included all the information I had to hand about my property - the climactic zone, the annual rainfall and high/low temperature averages - all easy to google - and my personal preferences about apples. One of their experts e-mailed me back the very next day with a number of suggestions.

Their trees are organically raised and shipped at five feet in height, bare root, at the appropriate time of year for planting in your climate. I am personally delighted to be helping to propogate some rare heirloom varieties, and I can't wait until I have some fancy new apples (in two or three years, alas!). I also ordered a cherry and a plum tree. Check out this site; even if you don't have room for an orchard, you might be able to squeeze in a tree or two wherever you are. They have some tips on varieties for small spaces.

Back when I lived in the city, I planted five fruit trees on your basic city lot. I sorely miss my Bing cherry tree - at only ten years of age it was producing some fifty pounds of cherries - not even counting what the birds and the neighbors ate!


Dr24Hours said...

I like cherries and apples.

Perhaps a stupid question: what makes certain fruit 'heirloom' and others not? I mean, I can imagine why a monsanto, sterile, GM corn crop isn't heirloom, but ordinary, buy seeds at Home Depot?

Aimee said...

when you are talking about regular fruits and veggies, it means that they aren't hybrid and will breed true from seed. Hybrid seeds will revert to something less desirable when raised from their own seeds. But this doesn't make sense with apple trees, since all apple trees (except wild ones) are clones grafted onto rootstock. In the case of apples it must simply have to do with being an old, rare variety.

Aimee said...

Oh and PS, ordinary seeds bought at Home Depot or wherever, even when they are organic and/or heirloom, are usually controlled by Monsanto. Some 90-95% of all the edible seed stock in the country. You CAN'T think that's a great idea!

Judy T said...

Oh, thanks for the link. I'll have to check them out. I just placed an order for some apple trees but we'll likely be expanding in the coming years so I'll keep them in mind.

Michelle P said...

Hey Aimee, how will you keep your goats away from your new trees?

Good research & advice you got to chose a nice selection of fruit trees! I like how they helped you out. I'd like some dwarf trees here, but not sure how to go about choosing & buying for my area (zone 5).

Aimee said...

Mi chele I haven't the faintest idea. Fences I guess

Garden Lily said...

We went to the Apple Festival at UBC (University of BC in Vancouver) this fall for the first time. They had an apple tasting area with probably some 80 or 100 varieties of apples to taste, and then you could buy many of them at the festival also. It was amazing. I tried to write notes, but was overwhelmed.

We have 3 trees in espalier form (horizontal cordon), and they bear a lot of fruit in a very small space. In our case, along a fence. They can also be grown to BE the fence (except it won't keep animals from eating the fruit).