@Drew51, you made me laugh out loud with that one! I wish I could give fruit to everyone here who needs some this year!
And while I appreciate the compliments about my generosity from the rest of you, I must confess that its as much fun for me to give the fruit boxes away as it is for those who get them. For one, it gives me a chance to "show off" what I've grown. Two, if I didn't give it away, much of it would just go to waste and I could never tolerate that! Three, I'm a big believer in Karma/ what goes around comes around. The next time I need a favor its a lot easier to get help from someone you've given a box of fruit to. I guess I'm making myself sound a lot less philanthropic and pure of heart, but it didn't feel right having you all think I was a saint for giving away my harvest.
Looking at my fruit boxes, one thing I must confess to is a bit of pride. But more importantly, I hope I can convince some other new fruit grower just getting started that if I can do it, you can do it. Just 5 short years ago I started planting fruit trees on my new place in the country. As some of you may remember from back on the other fruit growing site (now Houzz), no one knew less than I did-no one. I honestly thought I could plant apple seeds from my favorite apples and I'd be picking the same kind of apples a few years later- didn't even know what a graft was! I could go on and on. I had no idea what a "zone" even was, let alone which one I was in. I never knew any fruit had to be sprayed...thought you just planted a tree and waited a few years for the fruit. The point is, to all new growers, no one knew less than me. Fast forward 5 years to now. To be clear, I'm absolutely not an expert at all...not even close. I'll NEVER have the knowledge of @scottfsmith, @fruitnut, @Olpea, @jujubemulberry, @alan, or countless others on here (I left off a LOT of knowledgable experts). However, with the help of everyone here on GF I have managed to learn the basic information that I need to grow some pretty darn good fruit! I've learned from the aforementioned experts, but also from folks here just like me who have learned a thing or two that they've passed on to me when I ask questions. In short, this site is a community that works together and helps everyone at every level to learn and grow better fruit. So if you're new and you often feel like the more you read the less you know and the more confused you become- don't worry! If you feel like you'll never know half of what others here do, then you may be right, but also know that you may not have to in order to get some good fruit. I'm still on the very low end of knowledge and understanding of fruit growing, yet I've produced plums, peaches, cherries, apples, persimmons, pears, figs, berries of every kind, pluots, nectarines, and more that almost anyone would be proud of. I've had countless failures and made mistakes so dumb you wouldn't believe it- but I've still managed to learn enough to grow some darn good fruit. SO new growers, take heart. No one started lower on the scale of understanding than I did. Its good that fruit trees take a few years to bear, because I've learned most of what I know AFTER I got some trees in the ground. You can to. So to anyone who feels overwhelmed or lost at times, I've been there and I'm still there in many areas. But I've also reached a point where I have lots of wonderful fruit to eat and give away from early spring until late fall. And it's been worth it! The satisfaction I feel from giving away those boxes of fruit and the enjoyment I get from stepping out my door and picking the best fruit I've ever tasted...it all confirms that fruit growing is the best hobby I've ever known and I encourage anyone with even a small bit of space to try it. Its often frustrating and heartbreaking, but the pride and satisfaction and the good fruit you get make it worth the difficulties. Long live Fruit Growing!