Growing Fruits/veggies independently

Most of us don’t like to rely on others for seed, sprays, fertilizers, trees etc. so what can we do about it? Vegetables and grains can be grown using open pollinated seeds you can harvest and grow the seed from the next year. Companies such as oikos sell wild apples, pears, and cherries that can be grown fairly easy. Perhaps your goal is for the soul purpose of growing fruit to sell and if so this discussion was not intended directly for you. My goal has always been for agricultural independence. It’s not that I’m against sprays rather the expense, the control we relinquish when depending on others, etc that makes it so unappealing. What are your thoughts? Let me also mention most of my orchard receives sprays. Realistically I set my goal to grow fruits without spray but it’s a hard goal to fulfill.

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I grapple with that too. When I first got into grafting/growing fruit trees I wanted to have all the great tasting “choice” varieties and spray and baby all my trees. As time goes on I move more and more toward varieties that are easy to grow and am getting more into the idea of moving toward the “wild” stuff. I think for me a good number is 50% tasty varieties that take some babying and 50% wild stuff that may not taste great but it usually gives you a crop of some sort without any inputs. I couldn’t do 100% wild stuff- I think the added effort/cost is worth it for some of the really good fruits.

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I guess I’m mostly just talking about spray here, along with other things I have to buy like Phosphorus, lime, etc. I got the fertilizer (sheep and horse manure) and trees covered.

Also, breeding new varieties (or finding seedling trees in the wild) that have pest and disease resistance is a big factor. I think the more people do this the more varieties we are going to have that are both easy to grow and tasty :smile: Best of both worlds. I’m excited to try some of the Kazak apples from Geneva as they sound promising for this.

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Kate let us know what works for you and what doesn’t. I have a lot of success with using less spray with timing the sprays correctly. I’m growing around a dozen good no spray fruits.

Spring is coming. before it gets here read up on all the offers here for (scion) top wood. If reducing sprays is where you hunt, reply to offers that tout some resistance.

If you need an apple with some tannin for cider look at those.

And as always forage till your shoes rot off. The winners you find as orphans are grist for your future trades.

I probably will never stool rootstock trees, I’m not sure they meet my need.

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