If this thread is any indication, there is a really nice community coalescing here at Growfruit.org-thanks again Scott!
I live in the western foothills of Maine, where we’ve been for 10 years now. Always had a veggie garden, always organically maintained. It was always my dream to plant trees, so when we decided to settle in and purchase the house we’d rented I finally took the plunge with 3 grape vines and 3 plums and a peach- potted plants bought in an-off season sale at a local garden supply center. Even though fall planting isn’t recommended for our northern zone, all survived their first winter, and have continued to grow and produce fruit for our enjoyment.
I started fruit exploring our town, which was an apple growing region 150 years ago in it’s agricultural heyday. I took scionwood from locally found apple varieties like Blue Pearmain, Roxbury Russet, Baldwin and top-worked ‘volunteer’ seedling appletrees in my yard over to these heirlooms.
That tree catalog which was passed along to me in 2010 must have had some psyco-active paper coating, because compulsively I purchased 76 fruit trees that spring- mostly apples on standard rootstock, a few pears, plums, elderberries.
The following year, I purchased a bundle of rootstock(bud 118) and began producing trees for my own use and for eventual re-sale. Currently I have around 500 or so 1st year grafts in the ground that will hopefully be sold this fall, and planning on planting out around that many this spring as well, mostly apple, but also pear, plum and cornus mas. My nursery beds are located in the aisles of my orchard while the young trees are still filling their alloted space.
I worked at a local orchard for a couple years, and was somewhat dismayed to discover how many spray applications we had to apply, even more on the ‘organically’ managed block!
Several years ago I became very interested in permaculture, and diversifying my orchard with a variety of disease/pest resistant ‘lesser’ fruits, perennial culinary/medicinal herbs, nut crops, and so on. My garden stopped being this rectangle in the lawn, and is now integrated with my orchard plantings. Rotating hogs and chickens through the landscape, sowing cover crops behind them, has really increased the fertility and diversity of what used to be a depleted hayfield.
Last year we received abundance in plums, elderberries, our native blueberries, grapes, hazelnuts, and got ‘first tastes’ of quite a few other things-signs of seasons to come!
Recent fruit infatuations of mine include cornus mas, super hardy kiwi, and figs.
Thanks for reading, Jesse