Tuesday, May 2, 2017


In one of my previous incarnations I managed garden centers.  Gardening has always been one of my favorite hobbies as it was for my parents and grandparents.  My mother has a copy of a will that one of her ancestors left back in the 1600’s  in which the most valuable asset he had to leave his family was his orchard.  The second most valuable asset he had to leave his family was his collection of  household pots and pans.  In those days having something to harvest and eat was slightly more valuable than having something to cook your harvest with.

 With the brief history that I have noted above I think it should be obvious that having things growing on your property that are edible should be part of your planning as you develop your property.   Although having an orchard or large vegetable garden may not be the way you want to see your yard aesthetically, there are ways of blending in edible vegetation which might in fact compliment your yard’s overall view.

A strawberry jar on a porch might be one way of maximizing a small area for some niche delicious fruits.  Strawberry plants are really quite luscious looking when cared for properly and a nice red ripe strawberry is always beautiful either on the plant or on the table.

There are many types of  easy to grow fruit trees that have nice leafy vegetation, ample flowers in the spring and colorful fruits in late summer or fall. Dwarf varieties mature much faster and produce fruit much earlier that conventional fruit trees however, their harvests are equally limited by their smaller size  When it comes to fruit trees apple, plum, pear, peach and apricot are most peoples favorites.  There are also nut trees you might plant however, many nut trees take decades to mature to the point that they actually produce any nuts.

The great thing about fruit trees is that you can plant them in your yard just as you would any other tree that you plant for aesthetic purposes.  A nice apple or plum tree will add both shade and decoration to your front or backyard and in the spring the blossoms will add ornamentation to your property just as well as a flowering shrub or any other flowering tree. An added benefit is that your unwanted fruits will help feed the wildlife in your area.  Birds, squirrels, deer, raccoons and other creatures not often seen will no doubt visit your trees for their vitamin rich manna.

Finally, with the cost of food going ever higher it might be good to supplement your yearly grocery store harvest with some free or nearly free healthful foods.  Insects, bacterial infections and  small animals are the primary creatures who deplete your fruit harvest however, some lemon flavored dish soap suds applied sparingly to your trees about once per week will handle most unwanted consumers of your harvests.  And, a couple of bug bites or patches of  “scale” can be cut out of your fruit.  Furthermore, at least if the fruit has a bug bite on it then it is most likely safe for human consumption unlike the pristine fruits you find in some stores.  The toxins used to make fruit unblemished might do more harm to the human system then  fruit grown naturally with all the scars and bug holes that are common to a healthy environment.


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