Posted By Jonathan on June 4, 2013
Have I mentioned how important it is to grow your own food?
Annual crops are probably the most recognizable methods of growing your own food — in the garden! But why stop there? Most fruit and nuts we buy at the store are from perennial tree and shrubs. The list includes apples, oranges, lemons, limes, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, currants, and a plethora of nut trees. In our area, all of these but the citrus fruits can be grown and pretty easily.
When we bought our house it came with two giant, close to 100 some year old apple trees, a wild plum, and four large black walnuts. To be honest, we had no idea they were actually there. It was a sweet surprise to us! So, the start of a dreamed up orchard was already in the works.
The year we bought our house we put in two plum trees and a couple tart cherries. You can see our plum trees in bloom in our previous article found here. And if you’d like a great recipe for plum preserves check out the article on Wild Plum Preserves (though your plums don’t have to be wild!)
In 2012 we added a honey crisp apple (to commemorate my homeland of Minnesota), four sweet cherries and two almonds. Three of the cherries and one of the almonds died. It was a frustrating experience with a nursery we refuse to buy with — Tyty nurseries. I won’t go into a rant about it here, though. The one sweet cherry, a bing, and the almond are doing great today! And of course, there were no problems with the honey crisp. Except maybe a few deer nibbles.
This year we added two pecan trees and an apricot! As of right now, the apricot is leafing out beautifully, but the pecans are still waking up. I sure hope they do wake up! We bought these trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. I’m pretty confident that they’ll do OK.
So, the little Sheltering Woods orchard is ever expanding. If and when we add more, we’ll be sure to let you know!