Saturday, May 14, 2011

An urban farm update

When I first started growing food for myself and my family, I had some lofty expectations. In some ways, I still do- I think its good to set your sights high! When I envision what I'd like my yard to look like in 3, 5 or even 10 years, and my sustainability goals associated with that, I get so excited! This month I was able to accompish a major goal off of the long term list, which is getting some fruit trees! I LOVE fruit and am out there at local orchards picking apples every season. I was holding back on purchasing fruit trees based on serveral perceived barriers: price and space.

Our new sour cherry tree!

I purchased an Early Richmond Dwarf Cherry and a Dwarf Honeycrisp Apple from Blocks Nursery in Romulus, MI. They had a good selection of fruit trees and I could have easily stayed there for 8 hours and spent a million dollars. I selected an apple tree because I love them, and a cherry tree because most cherry-picking farms I see are Up North so I think it will be nice to have some cherries in our yard! I kept my eyes on the prize and got out of there with the two fruit trees, 3 hostas, a flat of white alyssum, and 3 purple lupines for about $70! The fruit trees were on sale for $20 each which is wayyy more affordable than I thought they would be! Also, I looked up space requirements and decided that I do have enough space for 2-3 dwarf trees on my west side yard. Mike and I hopped out there and planted the trees, spaced about 12-13 ft apart.

The only thing I'm not sure of is pollination. The cherry is self-fruitful, but the apple needs another apple to bear fruit. I have crab-apple trees in my yard, but I'm not sure if those count. If not, I might be buying another dwarf Honeycrisp!

So folks, your dream of a little, urban orchard to call your own could be very possible! Maybe I'll see you at Blocks in the very near future :)

1 comment:

  1. Crab apples work! I forget why I know that (actually, I think you told me!) as long as the blooming seasons are the same. If you buy a second apple tree though, it should be a NOT honeycrisp, because you have to cross pollinate! (I'm pretty sure you're the one that told me that too!)

    Meanwhile, I learned on Jeopardy that the crab apple is the only one native to the United States.