Thursday, March 13, 2008

Backyards, Beware: An Orchard Wants Your Spot - New York Times

Backyards, Beware: An Orchard Wants Your Spot - New York Times:

In the last few years, an increasing number of Americans have turned their yards over to such mini orchards, planting them with dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit trees, even in dense urban areas. Suppliers around the country have seen significant increases in fruit tree sales, like the 12 to 15 percent annual sales growth reported by the Dave Wilson Nursery in Hickman, Calif., which has one of the country’s largest selection of fruit trees (more than 1,300 varieties). [...]

The backyard orchard makes sense, given the growing popularity of the local-food movement. Nothing is more local than the backyard, after all, and home orcharding, as the practice is sometimes called, guarantees freshness and cuts the energy costs for transportation to nil. Anxieties about food safety — sparked by events like last year’s E. coli outbreak in spinach — may also be contributing to the trend. Ed Laivo, the Dave Wilson Nusery’s sales director, is a longtime advocate of dense tree planting, and wrote a how-to pamphlet called “Backyard Orchard Culture” in the early 1990s. He advises customers to choose varieties that will ripen at different times to spread out the harvest, a strategy increasingly being adopted by those wanting to eat fresh. “People are planting so that they have apples for four or five months straight,” he said, “rather than having one tree dump on them in September and then have to quickly make their pies and sauces.”


Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out this article, I'm going to go track down the whole piece.

I was wondering about the list of fruit trees you posted a couple of days ago - are any of those trees/varieties shade tolerant?

Central FLA Gardener said...

some trees do ok with some shade in fla. we have a much higher insolation factor than most of the us b/c of our lower latitudes. what needs 5 hours of sun up north, say, needs 4 here. type 'insolation' into this blog or into google.

citrus and persimmon take more sun than any other fruit i know of.

Central FLA Gardener said...

i meant more shade than any other plant... i've seen citrus fruit heavily in partial shade.