2017 Fruit Project
For years, I've had the dream to grow more fruit. This has been inspired by the many times I've eaten tender, juicy, sweet-with-rich-complex-flavours fruits right off the trees and vines. We grew up with many types of fruit in our yard, and it's easy to think that everyone must have similar access to amazing fruits (simply because that was our experience). Well, as you know, that's not the case. Not only is it difficult to find really great-tasting fruit, but it's even more difficult to find organically-grown fruits. And, even more difficult to find them locally.
Therefore, I've been investing in planting more fruit trees, shrubs and vines in these last couple of years, with the intention of offering amazing-tasting, picked-when-ripe, organically-grown fruit to local folks. I've been building up a collection of various apples, for example, and an assortment of other fruits.
These have been in small numbers, because it's a very pricey endeavour to plant a significant number of trees and vines all at once. I'm addressing the cost by propagating some of my own plants, and also spreading out the plantings over time. This is an ok-plan in some ways... but I started to realize just how long it was going to take to have a meaningful amount of fruit to offer.
Therefore, I decided to bite the bullet this year, and order larger quantities of trees and shrubs from a few nurseries. It's daunting to see the invoices, but I'm still very inspired by the near-future reality of being able to offer truly delicious, pesticide-free fruits to more people! Here are the fruits I'll be planting this spring:
- kiwi (the type that can grow here; they look like large grapes, with sweet kiwi flavour. I've only had the chance to eat these once, and they're amazing)
- grapes (including seedless grapes)
- sea buckthorn
As you can see from this list, some of them are not commonly grown in this area - but it's 100% possible to do so! There are even more types of fruit that I'd like to add in future years, but this is a great start. I'm going for diversity, to give us a wide variety of fruits from spring to fall.
I've chosen all of the varieties based on their flavour and tenderness, instead of their ability to be shipped long distances or stay "fresh-looking" on a shelf for weeks. As you may know, the flavour of a fruit depends on how it's grown + the variety / cultivar. There are dozens, or even hundreds of varieties of each type of fruit, giving us a lot of choice in the outcome of what we plant.
This year, we're offering a Fruit Share program, in which members receive a portion of fruit each week from the fruit already growing here. There'll be strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, a few types of apples, grapes, and a couple other types of fruit. 100% of the funds from the Fruit Share program will go towards this Spring's planting stock, to increase the quantity of fruit available in future years. Click here to see the options on the registration form.
Since the funds from the Fruit Share program will cover only a small part of the cost of the trees / vines / shrubs, we're also accepting donations to our Fruit Tree project. This is for those who would like to invest in their future fruit supply, and/or who would like to support this project. We've been humbled by those who've offered to help, and have decided to accept your support in the cost of this long-term project. So, there's a line on the registration form where you can choose to donate to this project.
Many thanks to those who've offered encouragement and moral support for this project. It's exciting to be several steps closer to the realization of this dream! I'm really looking forward to sharing the delicious bounty with you in the years to come.