For some reason, I don't have this affliction (at least not as bad) with garden fruits and vegetables, probably because if something doesn't work out one year, I can always try another variety the next year (except for perennial vegetables, but there's only a few of those); trees, brambles, and bushes, on the other hand, must actually survive year after year and require a serious commitment of time, energy, and money, so the selection process is much more complicated for me. We're talking about our future food source here, people - this is important stuff.
There are many factors to consider when making such choices. Important ones include pollination requirements, minimum chill hours (this is still somewhat of a mystery to me, but I'm going to take my friend Anna's advice and just get trees that are not "low chill"), and disease resistance. (Truthfully, I haven't really delved into the disease resistance of any of these varieties because I'm not adverse to babying them somewhat, but if y'all have any suggestions or see me making some horrible mistakes here, lemme know. I'll pay you back for your expertise with bushels of your favorite fruit that you helped me grow!) Other considerations I deem important are harvest times (trying to spread the harvest out among several varieties of a particular species as long as possible), keeping capability, and flavor, of course.
Sadly, in addition, I need lots of COLORS. I can't be content with plain old red apples or purple plums. Honestly, it probably won't matter much to the locals that are my future customers, but I envision a honor farm stand that is just bursting forth with every color imaginable because of my judicious and thorough selection of fruits and vegetables and that ends up being a roadside attraction where the locals congregate and shoot the shit at. Like a bar. But since we're in a semi-dry county, a produce bar. HA.
Anyhoo, these are my selections:
- Apples: Red Delicious (red), Granny Smith (green), Yellow Newton Pippin (gold/green), Golden Delicious (gold), Ashmead Kernal (russett), Arkansas Black Spur (dark red) and Gravenstein (green with red stripes).
- Raspberries: Red Heritage (red) and Fall Gold (gold). duh
- Plums: French Improved (purple), Methley (red), and Green Gage (green).
- Cherries: Craig's Crimson (nearly black), Sweetheart (red), and Rainier (yellow with blush).
- Pears: Red D'Anjou (red), Bosc (russett), and Blake's Price (golden).
- Blueberries: Patriot, Bluecrop, and Chandler for 90+ days of fruit.
- Blackberries: Choctaw, which is the earliest ripening blackberry on the planet so that we can eat some fruit other than cherries in May (May might be a stretch; June is more likely. Still, that's early for blackberries).
- Apricots: Harcot (red blush) and Gold Cot (golden yellow).
- Peaches: Loring (yellow).
- Nectarines: Mericrest (red/yellow) and Arctic Blaze (red/white).
kill me now, please
That's 21 fruit trees plus a shitload of brambles and bush fruit. It's fucking insanity, I know, but if I'm going to have a forest garden, I want it to be a literal forest. That I can sit in under trees in the shade and read a book to the dog while the chickens eat fruit tree nemeses and fertilize them and probably peck at my feet (hard) because they're mean fuckers like that.
And this doesn't even take into account the six citrus varieties that I plan to shuffle into the cabin at the first sign of fall frost. Maybe a cheap greenhouse really is in order - not for growing vegetables but for providing a suitable climate for those sissy citrus plants.
I should mention that I plan to keep all our fruit trees confined to a 10'x10' (or even smaller) canopy spread and height via aggressive pruning. And the citrus trees will be kept to potted plant size to facilitate their being brought into the greenhouse (otherwise known as: being demanding).
|In case you needed a visual representation of the fruit color spectrum. It's ok, I did, too.|
[ pinterest link here ]
Now that we have this frightening part of my mentality bared for all to see, let's go get (apple)sauced, folks, cuz it's Friday, woot woot!