Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We've Got Trees!

A lot of them. A few weeks ago, we trekked down to Morro Bay for a bit of R & R and to pick up a mess of fruit trees, vines, and canes. Back in October, I placed an order with Trees of Antiquity, a nursery that specializes in rare, heirloom fruits and carries a fantastic selection of low chill varieties that do well in our cool summer coastal climate. Even though the trees weren't delivered until January, the beginning of fruit tree planting season around here, you have to get your order in early otherwise you might miss out on some of the more popular or harder to find items. I was a bit late with my order and consequently didn't get the pomegranate tree I wanted. But that's okay. It gave me an excuse to stop by Bay Laurel Nursery for a practically seedless, pale juice variety of pomegranate called "Eversweet".

This is the booty:

I know it doesn't look like much, but there are 10 types of fruit squished together in those bags: a White Tiger nectarine, Fuyu persimmon, Eversweet pomegranate (composing the majority of naked twigginess in the picture), Janice Seedless Kadota fig, Black Butte blackberry, Ollalieberry, Campbell Early grape, Black Emerald grape, and an O'Neal and Sharpblue blueberry.

You're probably wondering where in the hell I think I have room for all of these trees, bushes, and vines. It's a little thing called espalier, baby. That's right folks, I'm using the ancient European art of growing trees flat against a wall in order to maximize production and space. It was all the rage in the Middle Ages. I predict it will be the hottest new trend in gardening with this back to the land/urban farming movement. Right up there with the chicken.

Speaking of space, the goats are a touch bummed now that they've gotten the kibosh on free roaming throughout the yard during the day (they are in their pen at night). At first, I thought I could just block them from the baby trees with some bamboo trellises and deer netting, but those little buggers proved to be too determined for a taste of fresh buds to let mere plastic and a twig stronger than steel stand in their way. After several rousing games of "chase the goat" (damn, can those girls run fast!), in which I was repeatedly mocked by Ethel who would race over the blueberry barrels and grab a couple bites of leaves every time she passed, I decided to stockade them in a one-hour-to-build-it corral in my neighbor's backyard (more on my yard grabbing/theft to come in a future post). They have , of course, broken out twice, since the fencing is a bit dodgy and weak. But I think I've got it well jerry-rigged for the time being. Gotta keep one step ahead of those guys, otherwise I'll be shopping for fruit trees again next year.


  1. I wish you a healthy season of growing and bountiful harvesting later in the year!

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  3. Nice to meet you at 18Reasons Tuesday, Heidi. (I was the woman with the camcorder.) Glad to have discovered your blog; I'll keep it on my radar, and not just because I'm a Heidi too. I hope you keep us posted on the espalier experiment. I'm intrigued about how much work that takes compared to the traditional (?) method. We have a good stretch of land here in Corte Madera, but lots of oaks so getting enough sun on our crops is an issue. Blueberry trees????? Heidi Fuller