I think that fruit and nut trees are a really great investment in a property, and one that I've been waiting to make until I was living in a place that I knew I would want to stay. The idea of having a fresh harvest of our own organic fruit each year is a beautiful one, and I love the idea of being able to trade or share our bounty with others. As a result, I've been trying to decide on varieties that are less frequently seen in our area. Things that are a little unusual will be fun for us to try, and I also think they may be more desirable to trade. I'd love to see more of a barter economy here on PEI, where we can share and trade our own goods with those of others. (Too bad you aren't living here, Jackie, or I would definitely be trading you fruit for your honey when you get it flowing!) Food security is very important to me too, and a perennial crop of nutritious food that is a source of vitamins and protein and good fats seems like a good idea.
So I found a nursery in Ontario that will ship to us in the spring, and I just submitted my order, which I am really excited about!
|It was a little pricey but I think trees are a wonderful way to keep giving back to our family year after year. So really, it's the birthday gift that I will receive every year, for the rest of our years here on this homestead!|
I have been looking for a Canadian supplier of pawpaws, and while there are a few, the other two I contacted didn't respond. I can't wait to see how these turn out, never having eaten a pawpaw in my life! They're supposed to be like a cross between a banana and a mango with a very tropical scent and taste but they can grow in our zone 5b climate. They are supposed to be anti-carcinogenic and amazing sources of vitamins and minerals. I'm intrigued!
|Photo of pawpaws on a tree. I also fully intend to sing to my children, particularly the youngest, about being "way down yonder in the pawpaw patch". If I'm honest, that might be a strong reason for choosing this fruit!|
I was also thrilled to find a pecan variety that is hardy in our area. This is by far our favourite type of nut so I ordered two for what will hopefully one day be a decent crop. We have native hazelnuts in our area but I have never seen the fruit at maturity and I assume they all get devoured by wildlife before most humans have the privilege of tasting them. So I ordered two hazelnuts as well that I hope to plant near our house and keep under a watchful eye.
Finally, as a treat, I got a small Natalina fig tree to grow in a container. I think that indoor fig trees are beautiful anyway, but if one day I'm blessed enough to taste a fig from my own tree, it will be a truly wonderful thing and a reminder of my time in my beloved Italy.
I also have plans for multi-graft apples and pears, hardy kiwi, and a lot of berry bushes. I'm not sure how many I can get in this year, but I wanted to start with the trees because you really can't plant them early enough and I'd love to see a little return from them, at least a few of them, in the next five years or so. I'll update as my darling seedlings arrive!
What are you planting this year to promote food security for your family?