Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Gene's Backyard Orchard" Web Site Review #1.

Here is a site that visits Gene and his backyard orchard, in a Chicago Suburb.

Gene has been growing dwarf apples in his yard since 1983. He has 93 varieties of apples in a 2,500 sq foot yard. He keeps them pruned and maintained to a mini-dwarf size - generally, smaller than our fruit trees (although similar to our mini-dwarf apples).

Visting his web site, I get the feeling that I'm visiting a real person's yard. It would be fun to follow him around the yard and hear what he has to say about the individual varieties, and talk about his grafting technique and what works, and what doesnt.

He's not organic, but does pay some attention to avoiding spraying when bees are present. He tells us how he knows that an apple is ripe. He describes why his beds are geometric, squares instead of circles.

This is the kind of folksy, 'next door neighbor' site that I especially like to read. It's kind of an old posting. On a news story link from the the midwest fruit grower's site, he states that he now has 176 varieties.

This also has me thinking - with a California Rare Fruit Grower's association, and a similar association in the midwest (see link above), maybe we need a backyard fruit growers association in the Maritime Pacific Northwest. Hmmmmm.

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