Crisp apples, tart lemons, lush figs, tender peaches—imagine the bounty of a late-summer farmer’s market, right in your backyard! Learning how to plant and care for fruit trees is a desirable, accessible activity for a wide range of people. It’s a natural extension of many gardeners’ repertoires, and the investment yields generations of results. Growing your own fruit ensures a fresh, delicious, abundant harvest for your family and friends for years to come. Fruit trees diversify a region’s agricultural landscape and ecosystems, attracting pollinating bees, songbirds, and other desirable visitors. And cultivating orchards on your own decreases your reliance on grocery store distribution channels and boosts sustainability.
Inside The Home Orchard Handbook, you'll find:
—Strategies for choosing your orchard's site, taking into consideration soil quality, sun exposure, microclimates, drainage, and more
—Information on plant selection, including what types of fruit trees do well in certain areas and how to decipher critical concepts such as "chill hours," "cultivars," "bareroot," and "cross-pollination"
—Guidance on aftercare, including in-depth watering, composting, and preventative care schedules to keep your backyard orchard fruitful for years
—Advice on troubleshooting diseases, conditions, and non-beneficial insects using only humane, organic remedies
—General tips on jamming, dehydrating, storing, and otherwise making the most of your orchard’s harvest with delicious recipes from chefs Tal Ronnen and Diana Stobo
Start growing your own fruit trees wherever you are with The Home Orchard Handbook!
Cem Akin and Leah Rottke are key members of the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF), an award-winning international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. FTPFÆs grounbreaking mission benefits the environment, human health, and animal welfare--all at once! For more information please visit http://www.ftpf.org.
Chapter 1: Fruit Tree 101
Ancient Orchard Poetry
Two Tigers, One Rat, and a Fig
Chapter 2: Site Selection
Room Enough for Fruit Trees
Know Your Substrate!
Planting Solutions for Small or Urban Spaces
Chapter 3: Plant Selection
Fruit Tree Basics: Roots and Shoots
Days to Harvest
Fruit Tree Intelligence
Chill Hours and Climate
Selecting Fruit Trees
A Family Affair!
Chapter 4: Planting
Timing the Planting
Spotting the Layout
Planting a Containerized Tree
Planting a Bareroot Tree
Checking Depth and Orientation
Planting Procedure Checklist
Chapter 5: Irrigation and Fertilization
Watering Schedule Guidelines
Watering Schedule Comparisons
Macronutrients, Secondary Nutrients, and pH
Building Healthy Soil
What Is Compost Tea?
Organic Options for Citrus Trees
Chapter 6: Pruning and Weeding
Mature Tree Rejuvenation
Rules of Thumb
When to Prune
Companion Planting and Permaculture
Chapter 7: Prevention, Troubleshooting, and Controls
Right Tree, Right Place
Insects, Mites, and Nematodes
Chapter 8: Enjoying the Harvest
Dehydrate Your Orchard
Preserving Your Harvest Through Canning
Jamming with Chef Tal Ronnen
Assorted Fruits: Seasonal Fruit in Papillote by Chef Tal
Apples and Cashews: Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples by Chef Tal
Avocados and Lemons: Summer Chopped Salad by Chef Tal
Grapefruits: Shiso Bites by Chef Tal
Apples and Dates: Raspberry Applesauce by Diana Stobo
Apples: Caramel Apple Tart by Diana Stobo
Apricots and Cherries: Cherry Apricot Crisp by Diana Stobo
Peaches: Summer Peach Cobbler by Diana Stobo
Tangerines: Creamy Tangerine-tini by Diana Stobo
Chapter 9: Beyond the Home Orchard
Community Orchard Committee
Community Orchard Planting Checklist
Community Orchards Speak Volumes!
About the Authors
"Akin and Rottke (executive director and volunteer arborist, respectively, Fruit Tree Planting Fdn.) have developed a creative, upbeat map for growing fruit trees. The earthy, positive vibe of the book is set by some preliminary 'Ancient Orchard Poetry' and delves not only into the how of planting trees but the why, including environmental and social benefits to orchard growing. The authors encourage readers to get to know their particular environments before planting, based on the notion of 'right tree, right place.' Their advice is easy to understand and heavily illustrated with useful, not just pretty, pictures and drawings. This is truly a one-stop shop for all things related to the personal orchard; the majority of the book is a how-to, but sections on canning, preserving, and recipes for cooking with your harvest also are included as is further information on the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and its work in creating community orchards around the world. Verdict: Solid advice with lots of extras, this offering will appeal generally to those interested in environmental concerns and organizations that address them and will specifically inspire gardeners and arborists who have some fruiting tree experience."—Jenny Contakos, Art Inst. of Virginia Beach, Library Journal XPress