Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fruit Hedge Plans

Here is the 'fruit hedge' I've worked on for the magical day the land is cleared and we can start putting in permanent plantings.  This is the area for all the nuts and berries that won't go in our mini-orchard.  I plan on putting a garden bench in the middle clearing.

Planting the hedge in this 'U' shape will allow for easy picking on all sides, and I'll be able to pretty easily put up netting to foil birds and squirrels.  I can almost TASTE those figs!

The figs and hazelnuts are probably the only items on the diagram that most people would be familiar with.  I've been researching fruits that are easy to grow and don't have many pests or diseases so they won't require spraying.  

Paw paws are native to our area, and the fruit is supposed to taste custard-like, with a texture similar to bananas.  I've read that anywhere you would use banana you can swap out paw paws, which sounds awesome to me!  According to this article, paw paws are "a fruit as tropical and exotic as the banana that’s hardy in northern zones and as naturally pest resistant as it is delicious and nutritious."  That article also goes on to describe the paw paw fruit as "a perfectly ripened pawpaw is reminiscent of a sweet homemade pudding with natural banana flavor, a bit of pineapple juice, and a pinch of vanilla extract thrown into the mix".  I can't wait to give them a try!  
Honeyberries are super popular over in Russia and Japan, but haven't yet caught on in the US.  They're small teardrop shaped blue berries, and once the bush matures you can get about 7 pounds of fruit per bush.  The fruit develops early in the season, before strawberries are even available.  I'm all for getting my fruit as quickly as possible!

Serviceberry is also native to our area.  It forms a small tree that bears small globe-shaped purple berries in the summer.  I had never heard of serviceberry until I found this article on them.  In that article it says that the serviceberry is a "small tree or large shrub in form, and bearing many names, this American native plant is beautiful in early spring for its billows of lacy white blooms and beautiful again in autumn for blazing color on the pleasing rounded leaves. In the late spring – serviceberry is sometimes called Juneberry – the fruit makes for some magical eating, as thousands of delicious purple-red berries ripen."

Mmm.... I can't wait to plant these!  YAY FOR FRUIT!  

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