Fruitful News

September 29, 2012

I like to grow things. I like practical solutions. And I like mischief with a purpose. Thus my immediate attraction to two stories about innovative ways to grow fruit. The first: nurseries developing what they call fruit salad trees—trees grafted to bear several different fruits from the same trunk. It’s perfect for our small urban yard. I can already picture my family and me plucking peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots from a single tree all summer long. And more home-grown fruit could be in our future if a band of rogue orchardists, Guerrilla Grafters, expands its undercover operation beyond the Bay Area to Portland. They secretly graft fruit tree branches to ornamental trees in parking strips. The practice is illegal in San Francisco, where city officials would rather keep the sidewalks clear of fallen fruit than let people gather free, nutritious food. How would plum branches look adjoined to our two linden trees? Mismatched, yes, but I’d gladly trade aesthetics for growing fresh fruit. Maybe it’s time not just to buy a fruit salad tree but to ask Guerrilla Grafters for an instruction manual.

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