by Jill Swenson
Move over vegetables. Less kale, more quince. Fewer zucchini, more kiwi. Make room for more fruit in the garden and on the farm. Whether you add fruits for your own home use or to add small crop diversity at the farm stand or farmer’s market, now is the time to explore what lies between apples and strawberries.Many folks consider fruits too difficult to grow, and certainly large-scale commercial growers are challenged to maximize yields and minimize spoilage. Yet homegrown fruits grace your dinner table and enhance your small farm operation. Naturally grown fruit emphasizes quality — flavor, nutrients, and natural pest resistance – over quantity and size. For apples, among the most difficult to grow fruits, this means selecting Macouns or Newtown Pippins for new rootstock. Or maybe you just need to identify those pretty yellow blushing heirloom apple trees in your hedge row, prune or take rootstock to yield bushels from just a few trees.
Other Books by Reich
The Pruning Book, Landscaping with Fruit, Weedless Gardening, and Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden are previous hands-on how-to books by Reich. He holds a Ph.D. in horticulture with a specialty in growing fruit and his garden in New Paltz, NY, and has been in featured in the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living. He makes fruit science simple.
Black raspberries drive me wild. I search through patches of poison ivy, reach into thorns, and compete with bears and birds for their precious succulence. “Like the nipple on a wet nurse,” is the description given to these precious fruits by Clarissa of Two Fat Ladies (BBC cooking series). Naturally grown, without artificial fertilizers or pesticides, nothing else compares.
Elderberries, pomegranates, and currants are increasingly popular fruits with the public. Medlar, Mulberries, and Pawpaw fruits are being rediscovered. Cherries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries remain perennial favorites.
In his new book, Growing Fruits Naturally (Taunton Press, March 2012), Lee Reich provides all a small farmer needs to know to easily grow fruit. This luscious guidebook offers thorough information about how to grow, propagate, prune, and harvest fruits. Pollination needs, pests and diseases, sunlight requirements, climate zones, and specific plants and multiple varieties are described in detail with accompanying full color large photographs. The simple and straightforward organization of information marks this as another reference book to keep on your bookshelf from Lee Reich.
Jill Swenson is the president of Swenson Book Development, LLC, based in Brooktondale, NY. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-539-3278.