Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Save Money By Growing Your Own Fruit

We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. We also know that they are expensive. That's the reason why we have begun growing so many of our own vegetables and why I'm writing so much about it in this blog.

Tonight, I want to focus a bit on growing fruit. First, I resent the prices we pay at the store for fresh (or frozen) fruit. Recently, for example, we bought some strawberries at the supermarket. These were Florida raised and were "at the peak of flavor". We paid roughly the same for that quart of berries as it would cost for about 15 strawberry plants. And they weren't even sweet. Well, one of them was. Same goes for most commercially grown blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Not to mention, apples and pears. If you go to a farmers market, the quality is better, but the price is higher (worth it, though).

My solution is to grow our own fruit. Let me use one example to illustrate how modern research has made it possible for virtually anyone to grow their own fruit and save money in the long run. One of our trees is a "fruit cocktail" tree. But careful grafting, this tree will produce peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots. The tree is self pollinating and grows only 10 to 12 feet tall, making it easy to maintain and manage. You can buy them as saplings from many online nurseries for under twenty dollars, or buy them a little larger from places like Home Depot for around $50. I chose the cheaper route. It will take an extra year of growth before we get fruit, but tending the young trees is part of the fun. We're also planting apple and pear trees that have up to 5 different varieties of apples or pears respectively. These save space, time and money. As with the vegetables, the primary investment is labor. And since we all could use more exercise, the labor should be welcome.


Niecey said...

A fruit cocktail tree? I've never heard of that in my life. That is very cool