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Author: Siamack Sioshansi

The Easy Dozen

Apples Akane – Ripens Early An attractive, early season, medium-sized, bright red, apple with an unusually good balance of sweet and sharp flavors. The flesh is firm rather than crisp, but with plenty of juice. Disease resistant. Liberty  – Ripens Mid-season Resistant to apple scab and mildew. A handsome red apple, usually lunch box size, of the McIntosh type with a wonderful sweet/tart balance. Crisper, keeps better and more heat tolerant than other McIntosh. Cox Orange Pippin – Ripens Mid-season A famous, fabled apple of England that many feel is simply the best. It’s a superb looking and extremely...

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The Magical Fruit Tree

Question: If you were to plant a fruit tree with the intention of donating the fruit to the needy, what would you plant? My fruit tree must meet most, if not all of these requirements:   High Yield– I’d want a tree with a lot of fruit, year in and year out. No Work – I wouldn’t want to work hard. It has to be a low maintenance tree (no spray, no pruning, no fuss.) Squirrels Away – I’d want a tree where I don’t lose a lot of the fruit to the critters, especially the squirrels. No Dropping...

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The Math of Fruit Trees

In ancient cultures, fruit trees, no matter whose property they grow on, are considered an important communal resource to be shared by all. In America, we have lost touch with this time tested solution to hunger. Instead of growing local fruit, we import it from exotic places with a huge impact on our wallet and the environment. In order to understand the power of a fruit tree as a solution for feeding the hungry, let’s start with the facts. Facts – Apple Tree It costs around $35 to buy a bare root apple tree. In California, it costs between...

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Hidden Dangers of Compost

If you have been to any Urban Farmer meetings you have heard me harp on compost and it’s hidden danger. What’s the deal with this war on compost? Here is the full explanation WARNING This is a depressing, long post. Read it when you are in the right mood. I don’t enjoy these bleak topics, but I can’t put a spin on sewer sludge. With this warning out of the way, here is the story of compost. Making Your Own Compost There is nothing more wholesome than turning your kitchen and garden waste into compost. It’s the ultimate Reduce,...

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How to Improve Fruit Taste

The question on every gardener’s mind is what do my plants (especially fruit trees and vegetables) need? Recently I wrote a post where I mentioned Azomite. Bob, Michelle and Sam have asked, “Do I need to add Azomite to my existing fruit trees? Where do you buy it,…” and David asked the important question of “Is adding Azomite a sustainable practice and what are the other options?” Thank you all for reading and asking. The Short Answer Azomite is a rock dust mined from ancient dry lake beds in Utah. It helps increase the level of nutrients stored in...

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