Why Grow a Fruit Tree
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There are a lot of reasons to plant fruit trees. With your own fruit trees you know exactly what you’re getting: no sprays, no wax and no chemicals. A fruit tree filters the air, conditions the soil, provides shade and attracts pollinators to your garden. Beyond the obvious, there are five reasons why you should consider planting a fruit tree:
1. For Your Health – Some of the fruit that grows easily in northern California – such as apples, pears and plums – are among the most heavily sprayed crops. For example USDA has found 42 pesticide residues on Apples where 5 are known (or probable) carcinogens and 19 are Hormone Disruptors. By growing your own fruit you can eat healthy, homegrown food, without breaking the bank.
2. For Your Children – Our children are so divorced from their food they no longer know the season for fruits. Grapes are always available in the grocery store. You can teach your children about the cycle of food in nature using a single fruit tree in your backyard.
3. For the Needy – Over a billion people around the world are hungry, while the number of people unable to put adequate food on the table in the United States is at its highest level since the USDA has tracked this data. Over its lifetime, a $30 fruit tree will produce thousands of pounds of fruit that can be shared with the needy.
4. For the Environment – Planting a tree is the easiest way to sequester carbon from the air and into the soil.
5. For Better Taste – There are thousands of apple varieties but, if you look at what’s available in stores you’ll be forgiven if you think there are only 6 or 8 kinds of apples. Some of the best tasting fruit is not suitable to the needs of commercial agriculture (shipping, shelf life, massive production, etc.). Instead of growing commonly available fruits, we are planting antique heirloom fruit trees. Some of these trees date back to 1200 CE and the taste is so exceptional that in Europe, as well as at Chez Panisse, they are still served as desert.