I'm thinking of making a living fence type area around where the pigs will be pastured like in Bill Mollison's book. But the problem is that the number of trees he calls for would be prohibitively expensive. Granted, trees like mulberries and persimmons will start sprouting up everywhere - once you get some making fruit! But I'm not getting any younger here!
I'm wondering if anyone else grew their fruit trees from grocery store fruit seeds? After all, most of the fruit is destined for the pigs and they're not that picky. I've read you can get pretty passable results from the stone fruit - plums, peaches, etc. Apples, everyone is pretty discouraging about!
They say to avoid planting stone fruits near where goats and cattle may browse on wilted leaves and poison themselves, which makes apples sound more appealing, but I guess not all are even hardy in my area.
What about planting Asian Pear seeds? Can I grow Asian Pear trees from those seeds that make decent fruit or is there a possibility that they'll be very grainy (like European pears grown from seed?) I guess, tho, if I'm growing food for the pigs, it doesn't even matter if the pears are grainy, right??
Yes, I planted 15 apple seeds from the most delicious apple I ever had.
The results were not all bad. I have one tree produce apples after 10 years that were to-die-for. All the other trees were sour apples, but I managed to graphs a few branches on them from the good tree. Note that wildlife love sour apples as much as good ones!
I think planting a living fence is one of the coolest ideas in farming. Just start with what you have. For is, we have basket willows AKA cane willows and have acres of them. They grow fast and would grow a fast fence.
With some livestock, like hogs, I would add variety like you said, Mulberry, Elderberry and maybe even raspberry or black berry canes to keep them from walking through the bottom canopy, especially the little ones. And after those were all established, that would be the time to bury the tree fruit or nut seeds.
When you say living fence ... do you mean hedge laying or something different? I'd be interested to see how fruit trees fared that were laid.
Location: zone 6b
posted 7 years ago
I probably didn't choose my words well - I'm going to fence off a "hedge" area and put the trees in there, along with herbs, shrubs and cane fruit. I can dig up wild blackberries from our woods or divide from the canes I'm ordering once they send up runners but the trees were keeping me baffled.
Still, since apple seeds are free, it may be worth it to try laying some over to see what happens, like you said. The only investment in them will be some time, and that's well spent when exploring "what will happen if I..."
Most folk buy their trees young after someone experienced has grafted a cutting from a tree already fruiting onto the young tree. This ensures your tree will bear fruit immediately instead of possibly waiting anywhere from 5-20 years depending on what you want to grow.
Many choose to supplement their trees with fertilizers, especially where I live here in Hawaii because the ground is so porous it soaks up all the water and drains away all the fertilizer applied very quickly because of all the rain (where I live on the island we get 200+ inches of rainfall per year!)
I believe in planting rings of comfrey around your fruit trees, this will help keep away problem causing insects and luckily comfrey grows in such a way as to not compete with the trees root system.
I think any fruit would be loved by your pigs whether it germinates from a seed from grocery store or is taken from a graft!
Also it's not terribly difficult to graft you could learn yourself if you have the time, not a very expensive hobby either! If you know anyone or anywhere there's an orchard - especially commercial orchards regularly prune their trees and the branches they cut make great grafting material - just make sure you aren't getting some pesticide laden Mumbo Jumbo fruit : )
So your question is pretty much which fruit will not come true from seed/taste OK.
1st thoughts anything that does not normally self-pollinate. I would just over sow and remove ones that taste bad.
And graft the good ones to bad ones.
Iterations are fine, we don't have to be perfect
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit