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Bare root bonanza, front yard style Portland
(1 like, 2 apples)
Hello fellow permies,

I figured that I would post a couple photos of our most recent project in the spirit of the project of the week dealio. We were given one hundred dollars for a tree to be planted after my grandmother passed away and so we did our best to put it to good use. We chose to purchase bare root working to stretch the lovely and wonderful gift idea a bit further. In about two hours we ended up spending thirty nine of our own dollars and putting five fruit trees, four seaberries, three silverberries, several currants, elderberries and gooseberries into our tiny sloped front yard. The newest member to our family helped, mostly by sampling the soil's flavor profile.

I tried out the nurse plant technique presented to me by Mr. Hemenway's Gaia's Garden, who I believe referenced the Bullock bros whom stuck a nitrogen fixing shrub into the same planting hole as their fruit trees with great success. I stuck one silverberry (elaeagnus commutata) into the same large planting hole for our jujubes, pear, apple and fig. I also put a current into one planting hole.

The idea behind the design is to block the view to the street and add some tasty growies and medicinals to the mix. Also since the seaberries are nearest to the sidewalk they act as the first line of 'maybe I don't want to take this guy's fruit' as they are rather thorny. The soil surrounding the new plantings was created by combining collected coffee grounds from local shops with chicken manure from our ladies, plus the rice hulls from their bedding and then that was turned and random yard matter added until it was writhing with red wrigglers and left to chill for a while covered. The plantings were done in a semi net and pan design and I covered the bare soil with clover and fava then topped them with oat straw. They have been in the ground 11 days ago and some things are beginning to bud out. Ideally I will propagate some herbaceous growies into the mix and work on adding layers to the system.

Here's to inspiring others to share and post and to apples!!!

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Oh my, and I thought I didn't really have room for fruit trees. Well, they're going in now! Thank you for the inspiration - and the kid looks like a sure and certain good grower.
(0 likes, 1 apple)
Where can I go to buy one of those interesting plants in the first pic ?

(1 like)
Thank you Susan and David. I am glad I could inspire you. My idea is to keep the trees within reach.

David, I've heard birds and bees are involved...
(1 like)

David Livingston wrote:Where can I go to buy one of those interesting plants in the first pic ?


I have a 17 year old version I might give up, it's just approaching 6' but has a serious opinion. The 13 year old needs more time in the dirt, I might have it figured out.
Fantastic! I'm a big fan of finding room for trees even in small spaces

What's the road traffic like out front? Are you concerned at all about air pollution on the fruit? (I used to have an allotment right by a middling-busy road; never actually avoided eating the blackberries that grew up the fence but did sometimes wonder as the buses puffed their way past...)
Hello Juliet,

The road is in a neighborhood, and so there are cars that drive by, however I am not concerned by the pollution. Ideally I would grow food away from the pollution although urban production will inevitably run into this potential concern. We do have back yard chickens and are planting food back there too, so it's just part of the balance I guess. Perhaps I would be more concerned if we lived by a constant flow of traffic. I try to limit my concern for the bad and focus on doing epic ... stuff, you know what I mean. Cheers.
I really don't think we should sweat the urban pollution unless it's exceptionally evil like run off from a plant uphill.

Commercial farms in 3rd world countries where a lot of our food comes from is likely much worse. The hold of the ship that transported our bananas may have had ANYTHING in it the last trip. Local food in land you control might get some airborne crap but it's in your air too so just feel better that your soil is the best you can make it.
Yes, good point there Rick

Nate -- to be honest I take pretty much the same approach, but I know some folk worry more. Like you I'd rather do positive stuff than fret too much about what I can't (short of moving a long way away, which is not a realistic option for us right now) do anything about.
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