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apple orchard in the bitterroot valley  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I got this message this morning:

hey this orchard is near you, it certainly deserves a visit imo.

http://www.homegrownmontana.org/homeacres.html

their groundcover mgmt is about as holistic as it gets.


(as I finished my reply, I thought I would copy it here)



Well .... more holistic than conventional orchards.  I think it is good stuff, and I would like to visit in the warmer months and I suspect there could get a video out of it. 

However, if wanna talk about "as holistic as it gets" .... I would prefer to see something where the same species of trees are not so close together to make a monocrop-ish-like-thing.  I would prefer to see something where the tree concentration of apples was something less than 20%.  Maybe even less than 5%.  So, apple trees mixed with black locusts, oaks, plums, cherries, apricots, pecans, seaberries, goumis, walnuts, maples, siberian pea shrubs, raspberries, hazelnuts, pears and more.

I would also like to see something that used no grafting.

I would also like to see a system that started their trees from seed - no transplanting.

I would also like to see a system that shaped the land and did things to have vibrant trees without concern for irrigation.

So, for "as holistic as it gets", I think there is more.  And there is even more than what I have mentioned so far.  But - that's just me.  I'm sure others would think that these things are too crazy to be practical.


 
maikeru sumi-e
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Allison Rooney
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Location: Shields Valley Montana
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Can you elaborate on your opinion on non-grafted seed grown trees being more holistic vs. the standard apples (grafted clones)?  I'm interested, cause it's my understanding that these trees produce basically inedible fruit...and I'm not sure what the point is of cultivating, permaculturally or otherwise, inedible fruits.  I love learning all I can about apples, so I look forward to knowing more!
Incidentally, are you familiar with the origins of apples and their associated plant communities in the wild?  Thank you.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Take a look at this thread.  It is a long discussion about apples from seed vs. transplanting grafted stuff. 

In a nutshell, about 20% of trees grown from seed will be "spitters" (taste awful).  A different 20% will be great, and the remaining 60% will be so-so (a bit pithy, or small, or too sour, or ...  whatever).

About one seed in 20,000 will produce a variety of apple that is so good, that it has a chance at outcompeting the varieties currently in a supermarket. 

 
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