Thinking About Fruit

We are thinking about putting in a fruit display garden/orchard here at the Extension Office. It’s not a sure thing whether or not we’re going to do it. We are just in the exploration and pre-planning stages.

One of the most important factors is determining if the spot we have available can actually grow fruit! My best estimate right now is that the soil is classified as a Sandy Clay…not exactly what we’re looking for in a fruit garden. We could probably make it better by incorporating a whole bunch of compost, but it still won’t have great drainage like many fruits require. I’ve also taken a soil test from the area to see if the pH is anywhere close to reasonable. (You have no idea how shocked and excited I’ll be if the pH test comes back as anything below 7.5!)

One of the reasons for growing fruit in a small home garden that we discussed during Master Gardener class last week is that you can grow fruits that are unusual or not easy to find in the grocery store.

Of course, I had to bribe everyone to see my point of view by feeding them – Red Currant Scones and this yummy Red Currant Pie. I had frozen 4 cups of currants back in June when the single Red Currant bush in the Demo Garden was loaded. When’s the last time you saw fresh (or even frozen) red currants in a grocery store in Kansas? That’s right…pretty much never!

So, that being said, which fruit would you like to see planted in a fruit display garden?

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on October 13, 2010, in Around the Garden, Polls and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Well, you know we’d love to have an orchard in Delano. I don’t know of a specific good location off the top of my head, but we could come up with something.

    And the soil is certainly good for trees, at least anecdotally. The pear tree on the south side of the community garden does really well (unfortunately… it being on the *south* side and all), and I know plenty of folks that have beautiful old fruit trees in their yards. (Hmph. All *I* have is a nasty old curbside elm that drops branches on passersby.)

    And on an unrelated note: who at the Extension would I talk to for information on requirements for a community kitchen? Ideally, a food business incubator type, a place for folks to pickle and make salsa and stuff to sell at market, and so on.

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