Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Apple Trees

With the warmer temperatures we had last week, it was nearly impossible not to start dreaming of all of the things that we want to do in the yard this year. One of my big goals is to add more fruit—we're covered with vegetables that Josh does a great job with in our raised beds, so I'm trying to plan for more sweet things to balance out our harvest (I use that term lightly!). On the list are rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and, of course, apples.

During an interview for work I did a few weeks ago, I learned of Trees of Antiquity, a company that specializes in organically grown fruit plants with a focus on heirlooms. Apparently I am not the only one to have heard of them because much of their inventory is already sold out for the year—I missed out on blueberries and blackberries but we were able to order two apple trees after the extremely helpful owner and I went back and forth a few times about what would grow well in Iowa.

We're getting a Pippin and a Jonathan, both semi dwarf, which will come in a few months. They won't bear fruit for 2-3 years, but I love the thought of nurturing them in our side yard all with the goal of having homegrown apples to bake in pies, turn into apple butter and apple sauce, and to eat out of hand. Not to mention that the trees will be pretty outside of my office/guest room window!

The general plan for the yard this year is to add privacy (we have a rather low fence) and to add more greenery in the form of wildflowers and grasses, herbs like sage and lavender that will attract helpful pollinators and smell lovely, and maybe some shrubs.

As someone who hardly knew a thing about gardening last year, just the fact that I'm this excited about getting out into the yard feels momentous. Not to mention that I also now know that we live in Zone 5, which is very helpful.


  1. I swear, Amy, you are LIVING THE DREAM.

  2. So envious of your pending orchard! I dream of planting a sour cherry tree, but we just don't have the acreage.

  3. Melissa, I think I could say the same to you! And Casey, if some day we get a cherry tree, I think we might need to schedule a visit so you can come help me can them (though I'm a little afraid of the work involved in keeping birds off of the cherries...)