By Stella Otto
Planting or pruning, picking or partaking, even just admiring the blossoms gets everybody outdoors and active.
Eating healthy is more fun when the snack is something you’ve grown yourself. Children will develop sound, lifelong eating habits when they participate in growing what they eat.
Whether child or adult, who can resist a fresh, juicy peach or a handful of glistening red currants they’ve just picked?
You’ll enjoy the freshest fruit possible. Homegrown fruit will be at the peak of flavor and conveniently close when harvested from your own garden, rather than spending days on a truck to a nearby store.
Unique, flavorful varieties of more common fruits are usually only available from expensive mail-order catalog–or not at all. (Did you know there are more than 1100 varieties of apple?) The vast choice of varieties you can grow yourself is often limited only by your climate.
Fruit gardening allows you to be environmentally responsible. Techniques for sustainability–minimizing pesticide use, building the soil, and encouraging beneficial insects–are all important aspects of home fruit gardening.
You can save a bushel of money growing your own. Many people complain that some fruit, like raspberries, are too expensive to enjoy regularly. That may be true when the fruit is purchased at the store, but not so when you grow your own.
Adding berry bushes and fruit trees to a garden will also enhance the value of a home and yard.
Worried that you don’t know where to begin? Starting a fruit garden is fun, easy, and educational. There are many books and websites you can learn from and many nurseries have Master Gardeners on staff that will be happy to help you with some of the basics.
Discover the fun, cost savings, and flavor-enhanced reasons firsthand this growing season.
– Stella Otto is the author of award-winning garden books, the Backyard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to growing berries, brambles, and vine fruit in the home garden and the Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden. This is the first of a series of a Fruit Growing 101 series of articles. Learn more at www.stellaotto.com.