We have a new category here on the blog: Pomology!
The definition of pomology is the science of cultivating fruit. We’ve alluded to our fruit trees only in our About Us page and perhaps a few fleeting mentions here and there on some posts. Yet the fact of the matter is that pomology has always been of great importance to us. Our family consumes a lot of fruit, and we make many trips to local U-pick farms throughout the summer and fall to get fresh fruit at a decent price. For us, it was a no brainer to put in 13 fruit trees right after we moved here. I believe the 2 peach trees failed to survive the winter, but everything else is showing new growth.
One of the tenets that Brett Markham stressed in his book is the importance of growing your own fruit. In order to raise food in a way that is effective in terms of cost and labor, fruiting plants win big. Yes, there is the initial cost of the plant and the fact that there’s usually a 1-7 year wait depending on which fruit we’re talking about. But these plants are perennials, so they will produce for YEARS if cared for properly and require only a small amount maintenance after initial planting and pruning. Additionally, fruit is often far more expensive than vegetables to purchase at the grocery store, which helps in the sense of controlling the family budget. This rings true twice as much for us, as we have animals. Windfallen fruit is a great way to help to reduce feed costs through the summer and fall. Lastly, whenever you see one of those ‘dirty dozen’ lists of the produce that’s most laden with pesticides and other synthetic chemicals, fruits consistently tops the list. Getting fruit from your backyard means you know the history of your food and ensures that you’re comfortable with what you’re consuming.
Long story short: pomology is of tremendous importance to the homestead! Whether one has 1/4 acre, 7 acres like we do, or hundreds of acres, having even just a handful of fruiting vines, bushes or trees makes a lot of sense. Especially as our fruit trees inch their way towards maturity, I imagine that pomology will be showing up often on here.
Accompanying our fruit trees are the 5 blueberry bushes that we transplanted from our previous home. I hadn’t been expecting any fruit off of them this year, as I anticipated that the shock of transplant might reduce yields this year. Our fruit trees are also young, so it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll reap anything from them either. Yet, this is what’s going on outside:
No, that’s not enough blossoms to make the need to build a cider press urgent, but it’s encouraging nonetheless. Dwarf fruit trees take 2-7 years after planting before they bear fruit – here’s to hoping this is a sign that it’s closer to 2 than 7!