The Garden Project: Fruit Trees

While we're not building a huge orchard or anything (yet), we did decide to order a couple of fruit trees last year. We decided that our kids are only getting bigger and eating more everyday. Okay, Steven isn't as consistent on that second point, but it won't be long before both of them are eating us out of house and home.

Anyways, the boys are 6 and 11. By the time the fruit trees are producing, they'll be teenagers and that is the epitome of perfect timing to me. I want to be able to freeze or can fruit for pies, smoothies, tarts, cobblers and crisps. Having fresh fruit is also a priority for me.

The trees we chose are two apple trees- one Granny Smith and one Jonathan (red), and one cherry tree- a Montmorency.

My motives for the choices are simple- what will we eat fresh and which will make the best pies? We love Granny Smith apples to eat fresh. I often send them in lunches and grab them on the way out the door for a great snack-on-the-go.

Granny Smiths also make great pies, but they are tart and are best when paired with a slightly sweeter apple. That is where the Jonathan apples come in. They aren't overly sweet, but have just enough sweet flavor to balance the tartness of the Granny Smith's.

The Montmorency Cherry tree is the type that Mike's parents had in their yard when I met him. The fruit was very tasty with just the right balance of tart and sweet. The tree has since had to be cut down because it was old and well beyond producing good cherries, but they bought a new one last year, too.

Sadly, our first cherry tree didn't survive the summer. We called the company we bought it from and they were very quick about sending a replacement. We planted it and it has done very well over the winter. I can't wait to see them budding up soon and getting a few tiny leaves on them.

Since then, Mike and I have talked about adding a peach tree and maybe some blueberry bushes. I would also love to get a walnut tree since they have skyrocketed over the last year, but I can envision the walnuts being dangerous as far as mowing goes. Not to mention my fear of the kids throwing them or using them as slingshot ammo. :o) Maybe I'll have to consider plums or strawberries instead.

Do you have fruit trees? If so, what kind? I'd appreciate any tips as well!

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