> Doug Hinds wrote:
> << If you really want to know more about seedling fruit, do it on you own. Look
> for sources of good seedling fruit. (Too often, seedlings trees are
> volunteers that came up by chance, rather than having been selected for thier
> desireable qualities).>>
> I'd like to plant as many different fruits as possible that will grow well in
the >area with minimum care. I hate the idea of all those spraying scheduled
> recommended by almost all profressional fruit growers.
You shouldn't have to do that using benefical organisms, which hopefully will
become locally established. So I suggest you locate sources that will respond to
your needs. (Let me know if that proves to be a problem).
> I also plan to start a small Community Supported Ag program, and sell >directly
to these customers. I have to keep marketing of farm products firmly >in
mind...grow mostly what people will buy .
Then talk to them about that before planting.
> I'd like to plant Apples, Cherries, Pears, Asian Pears, persimmon, Paw >Paw,
various nut trees...basically any fruits, berries that will do well naturally.
My family moved from Ohio to Arizona when I was 14, and I lived in S. California 6
years before moving to Mexico, so I haven't had much contact with pears, and much
less with apples & cherries. I've had good seedling persimmons, both American and
Japanese (seeded) types (The Japanese type may have been Fuyu seedlings - but it's
been a long time - I may be wrong).You might want to start with standard open
pollenated varieties (you could do a little cross pollenization on your own). You
may want to join a group like the California Rare Fruit Growers Association (My
article was first published in their yearbook), but editorial support for the idea
weakened after I left the country ...The editors are not the same ones now, of
course. The point is that members are found all over the world and are somewhat
knowledgeable. I think they have a web site. They exchange seed.
> Problem is there's very little info on successful varieties for organic
> production or varieties adapted specifically for such purposes.
I think the contrary is true. There are no varieties that naturally respond best
to artificial conditions, but you probably want to stick with varieties that do
not need to be grafted.
> To me taste is of primary importance.
You're still going to need productivity, and size is definite consideration after
> Any way I'd appreciate your comments, and advice. frank
I'd try to get into experimental orchards where new varieties are being tried
(new seedlings) and older orchards that might have some proven seedlings.
Berries are usually grown from cuttings (avoid grafts) and most wild varieties are
thorny. Some sources of berry seed may exist (I've seen strawberry seed
offered). It may be hard to find any older / seedling Asian pears. You might not
want to invest a lot in anything that's not proven from seed - meaning you'll want
to reserve land for experimental purposes and stick with varieties that have been
successfully reproduced genetically (rather than vegetatively) for your cash
crop. I'd give a lot of thought to what you put in. To me it's not that trivial
a matter to cut down groves of seedling fruit trees.
Remember that you can grow field crops in between the rows of small trees while
they grow. You don't necessarily need to plant out all your available land at
once to tree crops, you can leave yourself time and space to experiment. You'll
be on the forefront as far as commercial application goes, but of course seedling
fruit trees have been selected and cultivated by man from time immemorial.
When the facts about the effects of grafting finally become established, your
grove will become an especially valuable asset with a real competitive advantage,
if that matters to you. The moral stature and founding - pioneer status involved
will probably mean more to you. And you'll love your seedling trees (as Sal
does). But meanwhile, there's a lot a work in front of you, with no shortage of
ignorant doom sayers and belittlers to wade through.
You are going to have to do some research. But remember, grafting is just one way
to reproduce what already exists, and seeds from fruit with exceptional qualities
was been selected and planted since people first understood what a seed was. You
won't be starting from scratch, just retracing steps in order to eliminate a dead
end / wicked mess.
<from a later post>
> Finding sources of quality varieties that are native, and produce tasty,
> commercial sized fruit has been difficult. Your suggestion about >experimental
nurseries , orchards is a good one...can you give me the names, >contacts etc of
outfits that you'd recommend, and who share your/our goals, >and concerns?
To a degree. But remember 3 things: 1).- Experimental Farms are looking for new
varieities w/ commercial potential that will be propagated principally by
grafting thereafter, so materials found there may or may not suit your purpose.
2).- They may well jealously guard any material they're working on; and
3).- My experience hasn't covered your climate and most of the fruit types you
mention, so I can't be of much specific help. And I wouldn't worry much about the
goals and concerns part of it. Get your seeds and plant them. If you run on to a
someone who shares a degree of your vison so much the better, but while Organic is
now on the map, seedling isn't. Organic doesn't contemplate the issue.
...Organic is an unfinished business, and this is going to take time. My goal
goes far beyond organic. I hope to see the day that ALL agriculture is
biological. When that's happened, organic will no longer exist as a separate
classification). It'll take a while of course.
On the other hand, what you're looking for is not much of a threat to commercial
interests (at this point - and you don't have to tell them you believe grafting is
a dead end, just that YOU like seedling trees and want to plant some out), and
anyone working wherever you call, whether govt., university or private, may be of
a voluntary nature and try to be useful; accept your goal intellectually, and be
glad to do a favor to you. So you could learn more about and maybe get access to
seed for traditional varieties that could serve as a stepping stone. They could
also help you with the technical details involved in hand cross pollenating, if
you need that (it takes a little brush, some little paper bags and the right
Also, growers (particularly organic growers) may be doing something on their own
in this vein (Sal surprised me with the degree he recognized the superiority of
select seedlings over grafted varieties, ... - this just shows that the thesis is
valid - he's a field man who's close to his trees and the good seedlings speak for
themselves). Talk to extentionists and university people, who can tell you who's
got what on their own roots in the area you'r in.
You may or may not want to delve deep into your reasons - Maybe you just prefer
seedlings for your own use and want to put out a few trees, or play around with
it, or look into it. These are just suggestions, because there's a lot of weight
behind the assumption that grafting is the way to go and I myself don't care to
argue much with those either downright unsympathetic or disinterested - who will
try to justify their own interests and / or lack of interest in the concept. It's
up to you. I'd play it by ear.
You want access to info and seed and enough respect for your idea that they'll
help you, w/o evangelizing. Why go any farther than you need to go? I recently
searched for seed sources in the LRGV (mentioned below), just to locate sources of
food I could eat - I DON'T eat fruit from grafted trees, and have no doubt as to
the validity behind that decison / preference. I lost weight, because I didn't
have much time to run around the Valley after seedling fruit (particularly since
in the US so many will attend you only M-F, 8am-4pm, and I had work to do.
When you go commercial w/ seedling fruit, you'll want to make clear what it is,
but it looks like people are going to respond to the fruit itself (and they
will), not the concept. Over time, the reasons will sink in., with some holding
out intellectually even then just out of spite, pride or whatever momentum
I'll send whatever specific information I come up with, but I would join CRFG (I
think there's a FL one also) and post spots in their newletter soliciting info
and above all, seed sources of fruit that fit the bill. You'll be dealing with a
very natural act - people tend to save or want to save and share good fruit seed
and cultivation info. Only humans are capable of doing that in fact. It's our
prime role on earth (too bad most don't know it).
I got a hold of some local organic growers in the LRGV by beginning w/ email to
the National Agricultural Library who sent me a list of USDA people I followed up
w/in TX, who faxed me a list. Some were citrus growers that thought seedling
citrus was necessarily sour. Incredible. But there was some interest, and some
good watermelon & tomato sources. The seedling sources came from a local state
university prof. and a local friend w/ a friend who grows avocados & has a few
> I don't believe in re-inventing the wheel...especially when I'm not as smart
> or experienced as many on this list:)
My main point was that there's local or regional sources available to you if you
look for them. Also, if you are sent seed from some distant place, how are you
going to know what you're getting, or whether it will adapt to your area or not?
I would start with fruit in your area. Talk to extensionists, university people
and organic growers (the USDA can give a state wide list - a least in TX they
> So can anyone give me good sources for such fruit? I'll be in central
> Kentucky.. I'm not a plant breeder, but am looking for good practical info
> that I can act on without being burned.(BG)
As Sal said, you can plant seed from grafted fruit to put it back on its own
roots. Is anyone here able to name any known strains of the fruit types he's
looking for, that have grown true to seed (or with desireable variations) in the
Douglas M. Hinds Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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