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Monday, October 15, 2012

Fruitful roadsides

I've been talking about planting roadsides with fruit trees for some time now. I've seen gnarly apple trees beside many of Southland's roads and been cheered by the sight of every one of them; even stopped to picked some apples from them or take scion wood with which to graft replicas for desseminating throughout the region, but truth to tell, I've planted very few fruit trees on the long acre, myself.
At last, that situation has changed. I've dug in and set out - plum trees that is. Cherry-plum trees to be more accurate. 25 of them, up and down my street. An apple tree too - the much sought-after and admired 'Peasegood Nonsuch' that promises to grow traffic-stopping fruits of epic proportions. A medlar and an apricot also, tucked in amongst the hebes. I've talked to my neighbours and they are keen for me to extend the planting right down to the main road, alongside of their property. Once I reach Highway 99, it'll be a simple thing to plant the railway embankment all the way to the bridge. That'll be a good start and give our neighbourhood about a kilometre of fruiting trees that each and every one of us can share.
Can anyone see any faults to my plan?
Long grass is always the major impediment to establishing trees in Southland and there's plenty of that alongside of our roads and streets, but there are ways around that.
Will these trees drop their fruit and stain our pristine footpaths? No and if they did, so what I say, cheerfully.
Will the fallen apples and plums, apricots and cherries attract stinging wasps? No, the birds will get all the cherries and no one will allow a peach, apricot or nectarine to go to waste, not in Southland where such things are not commonplace. The apples will fall - they already do in other parts of Southland, but the rapidly growing home-cider industry will scoop those up (just had a phone call from a bloke living in Chch, wanting to buy cider apple trees as he and his wife are moving to the area and want to grow cider apples. He's already located a press and doesn't want to waste any more time.)
I've grafted a number of my special 'grown from a seed' crabapple, self-named, 'Rob's crab', a beautiful, sweet and large-for-a-crab beauty that I'd like to make available to others and those will be of a size that suits planting, this time next year. I've dozens and dozens of peach and nectarine pits in the soil (they've been there all winter, preparing themselves for rapid spring growth) and those are destined to become public property too (Thanks to the Free Fruit Peddlers for the great ideas).
I ought to thank Armchair Critic also, for reminding me that feet-on-the-ground posts like I hope this one is, can have a ripple effect and galvanise readers into action of the growing kind and after all, that's what I'm all about, despite the fears of many political-tragics who rise to the surface to comment, only when I've pocked the blue hornets nest long enough to enrage the colony.
'Nuff said, I'm off to do a stock take of my fruit tree nursery - I've gone and inspired myself.


homepaddock said...

Fruit trees used to line the street outside the home of a friend in England.

The council cut them down "because people were eating the fruit".


robertguyton said...

Councils, eh!

They need to be shown a better way. Grassroots activity is needed to bring councils up to speed with what the community wants - all done with grace and good humour, of course.

Armchair Critic said...

Gosh, I've just realised I could plant the roadside outside my place. It's fern at the moment and the council just mow it two or three times a year. Can't hurt to ask if I can plant it.

JayWontdart said...

"now gather round space children, a long time ago in these here parts there lived a man, a reeeeeaaaaaaaaaaal character this one, called Robby Appleseed, standing some 4 metres tall. Now Robby, he liked to stride the Riverton highway, tossing apple seeds, guffawing as he went......the particular strain of the delicate fruit? Why, Robby Redheads of course, named after him too they were, for his bright redhead!......"

Shunda barunda said...

I would love to learn how to grow apples, sneaking fruit trees along highways seems right up my ally (or highway as it were).

robertguyton said...

It's as easy as you like it, gentlemen and nutritious too!

Jordan - what happened to my neck? I have a long neck! (had!)

AC, wouldn't hurt at all, I'm guessing.
I perhaps ought to do the same :-)

Sneaking, Shunda?