The lighting is wrong but the shot is perfect!
Here is a most wonderful person sporting a gorgeous organic apple that came from one of our two apple trees. J planted the trees some time before I came to live here. They are grafted so several types of apples are growing from each tree. Unfortunately, when we didn’t have the mind to pay attention to these trees; someone was hired to tend them. They were pruned as if they were ornamental trees. The lower branches were cut off and the branches were encouraged to grow tall. I started to tune into the fruit trees a few years ago. I pruned them; coaxing them to bear fruit on lower branches and taking the top down. It is taking a few years to get them into shape. My methodology was based on intuition and from experience with friends who pruned fruit trees. I asked questions and I read books about pruning. I sheet mulched so that instead of growing grass beneath the trees, I could grow complementary plants to assist in making this little ecosystem healthy. I planted nitrogen fixers and other soil builders beneath the trees as well as insectory plants and groundcovers…comfrey, yarrow, lemon balm, chives, and clover. Last year, we actually started to get fruit but the squirrels took every last apple. This year, even more young fruit appeared. I thinned them so that the energy of the tree could be directed to nurturing the remaining fruits. I didn’t bother to spray the trees with anything organic or non-organic. I don’t know why, but the squirrels didn’t really bother with the apples this year. Now, they are too big for them to carry off! J says the trees never produced apples like these before! The green, granny smith type apples are the most plentiful and very delicious. Today, we filled a dehydrator full of apple slices so that we can enjoy these apples for some time to come. Michael Phillips has provided us with a great resource in his book, “The Holistic Orchard.” I have so much more to study especially with regard to understanding the cycles of pests and disease, cycles of tree growth, and how a healthy tree is nurtured. Listen to him talk about his approach here.