As I told you when we first met, the main motivation for my urban farming came from pulp. As in, juice pulp that I was throwing away every day after pressing carrots, apples, greens, ginger, lemons and more through the chute of my juice fountain machine.
I threw the pulp into the garbage. I went to the garden store to buy bags of compost to spread across my garden. And then a little light bulb went off in my head. I decided to bypass the garbage and the garden store by turning the pulp into compost. Through worms. And chickens. And rotating bins.
Meanwhile, an even more Captain Obvious revelation was on it’s way.
During my weekly grocery store trips, I’d cruise through the produce department and gather a bag of apples. My motto? Buy the cheapest bag of organic apples available and juice away.
Until one morning when I found myself rinsing said apples while absentmindedly staring out the kitchen window. And I had a major realization. That’s an apple tree out there. In my yard. With apples on it.
I mean, I’m out in the yard every day. I knew there was an apple tree. The fruit falls onto the ground all the time. But this was honestly the first time I actually thought about using it. I felt a bit like an idiot.
And then it became a free for all. When the lower branches were cleared of the fruit, I went higher to pick (and by “I,” I mean Jay, who got a ladder and climbed higher to pick).
We piled the apples into a basket, retrieving far more than necessary, just because we could. And these green globes of beauty became the cheapest bag of organic apples available.
And as this growing season winds down, I also made a big-picture decision. Unless it produces food for myself or my animals, I’m not planting it. I don’t look at that as a restriction, but as an opportunity. So when my local farm store was clearancing out their cherry trees a couple of weeks ago, I bought one.
Jay and I planted it in the front yard, knowing it too will soon produce something on this little plot of land in the city. And this time it won’t take so long for me to get picking.
Love the North Star Cherry! I bought mine from Mother Earth Gardens 4 years ago and it makes me happier every year. Enjoy the bounty to come.
Good for you! We had planted a Honeycrisp apple tree a few years, and it’s just producing. A cherry tree sounds like a great idea!
Elizabeth, you Rock Girl. love your ideas for planting things that you can reap the reward from. Have you considered Strawberry Rhubarb plants???? I’ve made over 50 jars of jam this summer from rhubarb I got from a friend in Church, my kids and grand kids will get the jars as Christmas presents, I’ve sold some at my garage sale, and donated some to my Church sale, and my husband loves it on English muffins, and there’s always p.b. and j. sandwiches. I have the easiest recipe too, 4 cups cut up rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, cook this till the rhubarb is mushy and cooked down, add 1 regular size package of Strawberry Jello, sugar variety,not sugar free, mix and pour in jars and seal. Takes maybe 15 minutes to make a batch. It freezes well so you can have it over the winter. You’ll love it if you try it next summer.