Well its been a few years in the making and finally the big leap into the unknown begins. 2016 has been a big year for putting in some mid term and long term perennials. Started out the year collecting scion wood from the local chapter of Rare Fruit Growers Association and also from my own stock of fruit trees that were planted a few years back when I first started working at Peaceful Valley. Ordered 100 root stocks and went with 50 apples and 50 pears. The foothills near Auburn was once considered a Pear belt until the blight came along. I focused on blight resistant root stock and multiple varieties of both apple and pear for an elongated harvest. This was my first attempt at grafting and I figured it to be a minimal investment when compared with how much bare root trees are (about $20 or so). Compared to $1 for the root stock and the scion wood being a matter of collecting for free makes for a great way to start an orchard or food forest for a minimal investment. So far the majority of grafts are taking but the one problem I did not account for was migratory birds and specifically the Canadian Goose. They nest near the river and during mating season they are all over the property and in our pond hanging out with our Peking ducks.
Along with the fruit trees I have planted artichokes (Imperial Star which was planted from seed – this variety produces in its first year unlike Green Globe) as a dynamic accumulator, mulch producer and food source. In alternating rows I have planted beds of strawberries as well as asparagus that will utilize two perennials that can occupy a close space and ripen at different times of the year.