Whether it’s rising food costs or just a desire for a higher nutrition rate and taste-quality of their fruit, more and more people are turning to raising their fruit on their own property. And with Fall on the doorstep, which is the best time to plant trees, we thought it would be good to address the issue of fruit-tree gardening (in a nutshell):
Your nursery or state Extension Office can give step-by-step planting instructions along with how to keep trees healthy and producing. For our purposes, we want to look at how to grow sweeter fruit—that’s the point—getting fruit better than we find in grocery stores.
First, fruit trees need a minimum of at least half a day of sunlight each day during the growing season. The more sun, the sweeter your fruit will be. If your trees are in a bad location, consider transplanting when they are dormant in winter.
That said, many times fruit on trees isn’t as sweet as it could be, because the soil they are planted in is lacking phosphorus and potash. It is important to apply a 0-10-10 fertilizer to the soil around your trees in November and again in January to provide these vital nutrients.
During the growing season, feed with a complete fruit tree food once after blooms are finished, again in June, and one more time in September. DON’T overwater, either. either. Allow the soil to dry out a little between waterings. Established fruit trees respond best to deep and infrequent watering.
There’s nothing more soul-satisfying than growing your own food. And besides the amazing TASTE, there’s something to be said for the independence we have when we can provide for ourselves from our own property. Happy growing and bon appetit!
Bananas, orange peel, and pineapple create a melt-in-your-mouth and crowd-pleasing quick bread that works for breakfast, lunch boxes, and gift-giving!
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in banana, milk, orange peel and extracts.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in coconut, nuts and pineapple. Transfer to a greased 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan.
Bake at 350° for 1 hr 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 12 servings.
Download this recipe.
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