The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tempted by heritage apples

Heritage apple tree nurseryWhen Mark and I got married in December, I told everyone that we didn't want any presents.  We try to stay out of the trap of consumerism, and the truth is that we're not really at the Newlyweds Putting Together A Household stage where masses of kitchenware, etc., would be useful.

But my friends know me far too well.  Two of them already have found the chink in my armor, dangling fruit trees and bushes in front of my nose until I snatched them with gleeful thanks. 

Yesterday, Mark and I went to pick out two apple trees --- a wedding gift from his aunt --- from a heritage apple nursery in Lee County.  Despite having no website and no obvious means of advertising (even his sign on the highway was down), this guy was obviously doing a booming business.  He had over 500 heritage apple varieties and a thousand plus grafted trees, all eight inches apart in long, irrigated rows.  He does most of his business in scionwood, though --- selling little branches off of his carefully collected varieties to folks who want to graft them onto their own rootstocks.  The business seems like a great example of a way to make good money off of a small lot of land, though the guy also told me that he works a full time job.

We chose a little Early Transparent (one of my all time favorite apple varieties) and a Virginia Beauty (a bit randomly because I thought we were only getting one tree and hadn't done research on a second variety.)  Along with our Stayman Winesap, Winter Banana, and Striped Rambo at home, this should round out our apple orchard.  Thank you, Sue Ella!



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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