Baby Orchard

A few weeks ago, I got it in my head to try and sprout apple seeds!  This isn’t just a whim, it’s all part of my plan to prepare for the off-grid days we’re working towards.  In wanting to be as self-sufficient as possible, I’m looking at what we’re eating now and how we can produce those things for ourselves.

Apples are a staple in this house, and I really hate buying them from the grocery store, in plastic bags, not knowing how long and far they’ve traveled to get to my fruit basket.  Not knowing what germs, pesticides and other chemicals coat their skins.  It’s really not a green practice.  So having our own fruit trees is really important to me.  There will be other fruits as well – pears, plums, maybe apricots – but I’m starting with apples!

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I started by saving nine beautiful black seeds from a Granny Smith apple, cleaning them, scoring them gently, and dropping them in a glass of water.  I had to change the water quite often because it kept turning a rusty color.  But a few weeks later, I’ve got these cute little sprouts!  All nine sprouted, and I’m so excited!!

I know this is probably not the method expert growers would use, but I’m no expert.  They say “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”…well personally I hate that saying…who the hell skins cats anyway??  But I say, there’s more than one way to sprout a seed. 🙂  They kind of look like little sperms, which I guess is kind of fitting…

I didn’t want to leave them like this in water for too long.  I don’t know if it would have harmed them, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.  My afternoon project (which took all of 10 minutes) today, was to start my little baby orchard.  A quick trip to town and I had all of my supplies…pots and trays from the dollar store, and my Timmies.

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My method isn’t complicated.  Fill 3″ pots with potting soil, poke a hole with my finger, drop in a sprouted seed, cover with soil, and spray with water.  TA-DA!

I chose to pray water instead of pouring water because I’ve noticed in the past that when I do that, it creates holes in the soil.  It may not be a problem…may just be that I’ve got a slight case of OCD…either way, this is how I did it.

I don’t know if I did it right, or if they’ll even grow.  But I’m hoping they will!  The plan is to grow them in pots while we’re living here.  I know it’ll be a few years before they’re even big enough to be anything but a pretty little tree, but that works for me because I don’t want to put them in the ground until we have our own land.

Then I can decide what type of apples I want to graft onto them.  I have to admit, I kind of want to make trees that will produce a variety of apples.  If all nine seeds make it to trees, it’ll be the beginning of a beautiful, and hopefully bountiful, fruit orchard!

And in another step ahead, I plan on keeping all of my fruit trees pruned to a height no taller than 5 feet tall.  This is to ensure than when we grow older, and aches and pains start creeping in, we’ll still be able to easily harvest our own fruit.  No ladders or step stools needed!

Apples on the table

Do you have any fruit trees on your homestead?  How do you keep them healthy and producing year after year?  All advice and recommendations are invited!!

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14 thoughts on “Baby Orchard

    1. Thank you, I hope so too! I thought of waiting and purchasing young trees once we get our place, but I’ve become rather obsessed with paying as little as possible for things. My goal is to build my homestead with little to no money, and because I know that a few things will end up costing quite a bit, I’m trying and planning really hard to find those areas where I can spend nothing, or next to it, all while saving for the big things. 🙂

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  1. I would love to plant an apple tree from seed! We have an apple tree in Phoenix area, “Anna Apples” and they do great but we have to pick them each year slight green before they bake on the tree because of our heat. If you plant from seed btw you will probably have a genetically unique apple – orchards of all the same variety are created by splicing scions to rootstock. But all the better – variety, good luck!!!

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    1. That’s actually what I’m planning…I read that my trees may actually not produce at all if I don’t graft cuttings from already producing trees onto them. I’m hoping to graft multiple types of apples onto the same trees to have an orchard of trees that give me all sorts of apples 🙂 I’m not sure if my plan will work but I will certainly try!

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