This past Saturday I woke up early and drove to Rice University to peruse Urban Harvest's 16th annual Fruit Tree Sale. I wore a half-zip sweatshirt. The day before I was wearing a t-shirt around that time and the day after I was in a coat. *insert eye roll emoji* We have previously discussed this crazy thing called Texas weather. Temperatures, precipitation, etc., all vary over the course of a week or even a day. This makes the fruit tree sale even more impressive because each type of tree sold (40+ varieties) is suited for our Houston climate! Although I have lived in Houston my whole life, with the exception of college and grad school, I was completely unaware of this event. It was interesting and, in my opinion, necessary. You guys know that I am all about the homemade food life and I find the prospect of growing my own food to be an exciting and natural next step. I didn't leave the sale with any purchases, though, as my parents are not interested in adding anything new to their backyard but you can bet that I'll start my own orchard as soon as I find my first house! It was hard not to indulge with so many enticing trees for sale including persimmon, blueberry, apple, fig, avocado, goji berry, and Meyer lemon. Additionally, there were some insanely cool trees composed of grafts from different varieties of the same fruit. These are called "3in1s" or "4in1s" and bear either three or four different fruits, often at different times of the year so the owner can experience a longer growing season. Urban Harvest staff members and volunteers were on hand to educate shoppers about their purchases and answer general questions. I spoke to a few staff members in order to learn more about the organization (which is a fantastic one), the available trees, and what exactly a Nectaplum is (more below). If you are interested learning about Urban Harvest beyond my little spill here, visit their website. There are numerous volunteer and learning opportunities available through classes, Farmers' Markets, festivals, and more. Urban Harvest partners with schools to develop outdoor classrooms, helps create community gardens, and provides food education to the public. You can find fruit trees at other times and locations but I like this same for three reasons:
- It's a Houston event.
- The proceeds benefit local farmers as well as the food education initiatives of Urban Harvest.
- The variety is amazing!
3N1 and 4N1 trees
Nectaplum trees...you've probably guessed from the name that these trees are hybrids of plums and nectarines!
Please share your gardening/growing experiences and ask any questions below. Thanks for reading!