Skip to main content

Dwarf Pear Tree

~ People in suburbia see trees differently than foresters do. They cherish everyone. It is useless to speak of the probability that a certain tree will die when the tree is in someone's backyard. You are talking about a personal asset, a friend, a monument, not about board feet of lumber.~ Roger Swain

As an urban farmer I have to be very conscious of the limits of my property. Part of my goal this year has been to extend my harvest season and to introduce more fruit trees to the Bossy Hen Homestead.  In an effort to honor this goal my family planted two dwarf pear trees on my sons birthday.

Pears are a wonderful tree to grow. They are hardy from zones 3 to 10 depending on the variety you choose. This year we planted a Bartlett and a Karl's Favorite in order to increase the chances of pollination by offering our local bees more than one variety of pear to scamper on.

When planting keep in mind that healthy soil means healthy plants. We composted rabbit manure in the area where we had decided to grow our trees for a few months to prepare the soil. If possible you will want to make sure that you establish your trees in a sunny location and space them approximately 10-12' apart. When fully grown your dwarf pear can reach heights of 8-15' depending on which variety you decide upon. The rule of thumb is that you can look forward to 1 to 3 bushels of fruit in return for your investment each year.

Some things to consider when choosing to grow fruit trees is that standard varieties may take longer to mature and produce fruit but they also tend to live much longer than the dwarf and semi-dwarf variety. They also rarely need staking as do some dwarf trees. The obvious benefit to the little guys is that they are perfect for the homesteader with limited space or for those that want to see a return for their investment at a much quicker rate.
Investing in the future with our future

By planting trees on your property you are not only creating a source of fresh fruit but are providing habitat for birds and other beneficial creatures as well as creating a natural wind block for your home and providing a shady location to relax under during the peak heat of summer.



Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead. Last, but certainly not least, you can also find his work at Tobias Alan Whitaker

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Swedish Flower Hen

The rare Swedish Flower Hen has a unique story. Called Skånsk blommehöna(Bloom Hen) in their native country of Sweden this landrace breed was thought to be extinct in the 1970's. (The term landrace refers to the fact that S.F.H.'s were free to develop for nearly five hundreds years without interference from man, so to speak). But in the late 1980's the Swedish Poultry Country Club located isolated flocks in the villages of Esarp, Tofta and Vomb. The gene bank that was eventually created by the S.P.C.C. was successful and there are approximately 1,300 Swedish Flower Hens currently in Sweden.

While enthusiast of rare breeds continue to work hard to increase the numbers it is painfully obvious why they slowly fell out of favor nearly 100 years ago. Though rare and visually stunning they cannot equal the number of eggs some of the top laying hens produce in a peak yearly cycle. Swedish Flower Hens average around 150 eggs over the course of 12 months. Compare that with the nea…

In Winter

I enjoy winter when it arrives at the homestead. Though the gardens are long since dormant there is still plenty to do.The rabbits and the chickens need constant care. A couple of times a day I have to break ice from the animals water and make sure they have enough warm bedding.

I don't mind though. No matter how cold it gets. There is poetry in the garden during summer. Birds sing with triumphant melody. Soft summer rains baptize new growth. But the winter features a more solitary form of art. For the most part there is a resonating silence that is a canvas for the occasional temperamental gust of wind and snow. These same squalls force the breathe from my lungs and scatter the frozen mist before my eyes. Then, once again, there is silence. As any good steward I try not to disturb this peace. If anything, I try to move unnoticed among it.

When it is cold enough the trees will produce an individual moan as they threaten to splinter in the darkness of the woods. They all have their…

The Land of Plenty

The idea that I am about to present to you is certainly nothing new. Wonderful organizations such as Ample HarvestPlant a Row for the Hungry and countless food banks and pantries across the country have been confronting the issue of hunger in our communities head on for some time.

Food insecurity is a cornerstone of the human condition. A little research will lead you to discover a long history of charity in opposition. For example, the seventh century Irish Benedictine monk St. Fiacre who was a master herbalist eventually settled in France and practiced a reverse tithe by keeping 10% of his harvest while giving away 90% to those less fortunate.

Life is complicated, as we all know. There are no easy answers to any of the problems that plague our society but there are some very simple issues that could be addressed that could in turn have a ripple effect on a number of other dilemmas such as poverty, health and even violence.

According to the USDA 40% of the $161 billion dollars’ (yo…