This entry is a tribute to the love and understanding my wife has for me. So, we have a 450 fruit tree orchard, that's a lot of fruit trees! I told my wife that at our new house in Roach, Missouri, I wanted to plant fruit trees. She said OK, but the real surprise came when I called to order the fruit trees and realized if you bought 49 of one kind then they were in the $20-30 dollars each range. Ouch! But, if you bought 50 of each kind, they were priced in the $5-8 dollar range. Two of my favorite words are BULK DISCOUNT. I love starting a conversation with "how much for a pallet?" or "can I be a distributor?" You may not know it, but every fruit tree must have a pollinator. A pollinator is a tree of the same kind but a different varietal i.e. kinder crisp apples and candy crisp apples. So, 50 apples 2x, 50 peaches 2x, 50 pears 2x, 50 cherries 2x, and an odd number of apricots and plums and pretty soon you just ordered a lot of fruit trees. That was 5 years ago and we have had fruit, but also disappointment. This year we removed the 5 walnut trees on 1 acre of remaining land within our fence. Quick note about walnut trees; they're beautiful but grow slowly and exude a toxin that is poisonous to other fruit trees. Here's the worst part, the toxin can remain in the soil for up to 5 years! Yes you are following my thoughts exactly, how can we plant more fruit trees if this toxin is going to kill every tree that we plant? Then, I met the end of my wife's patience for me. I was told NO more fruit trees! The nerve right, right? I feel like I might be losing some of you. OK, OK, no more fruit trees, your right, I've taken this whole thing just a little too far. So, then this virus comes along and the food supply could be affected, so, we planned on a vegetable garden to meet our future food needs. If you haven't been following along please reread the sentence with "bulk discount" in it. Luckily, here in central Missouri, I have been fortunate enough to make some really great friends, John Owens is one of those friends. He had a 5 ft. rototiller* that I have had my eye on for some time. *See video for details. I borrowed this tiller and the very first time I used it I used it in a circle between 3 walnut stumps. I really was just playing around but upon making a very nice circle I had to measure it. Right? It was 92 ft by 96 ft diameter, pretty close huh? So, I got the idea of a circle garden with a sprinkler in the middle. Just so happened to be a sprinkler with a 45 ft. radius. Yes, maybe your doing math right now, and yes, it would work perfectly. Once the measurement had been done, then we had the math to do. Area = 2x radius x pie. Mmmmm, pie, wait I mean roughly 3.14. Yes, I see my problem too, the radius is not the same so I met in the middle 47x47=2209x3.14=6936.26sq ft. WOW! That's huge! Then, we tried to grow some plants from seeds and saved some for planting directly into the ground. Then, we prepped the ground... again see video.
We had some seeds sprout and about half did not. What to do? What is a plant that doesn't have to be replanted every year? what is a plant that clones itself? Hardy? drought resistant ? You guessed it, strawberries! But, how many do I need to fill all this space? Lets see at 12" spacing and rows that are 18" apart, hmmm? A lot! I did circumferences based on starting on the outside of the sprinkler range into roughly the inside row and well, I come up with about 1500 plants! So, I found a farm our area and just called and started a conversion and now, a relationship. He had a lot of plants and wasn't shocked at how many I needed, like a typical midwestern farmer, he said yes!, we can do that or no, we can't do that, but I know someone you can call. Erwin Farms in Bois D'arc, Mo dug them up and delivered them for free! What?! In wonderful containers that will aid our fruit picking in the future. No Charge! I called Stephanie to receive what I thought to be a rightfully deserved WTF? But she said "well at least its not fruit trees". She said,
I guess were in the strawberry business now. Thank you Stephanie and thank you reader. Just keep farming.