After Monday night's edible landscaping action at Sustainable Ballard, coupled with a conversation on gardens over at One Green Generation, I got a little excited and decided to head over to my local nursery to check out fruit trees. I have some money burning a hole in my pocket that I got from a writing project so what better to do than reinvest in sustainable, edible plants?
Well, from there I enlisted myself in a little plant therapy and stocked up for the season. I've been wanting to get these trees for over a year now and, well, there's no time like the present.
I ended up getting an Arbequina Olive tree that I'll keep potted to control how big it gets. While it takes 200 olive trees to make a decent amount of olive oil, you only need one to cure your own olives. I probably won't be harvesting enough olives in the next few years to produce any amount of significance, but I have plans to cure them myself. They are quite bitter without curing, but curing gives them a mild, smoky flavor.
I also got a tea plant, or Camellia sinensis, as I was inspired by Ingela and her tea plant at the meeting. I'll prune it to keep it at 4 feet tall and about as wide since I don't want a gigantic tea shrub. My husband loves tea and even though I doubt what I make will end up being anywhere near his favorite Earl Grey, at least his source of caffeine will be extremely local. I might try experimenting with tiny amounts of bergamot oil to create my own Earl Grey Lavender blend.
While I was at it, I picked up two columnar apple trees: a Northpole and a Scarlet Sentinel. The apples on these trees grow along the main branch and they pretty much grow straight up, although you can get them to spread a bit. Mature columnar apple trees average eight to ten feet tall and only about two feet wide. The fruit on them is normal size, but the tree itself takes up much less space.
Oh, and I may have picked up a few broccoli starts.
As usual, I'll keep you up to date on how the plants are doing and how the curing and tea making end up going.