Ceremonial Fruit Trees
The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The next best time is today.
Today we planted fruit trees from Bernwode Fruit Trees. A moving in present and I could not think of a better one. 2 Cherries, 2 Plumbs, 2 Pears and 2 Apples. Toby really wanted a Blood Plum, he grew up with this variety in his back garden, but I could not find one on these shores, so we have gone for as dark a plum as we could. They are all rarities. The apples are interesting, Tun Apple and Appleford Serendipity.
Appleford Serendipity is from Appleford Farm, Rivenhall End, just down the road from us. A dessert apple it will ripen in October, which is great as it extends the season. There was only one tree at Appleford Farm, I hope there are many more now. Tun Apple is a very old Essex Apple given to the RHS in 1927 and that’s all they know! Its lovely to be growing these old varieties, preserving them, but is there any point? Well here comes the lecture and for this I consulted www.bioversityinternational.org and paper no 9 ‘Conservation of Plant Genetic Resource’s -P.P. Khanna and Neeta Singh.’
“Recent years have seen an increasing global concern over the loss of genetic resources of crop plants. Future progress in crop improvement and our food security depends, to a great extent, on immediate conservation of the rapidly vanishing crop gene resources and their effective utilisation by plant breeders. In this context, a great deal has been accomplished in the last decade to safeguard the plant genetic wealth which constitutes the natural heritage. However, much still remains to be done in improving the conservation strategies and upgrading the collections, which encompass a wide range of diversity comprising wild relatives, primitive cultivars and landraces, weedy forms, unimproved and modern cultivars, and genetic testers.
The fundamental objective of genetic resources conservation is the maintenance of broad based genetic diversity within each of the species (i.e., intra-specific genetic diversity) with a known or potential value in order to ensure availability for exploitation by present and future generations.”
So in summary if we have a wide genetic base from which to choose our food sources and some dreadful disease wipes out the Granny Smith or Pink Lady we will still have apples to ‘fall back on’ whose genes might not be susceptible to the deadly disease. However, its not just our food sources that are at risk if we wipe out plants, potential. medicine too. We are loosing plants all over the world and we have no idea what health benefits they might bring when we discover them. Its sheer stupidity.
I look forward to eating my fruit, in about 10 years….!