Episode-971- Dr. Lee Reich on Growing Fruit Naturally

Lee Reich, PhD and Self Proclaimed "Farmdener"

Lee Reich, PhD and Self Proclaimed “Farmdener”

Lee Reich, PhD is an avid farmdener (more than a garden, less than a farm), gardening consultant, and writer who has worked in plant and soil research with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and Cornell University.

Dr. Reich is a well known author, most recently he published, of The Pruning Book and Grow Fruit Naturally.  He is also the author of 4 additional books.

Lee writes regularly for Associated Press and publications such as Fine Gardening and Horticulture and Mother Earth News. His garden has been featured in such publications as the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living, has won awards from National Gardenign and Organic Gardening magazines, and has been included in “Open Days” tours of the Garden Conservancy.

Lee joins us today to discuss how anyone in the nation can grow fruit naturally by choosing the right fruits and varieties.   We will discuss the most important first consideration in growing fruit naturally and what fruit would Lee would grow if he could grow only one fruit.  We will also discuss how you can eat fresh fruit through most of the winter months and other season extending tips.

 Resources for Today’s Show…

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26 Responses to Episode-971- Dr. Lee Reich on Growing Fruit Naturally

  1. Great show Jack, ever since I bought my homestead nothing but fruit being planted glad to hear about some different kinds of fruit. Great work Cya Brent

  2. Jack how do you spell that cheery tree you guys talked about Niking, thanks for the help.

  3. Great show Jack! Gave me lots of ideas for how to add more fruit producing trees and bushes to my homestead. Also just finished ordering three of his books, and can’t wait to read them so I can get some plants in the ground before late Fall hits up here in Minnesota.

  4. Thanks Jack, hows that rain ? Could use some of that here in Michigan hopefully we get some on Monday like there forcasting.

  5. Great info and interviewing skills, Jack. I’ve listened to every single podcast and I just realized today how very infrequently you ever speak over/concurrently with a guest. Good work, as always.

  6. I didn’t catch much on micro climates, but he said where he is it gets -30. I thought goji berries (zone 6) and paw paw would be hard to grow if it gets that cold

    • I think gogi berries are native to Tibet, and it’s pretty cold there. Gogi may not taste good as a snack, but in tea, soups, or salads, they are a powerhouse of healthful properties.

  7. All I can say is “Wow!”. I definitely did a happy dance when I saw the summary of yesterday’s show. I’m feeling just a tiny bit deflated though because 1) Dr. Reich isn’t my neighbor and 2) I can’t get his books in Braille/audiobook. :)

    When we bought our homestead in 2009, we knew we wanted to get a lot of fruit going. We have old fruit trees here (1 plum, one cherry, and one Bosc pear at this point), and there’s a fence row that’s overgrown with blackberries, but we wanted to add so much more. Problem is, we know NOTHING! We had an extension agent come out this spring and tell my husband how to prune what we have, and we bought some more fruit trees, but we haven’t gotten them into the ground yet on account of this wicked drought.

    I’m trying to come up with a strategy for next year. Nanking cherry was going to be part of this year’s plantings, but after spending $125 on 5 more fruit trees, we didn’t manage anything else.

    Jack and Dr. Reich — very rarely has the podcast left me wanting so much more. This podcast was definitely one of those though. I was thinking, “Man, do I wish I could pick this guy’s brain for HOURS!” Great job, guys!

    • You might also buy the book as a PDF, and have it read to you by text-to-speach software like Jaws, VoiceOver, Orca…….

    • Sarah, He IS good, and I know what you mean, but if you have a state university extension office near you , you may be surprised how much help they can give you, too. Some places hold Master Gardener courses which cover everything to do with growing food or flowers (which attract pollinators , of course.)

  8. WOW! 2 things….
    1. This should go on the Best Of TSP reel.

    2. Can anyone say, “Epert Panel”?

    Awesome show. As a new grower of fruit bushes and trees, I’d like to learn more about pruning. I hear its really important (especially on fruits that won’t grow on old timber), but have no idea how to properly prune anything. I can go on Youtube, but figured this may be a show possibility (Preparing Fruit Trees/Bushes for Winter). Just a thought. Awesome show.

    • “can anyone spell, epert panel”? Too funny! Thanks for the laugh. But seriously this guy would be an awesome addition to the expert panel!

      Jack I really wish you could go deeper with a guest like this. I want details on paw paw planting, growing, site location for example or little tricks and tips to avoid pitfalls with blueberries, etc. How is he suppressing weeds and grass under the trees and fruits? Any guilds he found useful?

      Great interview, just my two cents. Please get him back on the show. Thanks for the TSP – I love it!
      Matt

  9. By the way, I was crushed to hear that the east is not Apple friendly. I have 4 trees in the ground in NJ. I’d love to plant the unusual items but they are so difficult to find and expensive! Paw Paw is really hard to find. I paid $20 each for two trees from Gurney’s (big mistake). When they showed up they were the size of my tooth brush and I have no idea what cultivar they are!

    • Modern Survival

      @mattm, I wouldn’t be too down on it. If you give it a try you might be surprised with your results. They are in the ground so do your best and let us know. Like I said we had tons of old apple trees in PA, despite what Lee said we made a LOT of pies, a LOT of apple cakes and TONs of cider.

    • Mattm, I, too, am in NJ and was also let down a bit when he said apples are hard to grow in the east. I have three trees, two honeycrisp and a fuji. They had about fifty or so apples on them collectively this year, but the squirrels ate them all. And, now the trees are covered with scab. I have guilds around them, but I don’t believe that does much for the scab. I am in the Burlington area.

  10. Great show Jack, his edible landscaping book inspired me to plant over 70 edibles for my personal yard. I love watching the neighborhood kids come over and eat all the fruit, plus they look great! I agree, he would be a perfect person for the expert panel.

  11. Yeah we have so many Apple orchards here in Michigan its like a fall routine going to get cider and donuts. This year is a different story because it got to warm to fast and the buds came out and a heavy frost came and killed90% of this year’s fruit. But Apple trees grow great here.

  12. Great interview. Surprised at what he said about goji (lots more healthy benefits than blueberry or other fruits) compared to goumi (which has tartness like goji). Many of these have to find online as our local nurseries aren’t knowledgeable on. Jack, it would be great to have Marjorie on again or someone who grows fruits in the hot Texas climate or desert conditions.

  13. Can someone tell me the fruit tree mentioned that is basically like a crepe myrtle? I’ll listen again if I have to… I need plants I can plant in the front yard that would fill a similar role.

  14. Thanks for having Lee Reich on! I love his books — it’s only a matter of time before I own them all!

  15. That was a very informative show. I definitely agree that apples are tough to grow (though peaches have to be a close second, at least in the Southeast). I can usually get crops out of them, but it takes a lot of work. I’m looking forward to trying some of the lower-maintenance ones he suggested.

  16. Great Show. On prima cane blackberries: I bought some “Prime Ark” blackberries from Nourse Farms about a year ago. The berries are wonderful. Incredibly sweet and about 1 to 1 1/4 inches. They are very throny though and produce on the second years growth as well as the first. I learned this because we didn’t get cold enough last winter for the berries or fruit trees to get dormant. They’ve done amazingly well here in the Inland Empire of So. Cal. especially considering we’ve had 4 weeks now of temps between 95 and 105 and no rain since March. They have been producing since March and still have blossoms and berries at different stages of ripeness. I’d definitely recommend this variety.

  17. Jack,
    Could you please list the fruits that you talked about, some of them are difficult to hear/translate.
    Also, if anyone knows a nursery that sells these trees in the Northeast, please post. I am concerned that the trees from Georgia might not like our Connecticut climate.
    Thanks!

  18. Thankyou for this show!