Episode-1317- Building the Backyard Orchard — 62 Comments

  1. Have you tried the tree “Moringa Oleifera”?

    It has edible tuberous roots fern-like leaves, and seed pods resembling musician drumsticks. It is fast growing and possibly the most nutritious of all leaf crops, the leaves are 7% protein and have extremely high levels of folates, vitamin C, carotenes, calcium, iron, and niacin. The seeds yield an edible and high quality oil. Very tolerate of drought, for info on this tree see:

    • I have some kernels and will try it this year. In our climate though it likely will have to be treated as an annual as it is doubtful that it can overwinter here.

  2. My first podcast I listened to from you. What an amazingly great job you do! I just ordered Seaberry plants a month ago! So informative! Thanks!! I will be listening to the rest!

    • Thanks for giving me a shot and welcome to TSP. It is always great when a first episode matches a listeners interests. I am about to be out of town until Wednesday next week, some stuff will be uploaded but no official episodes. There are 1300 plus though in the archives.

  3. I have a Meyer Lemon I started from seed about a year ago, it is indoors and about 8″ Tall

  4. The power company decided it was okay to cut down a 20 foot mulberry where I’m living now when they were putting up a new pole. I was angry at first but then once I realized how many shoots were coming out of the stump I was excited about how many mulberry trees I was going to be able to propagate from the cuttings.

  5. Chinquapins are native to West Virginia so I do not know how much further north they grow. They can be purchased for around a dollar each through the West Virginia forestry division here.

    • Nice.
      They’re native down here as well in South Eastern Louisiana. I’ll say though that I haven’t personally seen one.

      I bought 3 from Florida.

  6. Hey Jack, loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) are awesome and have a lot of nutritional similarities to citrus, but are in the rosaceae family and definitely not citrus. The kumquat (citrus japonica) is similar in size, shape, color and even common and Latin name, but is the only citrus between the two.

    Can’t wait to listen to the show, I always love these permaculture ones. Thanks!

    • Yeah I was going to say this myself. If you look at it you can tell right off the bat “this ain’t citrus”. But they’re an awesome compliment.

      They’re excellent for a year round hedge as well.

      • I wanted to ditto on the Loquats not citrus but kumquats are point. And also, to point out that Loquats even though cold tolerant, do very well down here in zone 10b/11a. There is a beautiful young Loquat across the that has nearly ripe fruit begging me to trespass, lol.

        • Kumquats are pretty awesome themselves. They’re the only fruit that will take you into a full year harvest. (obviously unless you live in the deep sub-tropics, tropics).

  7. @Frisco, TX
    Meyers Lemon – RIP after 2013-2014 winter, passed quietly inside the greenhouse.

    Mexican Lime – Lost all leaves inside greenhouse, not dead but it won’t be fruiting, so he too shall face the ax.

    Early blooming plumb lost all flowers on the frost we had two Saturdays ago.

    Jack, I wonder if the avocados you mentioned will bear fruit. They may not die, but they may not fruit either. I have not seen avocados of any variety fruit north of I-10.

    • Like most things it depends. The avacodos are something we just learned about and it is a lets see if we can do it. Hell if Holzer can grow a lemon in the alps we should be able to in north Texas. Greenhouses do little to actually protect things from cold unless heated or insulated. We will have to play with heat traps, bouncing sun, etc. to try to make it work. I’ve also considered keeping on in a big pot, where it can be moved to protected areas, especially since a heated and permanent green house is going in this year.

    • The big thing with avacados is having the pollinator right. If you dont’ have the pollination you’re not getting any avacados.

      I went and spent a little time researching the varieties. Mexicola is an excellent pollinator for Hoss. We’ll be trying out both.

      The pollinators are generally cold hardy (it appears to be down to 18ish, basically good cold hardy citrus) but the very tasty ones (like Hoss) are up around 32. Unfortunately you can’t just have pollinators. They (as I read) flip flop when they do their shedding/receptiveness.

  8. Oh boy do I love me some loquats. I screwed up my first batch and it was loquats in heavy syrup. Best damn ice cream/oatmeal topping I have ever eaten

  9. I have just picked wild Loquats for the first time, this year we picked over 30 Kilos and processed into amazing Chutney and fermented the rest for distilling into a fruit schnapps (Its legal to distill where I live ; ) They have to be the best wild crafted fruit available in the spring when no other fruit are available.
    I have planted over 60 seeds and had good germination which will be planted into my hedging systems and Food Forest. ( I may graft known cultivars onto the seed root stock or I may just take a punt with the wild genetics and see what mother nature brings forth.

    Go Jack, you are right on the money with all your podcasts, Good luck at Permaculture Voices, I hope you have a blast

      • Yes, they are delicious! Tastes kind of like the sweet and sour green apples in miniature, but not so crisp, and fuzzy like a peach. Oh, by the way they are more closely related to apples being in the order Rosales, but then so are : roses, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, pears, plums, peaches and apricots, almonds, rowan and hawthorn, jujube, elms, banyans, figs, mulberries, breadfruit, nettles, hops and cannabis.

  10. I love those BBC shows.

    Its kinda sad that the only thing Americans seemed to have adopted from English manor houses was the lawn.

    Anyway thanks for the great episode Jack…I hope we see more of these shows in the future…I love learning about new plants and varieties.

  11. @Jon (McBrayn) – Thanks for posting the links to those shows on the Wiki! I started watching the Tudor Monastery Farm series last week, but I didn’t realize how many other series there were as well. Nice have a place to jump to all of them from one spot. I’m thinking that the WWII farming series will be really interesting as it’s much more like what many of us are dealing with–reclaiming land that isn’t being used for farming and making use of urban spaces.

  12. Accidentally cut some of my 20 year old Turkish hazelnut trees last winter while I was out pollarding my red Alder.

    Turns out these hazelnuts had strong epicormic growth and now I have hazelnut bushes on top of 6′ poles.

    Accidental win!

    Jack I’m surprised you didn’t mention support trees.

    I understand entirely your reason for presenting this podcast the way you did, deliberately leaving permaculture out of it. However I would argue that support trees are just as PC, or not, as wood chips. Weyerhaeuser up here doesn’t care about PC, but they leave or plant new Red Alder because they know the timber will do better.

    Hope to see you tonight! Your podcasts keep me awake on my long drives, especially this long one from Seattle to Temecula.

    • Well several of my suggested species are productive support species. Additionally I don’t think you need much in the way support trees in back yard intensively managed systems.

  13. Who wants to work? Yeah, a lot of wasted time and make work crap. When I was in the Navy I remember being put in charge of stripping and waxing a passage way in a barracks building one Sunday. I was given six guys. I immediately told three of them to come back after the first football game was over and got to work with the other three. Myself and one other could have easily done the job and I wasn’t supposed to send half of them away.

  14. Nearly every one of these species the wife and I purchased for our “3 orchards” going in. We got dwarf mulberries at Isons for a good price. I’m going to play around with grafting different varities like pakistan onto it. How cool would that be to have a dwarf bush that gives 4 inch “raspberry like fruits”? We’ll find out if that’ll even work.

    This show (along with yesterday’s videos) total mind blowing. Plans are already rapidly changing and new things are going to be done now. The big one is espalier. We came up with the idea of putting these key limes up against the west side of our workshop (so it’ll get blasted with heat). Nothing is there, never thought about using that spot, but that tree is going there.

    Came up with a rough design in my head of running 2-3 passionfruits up the side of our workshop. It would have to go over a sidewalk so we’ll have to create a like rounded arbor support that it could grow up and over to get to the wall (we’ll then have to make a lattice). Never even considered that idea.

    We’ll be trialing some seaberry varieties as well. If they don’t produce in about 7 years they’re going away. I tell you what, you hit it on the head with the taste. You eat one and you’re like.. “ok… wow what just happened, that was like an entire citrus in a bite”. The chill hours are obviously where I am worrying, but I figure what i might end up doing is if i can get ANY berries/seeds I’ll replant those guys and get a warm loving one. It’ll just take time. But if I can’t even get ANY berries/seeds, I’ll have to move on.

    • Here’s another channel that has full episodes of Wartime Farm, Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Tales from the Green Valley, and Victorian Pharmacy. If you like Victorian Kitchen Garden, you’ll like these other BBC series too.

  15. Good find clayfarmer!
    I added the link to the wiki page and will go back and fill in a description in later.

    I posted the article out at permies too and someone dug up 3 more series I missed about different housing and living situations. I’ve update the articles with links to those playlists.

    -Frontier House
    -Manor House (Edwardian Country House)
    -Northanger Abbey

  16. Great podcast I love these kinds, makes me want to want to go outside today and start planting. You kept confusing Elderberry and Mulberry when talking about Elderberry.

    I also love Elderberry, started planting them this year. Thank you whoever posted on Brink Of Freedom about Elderberry to fight colds and flu. My daughter just had some crazy cough, we gave her the syrup for kids. She has almost fully recovered in less than 2 days. A cold was running through the house a month ago, I started taking Elderberry supplement, only got a sore throat for the day. After that I ran out last weekend and bought a few bushes.

  17. This was a great show and reminiscent of some of the old shows.

    I got some good takeaways like mulching a big area around tree plantings. I just planted some small trees last year. I will need to mulch them alot more while still making the yard look not to raggedy for the neighbors hopefully.

    Grafting is a whole new area that I should look into more.

    Good ideas for new species, mushrooms, and transplants. I didn’t know elderberries where easy to plant from cuttings. A few years ago I spent alot of time trying to find elderberries I could transplant that where the right size which I dug up with a shovel but maybe that was not necessary.

    • @Surfivor re the elderberry propagation. If it is still late winter / very early spring in your area you can take 8 inch pencil thickness cuttings and they will root very easily in a pot of perlite or pumice sand. Just sayin
      Cheers Finster

      • I actually bought a elderberry recently that had some suckers growing from the roots. I just snip sniped on them and put them in a pot. Voila I now have 3-5 plants from one.

  18. Jack-

    I purchased from Bob Wells as well. I had talked to him and the podcast. This was a few weeks ago. He had good things to say about you. He might be a great addition to the MSB for bare root trees.

  19. Great show Jack. Funny thing. You posted this the day after the wife and I decided to plant a tenth of an acre as a high-density tall spindle apple orchard (100 semi-dwarf trees spaced 3 ft apart…trees are on order and should arrive any day). This is on top of the half acre we’re developing as a food forest using the methods you introduced us to. A good reminder that this stuff doesn’t need to be all or nothing.

  20. Great show.. I had great success with mulberry trees using an air stone and a aquarium air pump and 5 gallon pails. a high success rate. You can use willow branches to help the rooting.

  21. Hey jack, you said you were gonna post a video about pruning fruit trees.
    I checked the links and didn’t see the video you mentioned.

    Thanks jack, great episode.

  22. Just to add on to what Jack has already said in the podcast, I’ve purchased from Dave Wilson Nursery for the past 10-15 years. My Charlotte home has a 4x apple, a Santa Rosa plum, a 4x cherry tree, and a white freestone peach. My previous house in Yuma, AZ had a lemon and plum, all from Dave Wilson. Unfortunately, I moved from each home before the trees matured, so I can’t speak for the taste of the fruits.

    • Are you still in Charlotte NC? Know of any good local nurseries? Im not far from there. Thanks

      • Hi Shawn,
        I still have a house out there, as a rental property, but I now live in the Raleigh area. As far as a nursery, I couldn’t tell you. I always bought my stuff online from either Dave Wilson or through (which sells DW’s trees), which I discovered when I lived in San Diego and Yuma.

  23. Does anybody have the link to the Mushroom site that Jack had purchased the oyster and king strophoria mushrooms from. I listened to the audio a couple times and couldnt find the section he talks about putting the sawdust spawn into a jar and keep adding coffee and more spawn until it sprouts a mushroom. He mentioned the source, but I keep missing it or cant find it, thanks.

  24. I have been wanting to start a back yard orchard, didn’t know to call it that until this episode, and trying to figure out what to start with. I like apples and peaches and figured they would do well in NC. After I heard about the paw paw tree and did some research they are native to my area and have never heard about them. I called my wife’s dad and he knew all about them. I found a nursery in VA (about 4 hour drive) called Edible Landscaping. They have some and we are taking a trip there on Saturday to check them out.

    Thanks for all the ideas for different varieties. Im slowing working on the permaculture thing. I NEVER WANT TO MOW MY GRASS AGAIN

    • Oh that place is amazing, they have a really nice selection. Apparently the last time my parents went there (they still live in Viriginia), they spent at least 4 hours picking out trees and bushes and the sales people were so very helpful.

    • If you go to edible landscaping you won’t be able to leave. The surrounding area, is probably up there is nicest in the country bar none.

  25. Jack,
    did you just basically say that I can graft scion wood from my cornelian cherry onto my dogwood tree? I’m trying it…

  26. Jack,

    RE: the “Manor House” as found in pre-WWII England ….

    The very best fictional film I have ever seen which ACCURATELY depicts what life in such a manor house was truly like is the Oscar-winning movie “Gosford Park,” written by Julian Fellowes. The title of the film is the name of the country manor house where the story takes place. As for the time frame of the tale, it happens during a 3-day weekend back in the summer of the very early 1930’s (either 1931 or 1932).

    Screenwriter Julian Fellowes won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for that movie script. He was already a respected writer prior to “Gosford Park.” But after he won that Oscar he became a very hot commodity.

    On a very personal note, I bought a paperback edition of the screenplay for “Gosford Park” from B&N back in 2001, and then spent several weeks watching the film at home on DVD again and again while reading along with the script each time I watched –it’s THAT well written. And I also indulged myself in a repeat-viewing of the “Screenwriter’s Commentary” version of the film on the DVD (Don’t bother with the “Director’s Commentary.” Robert Altman isn’t that interesting to listen to, but Fellowes is an amazing voice-over speaker during his screenwriter’s commentary.) He’s just a drop-dead spectacular writer. And he was hand-picked by the late great film director Robert Altman (the director of this great movie) to write this particular script because Fellowes grew up in England with a unique insider’s knowledge of life in those manor houses. Fellowes himself was not a member of the noble class, nor did he live in a true manor house, but his parents had money and so they were known in English society as being members of a class called “untitled gentry,” what we Americans would call “upper-upper middle class” or “very high-net worth middle class.” And even though the Fellowes family held no titles of nobility, they did have many aunts and uncles and cousins who did hold various titles of English nobility (dukes and counts and lords and earls, etc), so Fellowes and his parents were often weekend guests at such manor houses. And so all through his childhood and teen years, growing up as first cousins with nobility, he saw first hand how those houses operated and what the servants did and what each servant’s role was, etc. But still, Julian Fellowes was very sharply trained by his parents from very early on not to be a snob or to be in any way cruel to the servants. And his parents would often quietly share with the young Julian their own discreet disapproval of the ill-treatment they sometimes witnessed inflicted on the servants by not just the lords of those manor houses, but even by other house guests (house guests who were often blood relations with the Felloweses). Fellowes fully admits that several of the fictional noblemen and noblewomen he writes about are in fact based upon his real aunts and uncles and cousins with whom he socialized at those manor houses, and he depicts them in all their glorious snobbery.

    He writes scripts from the point of view of the various beleaguered servants of such houses, showing their crappy working conditions, the lousy servants’ quarters, and the uncalled-for measures of belittlement and abuse the servants suffer at the hands of their employers (rich assholes, as you called them in today’s podcast) as well as their employers’ house guests (even more rich assholes, most of the time). But Fellowes doesn’t paint the servants as persecuted saints with glowing haloes over their heads either. The servants also get shown in all their true colors as being abusive toward each other too, even stealing from their employers at times. We see the nasty food chain/pecking order in the manor houses, getting a glimpse into who is top dog and who is low-man on the totem pole.

    His scripts are deemed the most accurate in Hollywood as far as showing precisely how daily life was conducted in such manor houses.

    Fellowes is now the creator and executive producer of an ongoing BBC TV series called “Downton Abbey,” also about a manor house, and the title of the TV series is once again the name of the manor house. “Downton Abbey” is regularly broadcast on American public television right now. Superb cast. (I adore the actress Maggie Smith –she always plays a British snob with utter perfection.)

    So … I highly recommend anyone who wants to learn more about those manor houses should certainly go for non-fiction stuff like the “Victorian Kitchen Garden” series you mentioned in this podcast. But anyone seeking a fictional portrayal would do very well to watch the movie “Gosford Park” and the TV series “Downton Abbey.” I am not in any way trying to say that watching a fiction is better than watching a documentary. I am instead trying to say that far too many Hollywood films have utterly inaccurate and uninformed portrayals of English manor house servants, but “Gosford Park” is the rare exception where we can see an excellent portrayal, very well-researched and thoroughly trustworthy.

  27. You mentioned something you dip limbs in when propagating? What was that called? What brands are good? Is it just any part of a limb? You said you then bury the limb and it takes root. Is a certain depth better? Tree’s are expensive I paid $35 for a 3′ tall black plumb last year.

    • Rooting hormone and it really doesn’t matter they are all about the same. For a natural alternative you can make up some willow water,


  28. Jack,
    I couldn’t find any videos on the Dave Wilson home page. After delving into the site I found about a dozen videos on pruning. It would be great if you could link to the video you found so informative

  29. This has to be on the list of my top 10 favorite shows. I had some honeyberry plants in the mail as I listened to this show and ordered some Cornus Kousa and Cornus Mas shortly afterward. All are in the ground now and the waiting game begins. Great stuff.