Diversity is important not only when it comes to the types, but also the varieties of the produce and other plants we grow. Choosing heritage of heirloom varieties helps retain genetic diversity. It helps in safeguarding traditional varietals for future generations and in retaining variety in our food supplies.
When choosing fruit trees for a farm or garden, many people opt for tried and tested commercial varieties. But it makes sense to search out heritage fruit tree varieties for your area. Understanding what these different heritage options can offer yields interesting avenues to explore. Often, heritage varieties offer options with excellent flavour and nutrient profiles. They may be better adapted to specific environmental conditions.
Grafting interesting scions onto reliable rootstocks can help us get the fruit trees best suited to our particular farms or gardens. Often, we can get the best of both worlds, with interesting fruits growing on rootstocks with better resilience, vigour or disease resistance.
Choosing heritage varieties can often help us connect with the traditions and cultural practices of the areas where we live. We can grow the fruit trees that our great-grandparents might have grown. This also connects us with traditional, age-old recipes and practices.
When we grow fruits that are not widely grown commercially, we can enjoy tastes not available in stores. If running a business from a farm or garden, growing these more unusually heritage varieties can give a ‘unique selling point’. And can be a sensible route to take if trying to make money from trees.
If you would like some help or advice as you choose fruit trees for your garden, please do get in touch. I can help you choose heritage varieties for your area, as well as helping you decide where to plant them and creating a permaculture design for your site.