Grafting without cutting fingers; pruning to a range of desired shapes and sizes; planting techniques; and learning about different rare and unusual species and their virtues was all the go for this workshop. Pete and Silvia introduced us to the world of rare and heritage varieties and very much dazzled us with their knowledge and expertise in this field. They showed us how to shape, prune, graft, espalier, manage and plant species for good production and how they could be located in the food forest. A range of very interesting species were discussed as well as different sized rootstocks and scions and varieties suitable to Sydney climate.
The workshop was very much presented in the permaculture context and all the things we do in our designs such as putting the trees in the right place for themselves and in relationship to other plants and elements, getting the soil right, mixing up species and so on all very much applied. Keeping them small and manageable is the go and a tree just above head height like “Akane Red “ apple can produce tones of fruit. Anti aviaries are also the go to cage in your fruit trees to prevent losses to birds, possums and bats in can do it.
Pete’s home made cider and fruit wines made from his heritage cider apples and various fruit trees were very popular at lunch time and it was decided we would definitely have to follow this up next year with a cider and wine making workshop.
At the end of the day People went home very satisfied and loaded up with fruit trees and Pete’s manual. The first fruits of the garden have now been planted since the workshop such as medlars; pears; pomegranate; quince; cherries; and cider apple trees and our food forest is starting to take shape already to be completed at the upcoming food forest workshop in Spring. I’m really looking forward to harvesting the cider apples whereby I take out a cricket bat and bash them off the tree to the ground. A bit violent you might say but some might say therapeutic! All in all it was a great workshop and will be repeated again next year along with the cider and wine day.