Indian Township Rec Center to Host Fruit Tree Workshops
Healthy Acadia and the Indian Township Food Pantry will offer two free fruit tree workshops: “Pruning Apple Trees,” on Saturday, February 10 (snow date: February 17); and “How to Graft Apple Trees,” on Saturday, March 10 (snow date: March 17). The workshops will take place from 10am to 12pm at the Indian Township Recreation Center.
The workshops are part of Indian Township Food Pantry's efforts to create a community garden where people can learn how to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, as well as how to cook and prepare healthy and delicious meals with locally produced food. In early spring 2017, food pantry staff and Regina Grabrovac, Healthy Acadia’s Washington County Food Programs Manager, began pruning and then grafting scions – young shoots or twigs - of old varieties of apples onto the wild apple trees located near the Recreation Center. Grafting is the uniting of two different tree or shrub varieties or stocks together in order to create a more desirable fruit. All named apples, such as Gala (a fairly new variety) and Wolf River (a variety from Wisconsin developed around 1875), were developed through grafting. In Maine, grafting is done later in the spring – April to May - when the tree's sap run is more established.
Pruning is best done when trees are still dormant- from late January into March in our region, depending on the winter. Apple trees are pruned both for ease of fruit access and to encourage increased fruit production. A few well-pruned apple trees can produce enough apples to supply several families with fresh apples, cider, vinegar, sauce, dried fruit and more. Trees that are not pruned will experience decreased fruit production and reduced fruit size, and the fruit is often located higher and higher in the tree.
“Pruning and grafting require only a few tools, and the techniques are simple and fun to learn,” said Regina Grabrovac, who will be leading both workshops. “Please join us! And, if you are already an experienced grafter or orchardist, please come and share your knowledge with the group.” The February 10 pruning workshop will be held outdoors; the March 10 workshop will include an indoor grafting demonstration, with outdoor exploration if time allows. Scion wood will be available.
For more information, contact Regina at 255-3741 or [email protected]; or Janet at Indian Township Food Pantry at 796-2781