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Fruit Trees & Berry Bushes = Frugal & Self-Sufficient

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blankMarch’s hot weather has been replaced with cool, rainy days in April – just as the Farmer’s Almanac predicted! The cold weather put a damper on my gardening fun. It’s so windy out in the country – add that wind to cold, dreary days, and I have NO desire to get out there to work.

But all work has NOT ceased out on our little homestead. Last fall I ordered several fruit and nut trees from Trees of Antiquity. A friend and I ordered together to get a volume discount. And the trees arrived the first week in April. Of course, we waited until the absolute worst weekend weather wise we’ve had in quite some time to plant them. I did not have my camera, but imagine if you will, winter parkas, rain, and wind. It was ugly. But here is the end result:

blankEight fruit and nut trees that will help increase our self-sufficiency. The two colossal chestnut trees are purely for my enjoyment – a harken back to my childhood in Germany. I had to buy two because they needed a pollinator. It will be fun to watch them grow and see if they are what I remember!

I loved ordering

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankJess says

    Oh, I can’t wait to see how your trees turn out. We’re still waiting to find out if the house we want will get accepted (short sale…ugh) but we walked a nursery last weekend and picked out all the trees and bushes we want – lots of berries and citrus. It’s so hard to wait!

  2. blankkaye says

    I was wondering how your tree’s were. I have been trying to find a local source for fruit trees, without any luck. It seems I may have to go up into MN to find anything decent. I hope yours do well!
    I am hoping to put in some apple tress this fall( if I can find any). 🙂

  3. blankjennifer says

    hi, i just found your blog via your link on an oregon cottage. i love your use of bed springs as a trellis… that is what that is right? i just planted 10 more fruit trees in february.. it is exciting to anticipate all those apples (6 trees were apple) made into cider, applesauce, and of course just eaten. good luck with your trees.

    • blankMichelle says

      Actually, I think both trellises are old gates. The cooler looking one we found on our property. The ugly one we got out of my husband’s dad’s barn! 🙂 Good luck with your trees as well! 🙂

  4. blankAthena at Minerva's Garden says

    It will be really neat to watch those trees develop. I grow fruit trees as well, and they are not an instant gratification type of plant, but they will be growing and providing fruit for many years once they’re established. In the meantime, you vegetable garden looks wonderful, and I love your pea trellises!

  5. blankCara Ivey says

    I’m proud to have actually kept my vegetable plants alive this year! (so far…) I have a couple of potted tomatoes (I’ll plant more ine a couple of months), bell peppers, jalapenos, green beans, summer squash, zucchini, cukes, thyme, basil, cilantro, and parsley. The house we moved into has a giant fig tree, 2 pear trees, and 3 Japanese Plum trees. We were loaded down with plums, and the pear trees are full of baby pears! I need to learn how to can.

    • blankMichelle says

      Yum, Cara! The hardest part to canning is getting started, I’ve found. It’s not really difficult. You just need to find the tools (look at thrift stores & yard sales) and get the Blue Ball Book – canning Bible! 🙂

  6. blankJennifer says

    We don’t have a lot of space for fruit trees, but we do have an apple tree and a cherry tree. The cherry tree isn’t producing much yet, this will be the third summer we have had it. The apple tree is very old and because we don’t spray we don’t get very good apples. But I usually get enough to make apple jelly each year.

    I think planting perrinial fruits and veggies is a great way to increase self-sufficiency and lower the grocery bill long term.

  7. blankBarb @ A Life in Balance says

    I’m anxious to hear how your fruit trees do. We heavily pruned 2 dwarf apple trees this year to see if we could get them to produce more fruit. One may be too diseased. If we need new trees, I’ll try Trees of Antiquity

  8. blankJami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Ah, Michelle…the lure of fruit trees. It’s a love/hate relationship with some of them, that’s what I’ve learned. It’s hard to get good apples if you don’t prune them right and spend a lot of time/effort figuring out how to keep bugs and scab off of them- organically. We’ve just sorta left them alone now and use what we get for applesauce. I’ve yet to get more than two misshapen pears from our 5-year old tree, even though it’s loaded with blossoms each year and the tree down the road (which of course gets no care) had tons. Ugh. I did manage to get about 30 plums last year, though, from our Italian plum.

    I hope you figure it out and can give me pointers in a few years! 🙂

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