Monday, August 3, 2015

Anyone can grow fruit!

Emma & Evan Ison digging for potatoes
Tamara and I give our friends fruit plants from time to time. We have given olive trees, pomegranates, and blueberry bushes as gifts. My father-in-law is a man who if he wants something will go out and buy it. For his birthday or Christmas we always struggle to find the perfect gift. Over the last couple of years we have hit home runs in being able to give him things he will enjoy and look forward to. The first home run was a customer of ours brought us some homemade moonshine (if you are an ATF agent reading this the evidence has disappeared). When I gave him the mason jar he whirled it around to check for the beads. The more beads the better the moonshine. He smiled and said there are two kinds of moonshine: "the selling kind and the drinking kind, and this is the drinking kind." The next home run was a wonderful pomegranate bush. He was excited about receiving the bush and even more excited when he planted it; he had a couple of pomegranates on the tree the first year. He by no means is an avid gardener or has farmed much his whole life, but with a good hole and a good plant he is a pro.

Now my mother-in-law (Duane Lane Smith) is a gardener's gardener. We have given her blackberry plants, bunch grapes, and a fruit salad tree.  She grows tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, and just about everything else in her garden. Our children, Evan and Emma, went to Nana's house recently on a school break. Emma loves whole potatoes. However, when Nana went to dig some fresh potatoes to cook, Emma said she would not eat them because they were dirty. I think if Nana had a bigger yard she could feed everyone in Milledgeville.

We have friends that we have given olive trees to. He is a lawyer and his wife is a school teacher/stay-at-home mom. Their yard is full of the usual azaleas, roses, nandinas, etc., but in the corner next to their children's play set is an Arbequina Olive and an Arbosana Olive tree. About once a month he will text a couple of pictures of the trees with olives on them and say "they are getting bigger." They by no means are master gardener's or have years of experience, but with a good hole and a good plant they are an olive growing machine.

We also have friends we gave blueberry bushes to. Their yard in the spring is the envy of all that pass by because their yard is full of beautiful white dogwoods. It is an amazing show of white blooms and entices me to plant some in my own yard.  I gave them three blueberry bushes that already had fruit on them. He is very precise and waited until he found the perfect place in his yard. He is an outside kind of guy and his wife works in the finance industry. While they by no means are horticulturists, I love to hear the excitement in their voices when they tell me about the fruit they have just eaten or how well their plants are doing.

Each year we give some of our friends a bag of fresh muscadines. She is always so excited when she eats them (who can blame her).  A bag of muscadines is such a simple gift but she loves them.  I think my next plant gift may be some muscadine vines for her and her husband to enjoy. They both are in the medical field, but any given Saturday you can find her husband working outside cutting grass or pulling weeds.

So what is the message behind this blog?  The message is no matter how big or small your yard is, no matter what type of plants you have in your landscape, no matter if you do not know what a shovel is or your hands have never been in the dirt...You my friend can grow fruiting plants.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call!

Happy Planting,
Greg Ison
Emma Ison
4th Generation