Interesting article, Shelagh. It appears that those who grow fruit as a business find ways to protect the fruit, still relying on pesticides for control. There are some fruit trees, such as apple and pear, where the growers keep the tree cut short allowing them to harvest the fruit without a ladder. Pruning the tree each year is a normal activity. I have observed that in some regions in southern Germany large netting is used to cover an entire field. The cost of this is reflected in the price of the fruit. For non-commercial use, the cost of protecting trees using netting is not practical. Cherry trees do not thrive as well if cut short. Those in the fruit business will continue to search for ways to increase their harvest while keeping costs down. In my limited view, research with effective pesticides will continue as a means for control.
I have one large cherry tree, one pear tree, two apple trees, three plum trees and one peach tree. The yield is intended for personal use. Excess is shared with neighbors. Some of the apples are placed in the cellar for winter consumption and some are made into apple sauce and frozen. Peaches don’t last long and freezing the excess is one solution. We are currently engaged in the picking and preservation of vegetables, currently string beans. Those that are not prepared for freezing are used in a bean salad or simply as a supplement for a given meal. Fresh vegetables grown without the use of pesticides are delicious and healthy.
You may recall that I planted a chestnut tree a few years ago. I was told that it would take about 20 years to produce nuts. The tree is about two meters high and I don’t expect to live long enough to see it yield some nuts. My wife doesn’t agree with me. She says that in another year the branches will be strong enough to hold my weight and that if I climb on it, she will take a picture to show a nut hanging from the tree. I asked her if I was required to use a rope for the hanging. Hmmm. Just another day in the life of two Seniors trying to find amusement in their daily lives.