Fedco tree sale

Before launching into a description of the Orchard Weekend extravaganza this last weekend, I thought I’d report on a trip taken the previous weekend (May 1) to the Fedco tree sale near Waterville. Joshua, Kelsey and I went up Saturday morning, not sure what to expect, and we found the place absolutely swarming with people. In addition to trees they had vegetable seedlings, cover crop seeds, seed potatoes, soil amendments, and the full array of vegetable seeds, all spread out over several warehouses. The bare root nursery stock was in a damp concrete basement of a large barn, heeled in in four rows along the sides and center of the building – for a fruit freak it was like discovering santa’s workshop. We got a Cox Orange Pippin for Joshua and Kelsey’s place, as well as two peach trees and a cherry tree, and several more peach trees to plant between the apples in Five Islands. J&K also got rhubarb, lilacs, raspberries, and hops. I bought a bunch of pumpkin and winter squash seeds to plant in the rows between the apple trees, and some spring wheat – though I think it’s probably too late to get a good crop, Alexis was keen to try growing wheat, so we’ll give it a shot.

All in all, it’s quite a trip up from the coast, but it’s definitely worth it every year or two, and dangerously appealing for a fruit-o-phile. My only complaint is that they tend to run out of stuff (like cider apple trees) during the preorder season, so it’s important to plan far ahead and order in late fall to get just what you want. Most of what they’re out of on the website they’re also out of at the tree sale, though the tree sale did have a number of unique varieties I’d never encountered (including “Boothbay”, apparently from just across the Sheepscot river, which I’ll hopefully get a chance to sample one of these days, maybe at the CommonGround in the fall.

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