Drop Everything! You’ve Got To Buy A Tree!

The beginning of May brings with it a yearly event that isn’t to be missed if you’re interested in self-sufficiency, feeding yourself, permaculture and the best food imaginable.


The Fedco Tree Sale is a yearly event spaced over the first two weekends in May.  The first weekend is mainly for people who have pre-ordered trees but is also open to anyone who knows about it.  The second weekend, that’s this one, is ‘open to the public’ which means it’s the big one that Fedco Trees advertises to draw in anyone who may be interested in planting and caring for their own fruit trees (and lots of other types of trees too).

Here is what Fedco Trees has to say about the sale on their website.

“The annual Fedco Tree Sale features a huge assortment of fruit trees, fruiting shrubs and vines, ornamental trees, ornamental shrubs and ornamental vines. Much of what is listed in the catalog will be on hand, plus many plants not listed in the catalog.”

In case you, for some crazy reason, don’t get their catalog and haven’t already gone through with a highlighter and made an insanely long wish list, here is a link to their website which offers a searchable catalog.  Don’t print it though.  They have lots on hand at the sale.

First thing you'll need is a catalog, conveniently piled by the big bay door!

First thing you’ll need is a catalog, conveniently piled by the big bay door!

In the interest of full disclosure, in case you aren’t a regular reader, I graft and grow fruit trees for Fedco Trees.  Last year I only sold a few dozen trees so my interest in you visiting the sale isn’t really monetary.  Rather, my interest, as with this blog, is in you eating more local food and there are few better ways than to go out to your yard and pluck a ripe apple from a low hanging branch of the rare or heirloom variety you plant this spring.  Or perhaps to send the children out to the blueberry bush with a berry box and ask them to bring back a quart for your cereal or the freezer.  On second thought, if you’re sending children to pick blueberries, you’d better plan to get more than one bush.  No child can resist the ‘one for me, one for the box’ mentality when it comes to fresh blueberries off the bush in their own backyard.

I made it to the Fedco Tree Sale last weekend because I ordered ahead of time in order to get a few things I wanted to get in the ground as soon as possible.  Long-term crops that I intend to harvest for many years.  Strawberries and Asparagus!  I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year, since moving to our new farm, planning and drawing and scheming and imagining what I want the gardens and grounds to look like and, more importantly, taste like.  Who can resist the idea of walking out to their own gardens in June and picking oodles of mouthwatering, bright red, strawberries?  Or the strong pull of Asparagus, one of the first things you can eat in the spring that will actually make a meal (you can only eat so many chives!)?

With such an assortment of offerings, the Fedco Tree Sale could have you setting yourself up for year round, fresh fruit from your own yard.  Asparagus to break the long winter, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, hardy kiwi, apples, pears (both fresh and storage for your root cellar to get you through the winter – then back to asparagus again!) you name it…it’s there at the tree warehouse just of the highway.  To be sure, they offer ornamental trees and shrubs too but I’ve always thought edible landscapes offered the most important ornaments of all, those that adorn our plate.  Local Food.  Eat well – be well.

Ryan Parker

About Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker is a farmer, writer, artist and musician. He currently lives in Central Maine with his wife, two children, a golden retriever, some pigs and chickens. He raises pastured and forested animals and grows a diverse range of vegetables without synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or taxpayer subsidies.