Save the World — Grow Fruit Trees from what you eat!

A 10-page zine collecting information on how to grow trees from fruit seeds. That way you, too, can help to save the world! While eating something delicious! I’ve been working on this zine a little while as a collection of information I’ve uncovered while foraging. After collecting sumac seeds and apple seeds, I thought I could share what I learned!

If you’d like to enjoy this post as a downloadable PDF instead, please access it here. Thank you!
Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/playerprophet#NQKck
itch.io: https://playerprophet.itch.io/grow-fruit-trees

Let’s Grow a Tree!

Portrait of the author holding a sprout!
  • After fires in Amazonia and human expansion, some more trees on the planet will help manage greenhouse gasses and help to save the world! If you’re eating fruit anyway, why not do a little extra for Mother Earth?
  • Food scarcity can be an issue for people facing poverty. Edible food grown from your tree can be eaten not only by you, but by animals and hungry people, too. You can donate fruit surplus to a food bank.
  • Connect with the environment. Every time a seed breaks out into the world, you can feel good that you’re doing your part. Not every seed will grow, and not every little green sprout will survive, but failing is a step in learning! The internet helps.

Things to Remember

A drawing of an apple cut in half, revealing seeds.
  • Capitalists don’t want people to grow their own plants. They want us to buy food from them. Many store-bought fruits might have been genetically modified to be sterile. Local, organic options might be more successful. (Destroy capitalism!)
  • Most fruit trees are grown through grafting in order to produce a consistent fruit. Growing fruit trees from seed means that our tree will be more unique and special. What it produces might not taste anything like the fruit it came from, but diversity is good.
  • It may take your tree three years or more to produce fruit. Then again, it might not produce any fruit at all! If you want some, look up how to graft a fruit tree. Still, you grew a tree, and everyone is breathing easier! Congratulations!

Directions

A drawing of a halved avocado, with an arrow pointing out the seed.
  1. Eat your favorite fruit! Enjoy it! It’s delicious!
  2. Seed Care
    • Remove the seed. 
    • Wash the seed. You want to remove any fruit and pulp that you can.
    • Dry the seed. Leave it on a windowsill or fold it into paper towel. Keep it somewhere safe until you start the next process: stratification!
An artistic embellishment of what seeds growing in a plastic paper towel bag might look like.

3. Stratification. Fruit trees that grow in cooler climates will need to “winter”, in other words, kept damp and cold in the fridge for a few weeks. Make sure they stay damp.

  • Use the seeds within a year, as it will lose viability the older they get. (If you don’t have the time, just put them in the ground. Maybe it’ll work out for them!)
  • After germination, if possible, keep your tree inside until it’s a foot tall before planting outside. Plant after the risk of frost is past, when nights stay above 10 Celsius.

Temperate Climate Fruits

Apples!

Drawing of tiny apple seeds.
  • Stratify for 6+ weeks with a paper towel.
  • Plant your apple seeds into pots. Plant outside when frost risk is over.
  • Apple trees bear fruit after 5-8 years!

Peaches, Apricots, Plums, Nectarines!

Pits of these fruit contain a seed inside the shell — kinda like a nut! If you dare, you can try to open them up yourself for the seed inside, to make the plant’s journey easier. A hardy seed should do fine on it’s own, though.

  • Soak the pit in water for a few hours.
  • Stratify in soil and away from other fruit. It may take 2 weeks, or 2 months. Check often for germination.
  • Transplant to a pot. Water when dry.
  • Fruit grows in 3-6 years.

Pears!

A drawing of a sprig of pear leaves.
  • Pear seeds go into a plastic bag with peat moss, and stratify for four months. 
  • Plant in pots and keep inside. Keep pear soil moist.
  • Pears grow fruit when they’re 4-6 years old.

Cherries!

A drawing of a halved cherry, and a sprouting pit.
  • Stratify the cherries for ten weeks in soil.
  • Plant into containers and keep in full sun until ready to plant outside.
  • Takes 7-10 years to bear fruit.

Chestnuts!

Drawing of a chestnut seed with a noodle sprout sticking out.
  • These are a bit different, but pick them up off the ground and take them home!
  • Stratify in peat moss soil for three months.
  • Plant in containers with well-draining soil like peat moss.
  • You need two chestnut trees to pollinate each other to produce more chestnuts!

Tropical Fruit

These fruits will probably not grow outside if you’re reading this zine in Canada. Still, you can grow yourself a lovely house tree. These fruits do not require stratification, since they don’t come from climates with winters. Do, however, wash and dry your seeds.

Avocado!

Drawing of a sprouting avocado pit suspended over water in a glass with toothpicks.
  • Fill a jar with water and use toothpicks to balance the avocado pit in the mouth of the jar. Fill the jar with water so the fat side of the avocado pit sits in the water.
  • If it doesn’t sprout anything within 2 months, try again with a more different avocado pit. 
  • When the stem reaches 6 inches, trim it by half. When it recovers and grows new leaves, plant it in soil.

If you’d like to have an avocado, keep in mind that it will probably never bear fruit.

Citrus & Pomegranates!

Drawing depicting what a plastic bag greenhouse looks like over a sprouting plant in a container.
  • Remove seeds, wash them, and dry them.
  • When ready to plant, leave the seeds in water overnight and plant into well-draining containers. Put a ziploc bag over the container to make a little greenhouse. Put near a warm, sunny window and wait for a sprout.

If you’d like a citrus tree to grow in your Canadian yard, look into Trifoliate Oranges, also called “Hardy Orange” or “Flying Dragon”, for northern climates. For Pomegranates, look for Russian breeds. These will grow in temperate zones, although they might not be what you expect.

What do I do with my Tree?

A self-portrait of the author holding a tree.

Congratulations, you have a sprout! In fact, you might have many sprouts. What do we do?

  • If you own property, this is an easy solution. Plant your tree and watch it grow!
  • If you don’t, many trees can grow inside with good light. Keep in a container, or let winter on a balcony.
  • Give trees away! What an amazing plant to have, and with a good story! Some folks might be willing to pay money for a well-growing sapling, too. They might have just the spot for a peach tree.
  • Guerrilla Gardening! Plant it in protest in empty lots. This is risky since your tree might not see full life, but there are a lot of abandoned spaces where people don’t live, and where people are unhappy to let anything else happen, either. Plant a tree in spaces like these, and there’s a chance it’ll grow into something special before capitalism recolonizes the space.

Good Luck!

Thanks to treecanada.ca for all the work they do in funding and education. Consider making a donation to them if you have trouble growing yourself, and leaving tree growth to the professionals!

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