Looking for practical, authoritative information on the best varieties of fruits, berries and nuts to plant and where you can buy them? Look no further than the fourth edition of the Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory from Seed Savers Exchange. Our friends at the nonprofit organization in Decorah, Iowa, have already done all the homework.
Their 384-page, definitive inventory references 275 mail-order catalogs and provides 8,750 varietal descriptions and a coded list of the American nurseries that offer each one. The book includes 1,581 varieties of berries, 609 varieties of nuts and 3,076 varieties of apples alone.
Founded in 1975, Seed Savers Exchange is the largest non-governmental seed bank in the United States. Its fruit and nut inventory is eminently practical and filled with useful information to aid your purchasing and planting decisions. Here’s a snapshot of the descriptions you’ll find within:
- ‘Elliot’ blueberry: “Small to medium, firm, light blue berries; 75 per cup. Good, mild flavor when fully ripe. Very tart until 60 percent of the berries are ripe. Consistently yields 10 to 20 pounds per bush.”
- ‘Gilpin’ apple: “Famous old Virginia cider apple. Becomes juicy and tender with a fine flavor in midwinter. One of the best keeping apples. When properly stored, it will keep well into April and May. Origin not certain, possibly in Virginia around 1817.”
- ‘Pineapple’ quince: “Large, smooth, round, light golden yellow fruit. Tart, slightly aromatic, white flesh. Great for jellies, preserves, baking, fresh eating, winemaking and as a zesty addition to applesauce. Named by Luther Burbank for the pineapple-like flavor it imparts to jelly. It took Burbank 15 years and 15,000 crosses to develop this cultivar.”
The Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory hardcover edition is $30.
Just one note of caution: The mouthwatering descriptions contained in this book will make you want to plant one of everything!