I am growing edible and medicinal fruit trees and shrubs in containers to be planted in the ground along the west side of the westside walkway on Samoa Blvd in various otherwise unutilized spaces next to the cow field downslope of the road between the two roundabouts. Besides the blackberries, there are only three edible/medicinal fruit trees/shrubs along the walkway; two Malus domestica [Apple] trees and a Crataegus species [Hawthorne] tree.
Here is the Hawthorne in early June with only a few blossoms remaining.
In the height of summer, the Hawthorne is covered in fruits.
I eat a few on my way as I walk into town, and a few on my way back home; but one day as I returned for my second helping on my way home, the tree had no more fruits. Thousands of them were gone seemingly in an instant. Disappointed and perplexed, I looked at the many that were on the ground and I saw little V shapes cut into them… tiny BIRD BEAKS! I knew which birds it was… the only species I knew that could eat so many so fast. A whole flock of little fast moving highly talkative bright yellow birds had come and gotten ALL of the fruits. Oh well, good for them… there’ll be more next year.
So far, I have started Mahonia aquifolium [Oregon Grape] from seeds I have gathered around Arcata, and I plan to start some more Hawthornes from the seeds of the tree already there. The young plants will be protected from the mower with plastic plant guards until they are tall enough to be recognized that they belong there. I am going ahead and making the logical assumption that the people of the City of Arcata will appreciate these efforts, so official permission will probably not be sought prior to planting… hail econinjas!
This project will further enhance the walkway, beautifying and providing a healthy sense of curiosity towards, and thus a oneness with, the environment.
August, 2011: A friend discovered a few Hawthorne seedlings under some Redwood trees where we were mushroom hunting… yes, we were looking for a species that is known to grow under Redwood… The Hawthorne seedlings are the result of birds pooping them out while sitting in the Redwoods. Such is the life of a Hawthorn tree… eaten by birds to be planted by birds… Full circle — Good, the next trees will not necessarily be from the tree I will plant the seedlings near… genetic diversity is a good thing.
~ If anyone would like to provide me with any young edible or medicinal fruit tree or shrub, I will happily include it in the planting, provided it is a species that will thrive in the site’s gravelly conditions. ~
September 2012: I have no time/energy to spare for this little idea… it would be cool if the city were to take it on though… or somebody else! It would be easy enough and people would really enjoy it.