Date: 11 September
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ LOW
We’ve written about trees on a few occasions, but this action is a little more specific
We all know that trees are one of the keys to resolving CO2 build up – whether it’s by protecting existing trees or planting new ones. Even as individuals. in our own gardens, we can all contribute.
From our guest writer Anna Dawson in the UK
Getting green-fingered does more good than just providing you with a juicy apple to munch on for a snack, there are a whole host of environmental benefits to growing your own apples (and other fruits) and planting an apple tree or two in your garden.
Approaching growing an apple tree
Firstly, do some research into the variety of apple you would like to grow. This doesn’t need to be in-depth research – at the end of the day an apple will be grown, but if you particularly would like the apples for cooking instead of eating, then make sure you buy the corresponding apple tree.
Use a trustworthy source to purchase your apple tree from, a local farm may be selling some or a garden centre nearby.
Alternatively, you can choose to grow an apple tree from seed. This requires a little more attention but is even better as is even more organic and less insecticides have been used to grow the apple trees.
Now, we want this apple tree to SURVIVE. Some tender loving care is needed to ensure your apple tree is fruitful.
This link to The Royal Horticultural Society is a great read to start you off: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/fruit/apples
What are the benefits for apple lovers?
- Organic apples – this one is pretty clear, nothing better than eating your own home grown juicy apples!
- Apple crumble / apple pie – you can use your own grown apples in baking.
- Cider – this is for the adventurous ones with a bit of time to spare, but is more organic and has a smaller carbon footprint than if you purchase
- Saves money – it’s cheaper to grow your own!
What are the environmental benefits
- Your growing trees act as a carbon sink (check this earlier article out)
- Less food miles and lower carbon footprint for your apples – we need to be cautious of where our food comes from as the further it has travelled the larger the carbon footprint and environmental impact, and there is no better way to resolve this issue than to grow your own apples, as they have only travelled a few metres from tree to table
- No packaging – our food is increasingly being packaged in excess plastic, so by growing apple trees this reduces your consumption of plastic and helps towards a more sustainable lifestyle
- Support bees and other pollinaters – the more trees, the more flowers for bees to pollinate and this helps to maintain very fragile ecosystems
- Insects – an increased number of trees provides more habitats for species and by planting apple trees, we can help increase biodiversity.
What if I don’t like apples?
- Give them to a neighbour, it helps them and the environment too
- Use them in baking
- give them as a gift
- Leave for the birds and squirrels to enjoy – if you are not a fan of apples or don’t pick them all, you can support the wildlife in your garden, which will be very grateful for some extra food
- Trees add to the local aesthetics
- Trees are great our wellbeing – trees can help us feel calmer and nature is proven to improve our mental health, as is the practise of gardening
- Take a look at pears, cherries and plums as easy-to-grow alternatives for your garden
The easiest way to live, as we know, isn’t always the best way to live. By planting a couple of apple trees, your gardening pays off as you can use the rewards to make delicious dishes and help the environment and wildlife too.
Give it a go and who knows, fruit growing could be your new eco-friendly hobby!