By our latest count, we are making approximately 690 varieties of fruit varieties freely available at the 2015 Lane County Propagation Fair.
We have an especially strong showing in targeted fruit diversity at this year’s event, with a particular emphasis on locally-proven, disease-resistant varieties. Local fruit enthusiasts have been busy in recent years decoding the long-term ecology of some huge, genetically diverse collections – such as Nick Bottner’s in Yoncalla, and the USDA repository in Corvallis – which, because they are local, afford us deep comparative insights into the performance of about 6,000 varieties of fruit trees.
Many of the highly disease-resistant varieties we will have at the fair are unknown to the trade and compare exceedingly favorably with the latest cultivars. For example, our team of old timers rates Akane – a modern apple variety very-popularly touted by commercial nurseries for its disease-resistance, most commonly along with Liberty and Chehalis – as a second- rather than first-tier disease-resistant apple, because it tends to suffer during the first part of the season where scores of first-rank disease-resistant apples we have compared against it, organically in the PNW, do not. Old timers consistently tell us that disease-resistance is the defining, but not only characteristic, determining great fruit.
We will have fine-tasting, handsome, annual-bearing, disease-resistant apples – spanning maturities and other qualities – in abundance at the fair, along with a highly-targeted selection of other fruit types. We are especially strong in grapes and pears this year, too. Many of these varieties are old, named, foreign cultivars unavailable anywhere else in the country; and many are recent releases out of modern U.S. breeding programs, hiding behind a number rather than name.
The fair is free and entirely participant driven. We have no vendors. We sell no fruit trees, and all scion and seed – hundreds of varieties – are free. We charge a nominal fee of $3 per rootstock should you wish to graft trees or have trees grafted for you. You don’t need to bring anything to the scion exchange/seed-swap to participate in it.
Here are our working lists of fruit varieties available at last year’s fair.