Mid-December Thrills: A Few Nights In Bed With This Guy


My complaints?

  1. The umpteen things I order from Fedco Trees always arrive, bare-root, at the worst possible moment in the beginning of May, just when I’m thinking, "If I don’t get this vegetable garden rolling, I will commit hari-kari." 

What I am ordering this year?  More than I can afford.  My husband has been trying to persuade me to take out half the back lawn in my city yard in order to plant more edible stuff at our primary residence.  I think it’s a plot to get me to sell my country house, so I’m resisting a little for show.  But probably just for show.  The idea of planting fruit trees that would never survive a winter in the country in the balmy urban climate of Saratoga Springs, NY is nearly irresistible. 

In addition to scheming about sweet cherries and apricot trees, high on my Christmas list is pawpaws!  I’ve never tasted one.  "Develops a delicious custardy vanilla flavor," says the catalog.  My kids would like that.  "Large drooping tropical-looking foliage."  I would like that.  "Prefers light shade and rich well-drained soil."  Oh, for God’s sake, it’s perfect!  Where do I sign?


  1. Thank you Michele. I just downloaded the tree catalog from the Fedco website. Can’t wait to start reading and dreaming in this cold Minnesota morning!

  2. I have started reading the catalog and on page 3 it says,”John writes the tree and shrub descriptions and Susan writes tender bulb and perennial descriptions.”

  3. About Paw Paws…they are native here and we had a good group growing wild at our last residence in Tennessee. We tasted the ripe fruit, it had the consistency of overripe bananas. That did not appeal to me or my neighbor as we tried them, don’t know about your kids. However, a reason to plant this tree is that it is the main food source for the caterpillar of the zebra swallowtail butterfly, a real beauty.

  4. You may not have the time for a pawpaw, either, Michele. They are horribly slow growers. Your kids (all of them) will be in college when the things set fruit. And they hate being moved (they set down an enormous taproot) so getting a big one won’t work either.

    They’re native here, too. The river that runs by my house, a town nearby, various other placenames, all PawPaw.

    But don’t let that stop you. I have a few growing in my yard: I expect a harvest in a scant 15 years now! But the leaves are really tropically quite cool.

  5. Will be ordering Fedco cat asap, per ur orders. Ahhh… persimmons & pawpaws… both native here in northern IN(almost MI), and both cool enough(zonal pun) to include in your garden for a variety of reasons, and seasons, even if you never eat them. But some persons’ over-ripe bananas are another person’s custard bananza. And don’t forget to check out Michael McConkey’s Edible Landscaping catalog, from Afton, VA. (ediblelandscaping.com) & his music too! Talk about bedtime buds… they invite you to get in their plants.

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