Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Grafting Tool Review

With the upcoming Grafting Class at the West Des Moines library, I thought a review and "unboxing video" of the grafting tool would be right on topic!  I also mentioned the upcoming video last week, so here we go.

The wind, like always here, was crazy and I apologize for the noise when it got really gusty.
Grafting Tool Review - Unboxing video

After the video I noticed paint coming off the blades.  This could be a place where corosion could occur but keeping the blades clean, and stored with a light coating of oil should extend their lifetime if used sparingly.  If it becomes your workhorse you may be dulling and changing blades frequently enough that the paint flecking off won't be an issue.

The polymer frame, although plastic, should be fine over time, especially if you keep it out of the sun.  Although, this tool might not be an heirloom for your grandkids like the grafting knife, with care and a supply of replacement blades it just might be one you can pass down to your kids.  It should also speed up your process in the years to come.

Like in the previous post, I highly recommend you bring your own knife to the grafting workshop, and to have for future use.  These tools are the real deal and should provide many future trees to be done.

Grab your own grafting tool here.  This is the exact product I ordered and reviewed in the video.

Grab some Parafilm like I recommend in the video, and these other tools and supplies to do more grafting after the class.

We'll see you at the grafting class!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tree Grafting Workshop

That treasured tree on Grandma's farm was a favorite to climb and grab a juicy late summer treat, and the pies she made with them were incredible.  But now the tree is in pretty rough shape, and the entire homestead is going to be auctioned off next year.  Maybe the new owners will cut it down, or the whole place plowed for a couple acres of corn and beans.

Wouldn't you like to share some of those apples with your children or even grandchildren?  How can you save a piece of that treasured memory?  You can do it by grafting!

Grafting a healthy piece of that tree onto a new young rootstock will allow you to keep producing those same apples for years to come.  You'll be able to share with your family and friends, not only the memories, but also the flavor of those apples, and maybe even the pies if Grandma shared her secret recipe!  Maybe you'll make several to share as heirloom trees for all the cousins and grandkids.

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop
presented by Abundant Design & Nine Square Feet
Saturday, April 7th 2018
10:00-11:30 am
West Des Moines Public Library
Millie Knee Classroom
4000 Mills Civic Pkwy
West Des Moines , IA 50265
West Des Moines Library Calendar-
Nine Square Feet is partnering with Abundant Design to bring you this fruit tree grafting class from 10:00am to 11:30am. Jeff Reiland will demonstrate grafting techniques and show you how to care for your grafted trees. Select from popular or historic apple varieties, or bring scion from your favorite apple tree to preserve a variety that has personal significance to you. Each participant will graft 3 apple trees for a materials fee of $30. If rootstock is leftover, you'll have the opportunity to graft additional trees for $10 each. Class size is limited, so reserve your spot by emailing ninesquarefeet@yahoo.com.

If this sounds good, or even if you just want to acquire a new skill, you'll want to make plans to attend this workshop.  During the workshop you will learn how to graft trees and gain valuable hands on experience.

Each attendee will be able to graft three trees to take home.  Materials include three rootstocks, three pieces of scion wood, grafting tape and compound.  Follow the event page for updates, space is limited and there may split it into two sessions.

I highly recommend you bring your own knife to the grafting workshop, and to have for future use.  A utility knife will do in a pinch (even electrical tape and petroleum jelly can substitute for the tape and compound) but these are the real deal and should provide many future trees to be done.

Graft your own later with these tools and supplies
This knife should last you years and years.  This tool probably won't be an heirloom for your grandkids like the knife, but it may speed up your process.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for an upcoming review of the grafting tool!

Maybe you'll eventually try a triple graft for three varieties on one tree!  Maybe even more!

And don't forget our Annual Seed Exchange this Saturday, with returning musical guests Sweet Tater Teronde and Randy Gibson!

See you soon!