The Greenmantle Fruit Collection
|For more than
two decades, we have offered a selection of temperate fruit varieties
to both local orchardists and mail-order customers all over the United
States. We began with a focus on our own bioregion, but have always
been willing to make our varieties available to fruit enthusiasts in
diverse parts of the country. The history of pomology is largely about
the relentless transfer of varieties from region to region; almost
everything we grow here in Northern California came from somewhere
else - and not that long ago. So while we believe our stock will prove
best adapted to California and the Pacific Northwest (west of the Cascades),
we do have customers in every other region of the U.S. where temperate
fruit can be grown. We are committed to working with fruit growers
to assure that their choices - of variety, rootstock, and time of shipment
- will be appropriate for their conditions.
The inspiration for our fruit collection derives in large measure from the old homestead orchards of Northern California. Even in abandonment, these old trees can convey a century of accumulated wisdom to the attentive observer. And the fruit is good. Over the years, we have managed to visit dozens of such orchards. Two historic plantings have had special significance for us: the original homestead orchard (c. 1895) we "inherited" when we bought our place in 1972; and the experimental orchard of Albert F. Etter (1872-1950), pioneer fruit hybridizer of Ettersburg. The opportunity to explore, document, and expand upon the Etter legacy has been an incredible privilege for us......
What began as a local project soon grew in scope, as we became part of an international network of fruit variety collectors. This fellowship with colleagues in organizations such as the North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX), the Home Orchard Society (HOS), and the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) has provided scionwood of outstanding fruit varieties - old and new - from around the world. We have also benefited from the cooperation of government and university-sponsored repositories of fruit tree propagating material. And as we expanded the range of our collection, we gained a fresh perspective on the unique value of our own local heritage.
Even as we have acquired all sorts of exotic and far-fetched varieties, our stock in trade remains the fruit that performs well here in Southern Humboldt. We enjoy a climate that is kindly disposed toward a wide range of temperate zone fruit. In addition to our list of diverse apple varieties, we offer a selection of our favorite pears, Asian pears, quinces, figs, European plums (prunes, gages, mirabelles, & damsons ), sweet cherries, sour cherries, and peaches. Descriptions along with cultural and historical information may be found in our Greenmantle Catalog ($5.00 ppd.)
Excerpt from the Greenmantle Catalog © 1983
William Faulkner was an artist with a profound sense of place. This anecdote, borrowed from critic Guy Davenports's Geography of the Imagination, illustrates that he was as interesting and roguish a character as the Mississippi denizens that populate his novels:
One Spring evening, Bill Faulkner picked up a lady friend in his car and announced that he was taking the woman to see a bride in her wedding gown. After driving around the back roads for some time, Bill surprised his already puzzled passenger by leaving the roadway and , without explantion turning into a meadow. Then he switched off the headlights, continuing cross-country in total darkness. Suddenly he brought the car to a stop and flicked on the lights. BEHOLD THE BRIDE. There, standing placidly in the harsh beam of Faulkner's headlights: An apple tree in fullest bloom......
All original text and images © Greenmantle Nursery 2005