Newsletter editors: Chris and Sarah Manning
5276 Steelville Rd.
Steelville, PA 19310
Interested in sharing practical information and experienced advice with friendly local people about growing good fruit in your backyard?
Who Are We?
Backyard Fruit Growers started in 1990 as a quarterly assembly and exchange of information for amateurs in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who wanted to produce good fruit for the family, propagate heirloom varieties, try new varieties and flavors, and respect and improve the backyard environment.
Seasonal meetings now attract old-timers full of wisdom as well as first-timers full of wonder and eager to get started. We have lively discussions, hold demonstrations of pruning, grafting, planting, spraying, training, visit local backyard orchards, taste the harvest in the fall, and try to pass on the knowledge and skills to the next generation.
An informal and volunteer organization, BYFG does not have a
central library. The best way to learn is to meet others, ask a
lot of questions, and participate in events as scheduled in the
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5276 Steelville Rd.
Steelville, PA 19310
Annual Schedule of BYFG Events
January Winter Meeting
Practical presentations for the beginner. Focus groups meet to discuss topics of individual interests such as espaliers, food saving, bees, apple varieties, pawpaws, insect and disease control including organic options, etc. The annual ten-minute business meeting and a preview of the years events precede a guest speaker on a fruit-related topic. Held at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center. Bring a bag lunch and visit with other BYFGs.
Basic information and training in areas such as apple pruning in the LVM orchard, seed saving at the Heirloom Seed Foundation, fruit tree spraying, planning a home orchard, bees, and other topics. Held at the Lancaster Landis Valley Farm Museum. Bring a bag lunch and visit with other BYFGs.
March Grafting Seminar
Hands-on training from experienced BYFG old-timers on how to graft your favorite apple or pear variety to the correct root stock. Grafting supplies, roots, scions, printed information and personal advice available. Graft and carry home several little trees to plant in your backyard. Held at the Lancaster Landis Valley Farm Museum. Bring a bag lunch and visit with other BYFGs.
August Summer Tour
Tour the backyard orchard of another BYFG. Swap ideas with other BYFGs. Practice bud and chip grafting of apple, peach and pear trees with hands-on demonstration and written instructions. Trade scions. Bring a bag lunch and visit with other BYFGs.
September Pawpaw Tour
Join our carpool to see and taste native Lancaster County pawpaws in the backyards of a dozen BYFG hosts. Save the seeds and plant your own pawpaw trees!. Bring a bag lunch and visit with other BYFGs.
October Harvest Days
The annual Harvest Days event draws thousands of people to Landis Valley Museumís depiction of an 1800ís rural German farm. BYFGs help staff the LVM Antique Apple Market of quince and apple taste testing. Taste the old varieties - compare to the modern apples. Samples of antique varieties are sold by local BYFG growers. Watch how to make apple butter and cider, and join other harvest activities.
October BYFG Tasting
Bring samples of your own harvest to the BYFG tasting table with over a hundred other varieties of apple. Taste pear, kiwi, grape, pawpaw, and other fruit as well to learn what flavors you like and plan which varieties you will graft and plant in your own backyard in the spring.
Woodbank, an annual listing of hundreds of cultivars grown and swapped by Backyard Fruit Growers includes:
APPLE, APRICOT, BLACKBERRY, BLUEBERRY, CHERRY, CURRENT, FIG, GOOSEBERRY, GRAPE, JOSTABERRY, KIWI, MEDLAR, MULBERRY, NECTARINE, PAWPAW, PEACH, PEAR, PLUM, PERSIMMON, QUINCE, RASPBERRY, STRAWBERRY, and others.
so many apples, so little time...