Backyard Fruit Growers

The informal association of Backyard Fruit Growers began in 1990 as an exchange of information for amateurs and others in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who wish to produce excellent fruit for the family, and to respect the backyard environment. Members get together four times a year at seasonal meetings (Winter, Spring Grafting, Summer Orchard Tour, Fall Apple Tasting) to share ideas and fellowship. Members also receive a newsletter, Backyard Fruit Grower, which has a circulation of about 350. If you live within driving distance of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and if you would like to participate in our seasonal events, subscribe to the seasonal newsletter to receive schedules and directions. To subscribe to the seasonal newsletter, print out this online copy of the Backyard Fruit Growers brochure, and send $15 for 2 years membership and snailmail to BYFG c/o Nils Peterson, 6666 Van Winkle Drive, Falls Church, VA 22044.  .

Contact Backyard Fruit Growers by emailing Andy Weidman, Vice President BYFG

Please direct all comments and suggestions about this webpage to Bill Dailey (
Last updated 1/8/18

Winter 2018 Newsletter (members will need to use the same username and password as for Woodbank)
WOODBANK 2016 is online!

Members can download a copy of Woodbank 2016 in pdf format by clicking here.You can get the depositor list here.
(password is in your current Newsletter)

BYFG 28th Anniversary Winter Meeting January 20, 2018
Presents a “Trio of Great Professionals”
Featuring “Insects in an ever changing World” or “Insects: We can’t live with them or without them”
Farm & Home Center, Lancaster PA

@ 9:15 am Doors open…..
@ 10:00 am is Jim Eisenstein, presenting his version of backyard growing using his organic experiences using Surround, and other noninvasive measures.
@ 11:00 am we have John Baker Coordinator PA Spotted Lanternfly will present the ongoing problems we are facing with the Spotted Lanternfly.
@ 1:00 Dave Biddinger will start off the afternoon session with “Conserving Pollinators in Your Orchard"
@ 2:30 Dave will present “Conserving Biological Controls”

Pawpaw Tour at Ted Weeden's on September 23
reported by Steve Shambeda

Twenty people attended the Saturday pawpaw tour at Ted Weeden's house. It was a very hot day in the upper 80's. After the property tour, we enjoyed sitting in the shade listening to Ted expound on the pawpaws. His presentation was punctuated with the background noises you would expect hear: birds chirping, insects and bees buzzing, and the occasional "THUNK". this "THUNK" is the sound a ripe pawpaw makes when hitting the ground. Ted was even heard to say - That's a Shenandoah! , though they all sounded alike to me. Ted had collected and labeled about 50 large pawpaws. We tasted at least 10 varieties of pawpaws. Some were commercially known names like Overleese, Mango, Shenandoah, and Davis. Mango seemed to be well liked of that group. Ted has several seedlings of named fruit that he has grown out and also has his own crosses. His tree named OS1 (cross of Overleese and Sunflower) was also well liked. Ted said the quality and taste for a particular tree does seem to change as the tree matures and of course the growing conditions vary from year to year. Everybody left with pawpaw fruit in their hands -"some picked them up and put them in their pockets". A good time was had by all. Thanks Ted for a wonderful afternoon !

Future and Recent Events

Current BYFG Newsletter subscribers and their families are invited to the following events. Please check the website for schedule changes and corrections. See your Newsletter for driving directions and the schedule for each day - Thanks

2018 Dates
Jan 20 Winter Meeting, Farm and Home - Lancaster, PA.
Feb 17 Winter Workshops Farm and Home - Lancaster, PA.
March 24 Grafting Workshop, Landis Valley Museum.
April end Planning Group Meeting, Oregon Dairy, Lititz, PA
May 11-12 BYFG Tree Sale, Landis Valley Musueum
August Mid Summer Tour (contact Chris is you would like to host it)
September Mid Pawpaw Tour(s) Location TBA
October 6-7 BYFG/LVM Tasting, Landis Valley Museum
October TBA BYFG Private Tasting, White Oak Nursery
November TBA Planning Group Meeting, Oregon Dairy, Lititz, PA

2017 Dates
Jan 21 Winter Meeting, Farm and Home - Lancaster, PA. 10am to 4 pm.
Feb 25 Winter Workshops at Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster. 10 to 4.
March 18 Grafting Workshop, Landis Valley Museum.
April 29 Planning Group Meeting, Oregon Dairy, Lititz, PA
May 12-13 Tree Sale/Herb Faire, Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster PA.
August 26 Summer Tour at Gerry Ebersole's place in the Lancaster area.
September 23 Ted Weeden's Home Place Pawpaw Tour of his dozens of named varieties.
September 24 Holtwood Pawpaw Tour through the wild stands on the Susquehanna.
October 7-8 BYFG/LVM Fruit Tasting, Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster, PA.
October 14 BYFG Private Fruit Tasting, White Oak Nursery
November 18 Planning Group Meeting, Oregon Dairy, Lititz, PA.

Past Events:
2016 Dates
Jan 16   Winter Meeting, Farm and Home - Lancaster, PA
Feb 27    Winter Workshops, Landis Valley Museum
March 19    Grafting Workshop, Landis Valley Museum
April 29    Planning Group, Oregon Dairy - Lititz, PA - NOTE DATE CHANGE
July 30    BYFG Contra Dance, Landis Valley Museum
August 13    Summer Tour. Chris and Sarah Manning's place in Steelville PA.
September 17    Pawpaw Tour, Ted Weeden's place only this year.
October 8 & 9    Harvest Days, Landis Valley Museum
October 15    BYFG Tasting, White Oak Nursery, Strasburg, PA
November 12    Planning Group Meeting, Oregon Dairy


Woodbank 2016 is a listing of cultivars fruited by members of the BYFGs who offer to swap scionwood with other listed BYFGs during our seasonal get-togethers. Deposit your varieties with Steve Shambeda by 3/1/17 to be included in the 2017 update. Woodbank 2016 will be free to all depositors who list in 2016. If you are not yet a listed depositor, you may pick up Woodbank copies at seasonal meeting for $5.00 each. Members can also download a copy of Woodbank 2016 in pdf format by clicking here. You can get the depositor list here. You will be prompted for a username and password which you can obtain from your most recent issue of Backyard Fruit Grower newsletter or you can email Chris. The username/password is the same for the newsletter.

Visit Other BYFG Orchards

The following BYFGs invite you to call or write ahead and arrange a visit:

Links to other pages of interest to BYFGs

New Additions to the site: (BYFG'ers can email me suggestions to add to our pages) 

Highly Recommended Sites

Online Catalogs, Sources, etc

Bees, Bees, Bees


Fruit Production Information Links

Gardening Links - Seeds

Miscellaneous Pages of Interest

Orchard Links

Comments or suggestions for including other useful information or links to other web pages can be sent to Bill Dailey