Best Resources for Backyard Fruit Growers

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Best Comprehensive Books for Beginners

All About Growing Fruits, Berries and Nuts; edited by Will Kirkman; Ortho Books; ISBN 0-917102-29-0; 1976, $3.98 (in 1976), available at bookstores and garden centers; 8_ x11" paperback, 113 pages, excellent photos, drawings and charts; very practical and easy to read. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

The Backyard Berry Book; Stella Otto; OttoGraphics; ISBN 0-9634520-6-1; 1995; 6x9" paperback, 284 pages, 92 line drawings, 17 charts and lists, no photos, chapters on berry fundementals (site, propagation, nutrition, pests, diseases) and detailed sections for each type of berry. Descriptions of varieties. (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

The Backyard Orchardist; Stella Otto; OttoGraphics;1993; 6x9" paperback, 235 pages, no photos; good book on conventional fruit. (nominated by Joe Volk, 1999)

The Fruit Expert  D.G. Hessayon; Transworld Publishers; 1995; $9.95 in bookstores; ISBN 0-903505-31-2; 7x9" paperback, 128 pages, 151 excellent color photos, numerous drawings, many charts; practical and clear. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

The Fruit Garden Displayed  Harry Baker, republished 1998; $35; paperback, 228 pages; ISBN: 030435001X.  This book must be ordered from the UK or from Raintree Nursery.  It is an excellent, detailed account of growing many backyard fruits.  Has propagation, pruning and training for a wide variety of fruits, both hard and soft.  A great section on espalier. (nominated by Bill Dailey, 1999)

Small Scale Fruit Production; The Pennsylvania State University; available online or in print from Publications Distribution Center, PSU, 814-865-6713; 1997; 8_ x11" spiral-bound paper; 178 pages, no photos, 30 drawings, 40 charts; contains up-to-date info on available and tested IPM (integrated pest management) methods. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

Best Grafting Resources

The Grafterís Handbook; R.J. Garner; ISBN 0-304-34274-2 (nominated by Steve Shambeda, 1999)

Best Periodicals

Pomona; North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX); quarterly, membership in U.S.: $10/yr, $19/2 yrs, $27/3 yrs.; 1716 Apples Rd., Chapin, IL 62628; 6 x 9", 80 pages; usually no photos or drawings except for the front cover; usually 25-30 articles written by members covering many fruits; down-to-earth experience from members. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

Fruit Gardener; California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG); bimonthly; U.S. membership: $21/yr, $56/3yr, $245/life; California Rare Fruit Growers; Fullerton Arboretum-CSUF; P.O. Box 6850; Fullerton, CA 92834-6850; 8 _ x 11", 30 pages, usually the covers and four other pages are full-color; though many subtropical fruits are covered there is also plenty that we can use. Examples: persimmons, pollinating pawpaw, air layering, import regulations, chestnuts, northern wild fruits, soil testing. Each year the focus is on one fruit. 2000 is the year of the avocado, 1999 was the year of the grape, 1998 the palm and 1997 the mulberry. (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

Best Pruning Resources

All About Pruning; edited by Susan A. Roth; Ortho Books; 1978; ISBN 0-89721-198-7; $7.95 in book stores and garden centers; 8_ x 11" paperback; 112 pages, several photos and drawings per page, no charts; clear specific information on trees and techniques. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

Pruning and Training; Brickell and Joyce; ISBN 1-56458-331-7 (nominated by Steve Shambeda, 1999)

Pruning Techniques; edited by Alan D. Cook; Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Inc., 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225; Vol. 47, No. 1, 1991; 6x9" paperback; 96 pages, dozens of photos and drawings and several charts; good academic reference. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

Best Web Sites

Back Yard Fruit Growers;; excellent site done by our own BYFG Bill Dailey; lists upcoming events; photo gallery showing training methods, apples, pawpaws, and other fruit; links to many other related sites; loads really fast, too! (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX),, sections about the annual meeting, Pomona magazine, the library, interest groups, links, etc. (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

California Kiwifruit Commission,; excellent source for info about A.deliciosa, the fuzzy kiwi; sections on nutrition, recipes, international news, info for retailers, etc.; does not load as fast as BYFG page. (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

Best of the Rest

Apples, by Thomas Burford; Burford Brothers, Monroe, VA 24574; 1991; 8_ x 11" paperback; 56 pages, no photos, several drawings; excellent descriptions of over 325 apple varieties; resource for identification and selection of varieties. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

Apples; by Roger Yepsen; W.W. Norton & Company; 1994; ISBN 0-393-03690-1; $17.95 in book stores; 5 x 6" hardback; 255 pages, over 90 watercolors by author, no photos or charts; Roger is a BYFG; his work is poetic and informational. (nominated by Don Ziegler, 1999)

The Apple Grower; A Guide for the Organic Orchardist by Michael Phillips; Chelsea Green Publishing Co.; White River Junction, Vermont; 1998. Phillips owns and runs an organic commercial orchard and apparently is successful. His book is just jammed with tons of information. He must have tried everything and so he knows from experience what works. (nominated by Bill Schearer, 1999)

Backyard Fruits and Berries; M. Smith; ISBN 0-87596-638-1 (nominated by Steve Shambeda, 1999)

The Book of Apples; Morgan and Richards (nominated by Steve Shambeda, 1999)

Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates; by Robert Kourik; Metamorphic Press, 1992; ISBN 0-9615848-2-3; 8x11" paperback, 118 pages, 10 photos (7 in color), 66 line drawings, 12 charts. A complete and very detailed how-to book on drip irrigation (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

How to Make $100,000 Farming 25 Acres; Booker T. Whatley; The American Botanist, PO Box 532, Chillicothe, IL 61523; ISBN 0-929332-07-05; 1987/1996; 8x11" paperback, 180 pages, 79 black/white photos, 6 line drawings, 16 charts and lists. Covers equipping, crops, marketing. Lots of interesting ideas! (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

The Kiwifruit: A Home Gardnerís Guide; Brown and Beutel; University of California, Div. of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 6701 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608-1239, 415-642-2431; Publication #21469 $3.00; Published in early 1990s?; 8x8", 14 pages, 1 photo, 9 line drawings; Best resource with very detailed instructions how to train and prune kiwi vines. (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

Kiwifruit Enthusiasts Journal Vol. 6; Pilarski and Glanzman; Friends of the Trees Society, P.O. Box 4469, Bellingham, WA 98227, 360-738-4972, $17.20; 1992; 8x11", 192 pages, 31 photos (13 in color), 90 line drawings, 5 charts. Outstanding resource on every aspect of kiwi growing. (nominated by Les Beachy, 1999)

Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook; J.T. Stevens (nominated by Steve Shambeda, 1999)

Preventing Deer Damage; R. Juhre (nominated by Steve Shambeda, 1999)

Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention; Lee Reich; Addison Wesley Publishing Co.; $12.00 direct from author; 1991; 6x9", 273 pages; Excellent detailed information on a large variety of unusual fruits. (nominated by Joe Volk, 1999)

Nominate Your Favorite books, periodicals or Web sites.
Send the information below to Les Beachy; 4028 Judith Rd.; Dover, DE 19904-1946; fax 302-492-1061; email

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