Monday, March 24, 2008

Agroforestry As An Agricultural Alternative

#3 Fruit Trees Although many people dream of one day owning and operating an orchard or vineyard in the Okanogan Valley in southern B.C or on the Niagara peninsula in southern Ontario, with land prices approaching $100,000 an acre for good orchard land, it may be difficult to convince the spouse and the kids to make the big jump. What may be come as a shock to some, is that the western provinces can grow a wide variety of fruit trees, shrubs and vines that are commonly associated with warmer climates to the south.

While small fruits such as saskatoons, cherries and raspberries have been the mainstay of rural U-picks for decades, the prospects for apples, plums pears and even apricots are becoming more prevalent on the market gardening scene. The main reason for this shift is the consumer demand for fresh locally grown product. With prairie U-pick apples going for as much as $2.00 a pound on the tree while beef and pork are often languishing below the $1.00 a pound on the hoof, it small wonder why many livestock producers are considering switching sides.

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