One of the plants on the cover of the Inter-State Nurseries (they need to change their name, which in my mind immediately connotes the idea of plants crossing state lines for immoral purposes) that fascinates me is the “Dwarf Fruit Cocktail Tree, amazing one-tree orchard”. Under a charmingly naïf watercolor rendering, it claims that each specimen sports 6 varieties of fruit. It goes on to say, “ Pick nectarines, peaches, plums, and apricots all from the same tree. Have plenty for jams, jellies, canning, eating and freezing. It also assures the purchaser that the first bushel of fruit will pay for the tree (at $19.99).
I have to say I was tempted. It’s a tree that addresses all sort of spatial issues and vitamin deficiencies. Then I thought again. What were the six varieties, exactly, if only four types of fruit were actually listed? Why was the picture a faded watercolor and not a photograph of an actual plant? I am one person, what would I do with the first bushel of fruit, let alone those to follow? Although the idea of spending summer days canning, jellying and freezing sounds quaint, I know my time limitations, as well my freezer’s capacity.
If it was such a great success, why was it not being replicated in other catalogs and nurseries, let alone some foundation starting a program to establish these miracle trees in overcrowded, undernourished Third World Countries? After all, it hardly seemed like they were keeping these a secret. I wanted to go on a Dave’s Garden forum and ask if anyone had any experience with this tree, but was afraid in the back of my head of the ridicule and derision that might follow. For right now I will tuck it away in the “too good to be true” file, and see how I fare with my current modest Inter-State Nurseries order, which would be crossing a state line soon for my somewhat moral purposes.