Got something resembling a fruit tree in the yard, but not sure what to do next? Santa Fe Botanical Garden's upcoming educational opportunity is one of several in the region this week as green thumbs get ready for the signs of spring. We caught up with Shawna Jones, the garden's adult education and volunteer coordinator, to learn more about Saturday's class with arborist Tracy Neal from 1-3 pm ($15-$20. 715 Camino Lejo, 471-9103).
People might think there is not a whole lot going on the garden because it is winter. What do you do now?
We have a pretty robust calendar of events and it is important to remind, especially people in Santa Fe, that in order to have a lush garden in the summertime, you want to do a lot of prep work in the spring and the fall. You want to be working on your roses and your fruit trees, and we have classes that are timely and we try to focus on what you should be doing in your garden throughout the season while you are in the class. So that way if you come to a class about how to prune your fruit tree, then you go home that afternoon and you prune your fruit tree.
And class participants actually help prune the trees in the garden?
Yes! We want you to be able to practice, and so we want to be the example garden in our community. You get to learn on our trees and then go home and perfect your skills on your own. We have apples and peaches and cherries and apricots. We try to have all the fruit trees that were planted by the Spanish whenever they first got here 400 years ago, but also fruits that we have grown to love. We do not have fruits that do not grow here. … Something else that is specific about our fruit trees is that they on dwarf rootstock, which means these will never be 30-foot trees. These trees are always going to be quite small, because it is easier to manage picking them.
What happens to the fruit?
We donate it to The Food Depot. We have a huge team of volunteers and interns in the summertime, and our staff does it. We try to donate as much as we possibly can because we don't only have fruit trees, but also have vegetable garden as well, we call those agricultural terraces.