Fruit Tree Polyculture

Apples and gourds onsite at the Stillwater Permaculture Gardens

This years polyculture experiment included an unplanned partnership between the apple and the dipper gourds.

The gourds were started from seed in April and tranplanted outside in the summer. This particular gourd bee-lined it straight to the apple tree and  trampled a nearby aster on its way to the low hanging branches of the apple. By late august it reached a sunny spot about 10ft up the apple and all its hard work paid off. It then grew and multitude of leaves and flowers up in its new sunny home and the rest is obvious in the picture.

The timing was impecable as the early season apples were perfectly ripe just as the gourds began to spread out in its late summer burst. You were never an apple dipper gourd, you were a dipper gourd! And you apple are an apple, forget me not! Alas this dear old apple seemed quite OK with the seasonal attachment.

It is currently early October and the Gourd is still basking in its sweet sunny success(destined to become both soup ladles and drinking gourds). What of the best supporting role? Certainly aster take the prize: trampled by the once-sun-deprived gourd, flowering and inviting pollinators all the while.

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