Artist Sam Van Aken uses grafting techniques to create his Tree of 40 Fruit. It’s a stone fruit tree that produces different fruits all summer.
The Tree of 40 Fruit is not genetically modified. Instead, Van Aken has created a hybrid tree designed to continually produce fruit and preserve rare fruit varieties. On his website, he explains: “Primarily composed of native and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially produced or available.”
You can learn more about Van Aken’s Tree of 40 Fruit in TED Talk from last year:
According to Epicurious, the tree was able to produce those almonds that he mentions.
During a time when food biodiversity loss is threatening the future of our food security, Van Aken’s Tree of 40 Fruit is a fascinating possible solution. Anyone with space for a single tree can grow dozens of heirloom and ancient varieties.
Not only does this tree help preserve biodiversity, this idea could really be a game-changer when it comes to growing your own food, couldn’t it? A couple of my friends have peach trees, for example, and they end up with far more peaches than they will ever eat in a summer. Instead of producing more than you need of one variety, you could grow an array of fruits to truly maximize your space.
The Tree of 40 Fruit is growing in an experimental orchard at Syracuse University, where Van Aken is a professor.
More on growing food with limited space: