Do: Plant a Fruit Tree

One of my children is especially keen on gardening. A few weeks ago we were at Grocery Outlet when he discovered a large bucket filled with a variety of bagged fruit trees. The price: $9.99 each. He rushed over to me and declared he wanted to use his own money to buy a fruit tree. I consented, thinking to myself, "At least this isn't a puppy."

I was rooting for an apricot tree, to pay homage to the apricot groves that blanketed this valley when my parents were children, but my son couldn't resist the description of the Snow Queen Nectarine: "Sweet and very juicy." I don't have a green thumb, so we read, reread, and chanted the instructions (before as well as throughout execution): unwrap, soak, dig, plant, water, prune. The tree has now been planted for one month and the photo below is evidence that it is thriving.

It doesn't matter where you live in Silicon Valley—if you have dirt, sun, and $10 to spare, why not plant a fruit tree? Now is the time of year, and if your dirt could speak, you'd hear it begging for some meaningful work to do. I'm so frugal I didn't even buy a bag of soil, we just dug a hole in the ground. If you live in a second story unit, you could always plant one in a large pot and put it on your balcony.

Before technology took center stage, this region was endearingly called The Valley of Heart's Delight and San Jose nicknamed The Garden City, because everything planted here flourished. We're testing the claim, and so far, so good!

Snow Queen Nectarine Tree