BAR HARBOR – Workshops are being offered to help pass along a centuries old trade to help preserve Maine’s agriculture.
C.J. Walke is the farm manager at the College of Atlantic. He’s explaining the art of grafting, a craft that’s been practiced for centuries.
“Grafting is being able to take that one tree and make 10 more trees of that same variety,” Walke says.
Walke explains that when an apple seed is planted, it won’t grow into the exact piece fruit put into the ground. This is because the seed will be pollinated by a variety of different apple trees within the area.
“There’s no way to control that other half of the genetics that are coming into the seed,” says Walke.
One way to get the perfect type of tree you want, is by creating it through grafting.
“You’re taking a piece of fruit from a one-year-old fruit tree, and then we are grafting that by different series of cuts that can be used but splicing that on-to either a root stock which is essentially a tree that’s grown for its roots or we can do it to trees that are out in the field that are already growing.”
Maine has a rich agricultural history and there are a lot of apple varieties that are specifically native to the state.
Walke says grafting also helps to preserve those fruit trees, and keep them here for generations to come.
“There is a lot of work going on right now in the state to bring back the rare and unique varieties.”
The grafting workshops will be next weekend. Both courses require prior registration and supplies. For information about course in Abbot click here . For information about courses offered at MOFGA/College of the Atlantic click here or to sign up for MOFGA/College of Atlantic courses click here.