Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Art of Grafting

Nimble fingered Jayanti Nand demonstrated three types of grafting at last month's Maui Farmer's Union meeting.  I would love to comment more intelligently on this, but my brains feel like mush because it's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. Let's just say that Jayanti makes grafting look super easy, like anyone can do it, and does it so quickly, it's like giving candy to a baby. Jayanti probably also can tie cherry stems into knots with his tongue, that infamous trick in middle school, and untie shoelaces with one hand. I also feel a twinge of guilt because I keep planning to write clever little write ups for the Farmers Union newsletter but haven't gotten to it yet. 

A successful graft by Jayanti Nand. I don't remember the type of graft though. Watch the video below (scroll down).

What's the value of grafting?
When I was a child, I read a mystery in which the solution involved the LMN tree which was also a pun for elementary. This tree had three types of fruit grafted on its branches - lemon, orange, and maybe tangerine?  They were all citrus fruits. Grafting allows for a crappy fruit tree to produce delicious fruit of a different variety as long as it's related to the tree used for rootstock. So, if you have an avocado tree that produces terrible avocados, and you don't want to pull it out and replace it with another tree, you can simply graft a better variety of avocado on that same tree. You can graft multiple varieties of avocados on one tree, so different branches bear different fruits.

If you really are excited by grafting, you can take a workshop with Jayanti this Saturday. No, I'm not getting paid to share this, and I'm not planning to go either. But it sounds very cool, and I hope to catch one in the future. 

Grafting workshop this Saturday. The last four digits are 7754.


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