The Italian Prune Tree (Prunus esculentum) is one of the most popular ornamental trees in Italy. It’s not only used for its beautiful appearance but also because it produces large quantities of fruit. These fruits are eaten fresh or dried and they’re considered a delicacy in some parts of Europe. They’re called “pomodoro” which means “five minutes”.
In the United States, the Italian Prune Tree is usually grown in southern states such as Florida, Georgia and Alabama. It’s also grown in California and New Jersey. There are several varieties of Italian Prune Trees available including those with red, pink or white flowers; those with yellowish green leaves; and those with long slender branches. All these types have their advantages and disadvantages.
Prunes are hardy plants that can survive harsh winters and hot summers. They’re easy to grow and require little care. However, they need a good amount of sunlight every day. Prunes don’t like being overwatered so watering them too much will cause them to wilt.
You’ll want to water your Italian Prune Tree when the soil feels dry. If you let it get wet, it may rot or even die due to lack of moisture.
To encourage your Italian Prune Tree to blossom, you’ll want to place it in a sunny area. If there isn’t much sunlight where you’ve planted it, you may need to move your tree somewhere else. Keep in mind that prunes need a great deal of light not only for flowering but also for growing fruit.
To grow prunes you can plant the Italian Prune seeds you’ve collected from the fruit. Some people prefer to plant grafted trees instead. By doing this, you can’t grow unproductive trees since the tree you’ve planted is a hybrid of different varieties. Growing grafted trees is easier; however, you have to be careful with them since they are more prone to disease and die earlier than regular Italian Prune Trees.
When growing Italian Prune Trees from seeds, the process can take anywhere from one to three years. The first sign that a seed has grown into a sapling is when it has its first flower. Prunes trees grow flowers during the spring and are usually pink or white. The flowers only bloom for a few days and the petals fall off after the third day.
Before allowing your Italian Prune Trees to bear fruit, you must make sure that they are at least five years old. If you plant them when they’re older than that, they’ll start bearing fruit sooner. It takes about three to four years for them to grow big enough to produce large quantities of fruit.
Once your Italian Prune Trees are about five years old they should have enough strength to grow their own roots and produce fruit. If you want to grow your own Italian prune tree seedlings, the Italian Prune Tree produces viable seeds that can be planted. Due to cross-pollination with other varieties, these seeds will not grow into trees like their parents.
When your Italian Prune tree flowers, it should be pollinated within the next day or two. If you miss this window of opportunity, the flower will fall off and the tree won’t bear any fruit that year. Bees are usually responsible for this but if you want to make sure your tree is fruitful you can do it yourself.
Pluck off the petals of the flower in your hand and rub them between your fingers. If you smell a strong, sweet aroma then the flower was pollinated with pollen and will likely turn into a prune.
If your Italian Prune Tree flowers but you’re unable to smell the sweet aroma of its pollen, you can try to artificially pollinate it. Take a small, artist’s paintbrush and dip it into the stamen of one of the flowers. Run the bristles through the opening of another flower’s stigma to transfer the pollen.
Ripening your Italian Prune tree can take up to a year. After picking a piece off your tree, it should be left in a cool, dry place with low humidity. This helps to dry the prunes and make them suitable for eating over the next few months.
Once your Italian Prune tree is about five years old, you may begin to sell its fruit to offset some of the costs of its maintenance. Each year your tree will produce more fruit and you’ll have to decide if you want to keep it to eat or sell. It may take up to ten years before your tree’s productivity declines. After that, it’ll be time to replace it with a new one.
You may keep your Italian Prune trees indefinitely as long as they’re able to breed. If you’re careful and attentive you may be able to grow healthy, productive trees every few decades.
In addition to your Italian Prune trees, you’ll want to grow other types of fruit as well. You can have a collection of different varieties of fruits to enjoy and sell.
Melons are a great choice as their vines spread out and cover a lot of space. This means that you can grow more than one variety of melon together without them interfering with each other. The same goes for gourds. Gourds are a little on the heavy side, so you don’t want to be growing anything else heavy nearby or it might get weighed down and break the vine.
Apples grow upright and have a tendency to fall over unless they have support. You may want to plant them near other apple trees so that they have each other for support.
Pears grow on trees but often take up less horizontal space than apple trees. They too should be planted near other pear trees for support.
Peaches grow on the ground so you’ll want to leave about a foot of space between each plant. Peach pits are poisonous when ingested so you’ll want to make sure that no animals, especially your goats, can reach them.
Pomegranates have long, fragile stems that may require staking.
If you decide to go with a single type of fruit, it’s best to also focus on a single hobby. If you grow a variety of trees, you’ll want to stick to one or two hobbies. For instance, you could grow apple trees and silk worms since they require the same amount of care and the silk from the worms can be used to pick up and handle the apples without bruising them.
Alternatively, you can grow a few different types of flowers or vegetables around your home and focus on one or two hobbies. This will let you create a pretty garden and have enough produce to feed yourself with a little left over to sell.
As your garden grows you’ll have to expand your home. You could live in the house you have now and build a small lean-to or add on to the side for your kitchen. This will make it easier for you to cook food for yourself and allow you to socialize with guests.
The more money you have, the larger home you’ll be able to build and the more resources you’ll be able to gather. Take some time to think about where you want your future to go.
Once you’ve made your decision, turn to the corresponding number.
1 – ORGANIC FARM
You decide to specialize in growing delicious organic fruits and vegetables. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers will be used on your farm. The food you grow will not only be delicious, but it will be good for you as well!
You begin preparing the field you’ve chosen by clearing the weeds and planting a crop of corn. Corn is a good choice as it’s fairly easy to grow and can be easily harvested.
Unfortunately, your farm isn’t quite as secluded as you had hoped. Refugees from the city have been wandering out this way and decided to set up camp near the river. They claim they just want to live peacefully, but so far they have been nothing but a nuisance. The men wander over to leer at you and your sisters and the children will steal any unattended crops.
You hurry to plant your corn so you can bring in a fence around the entire field. This will not only keep out the campers, but also any livestock or wild animals that might otherwise disturb your plants. You work long days, but your farm is steadily taking form.
You bring a couple of pigs, sheep and goats to the farm to eventually slaughter and eat. They tend to roam freely around the farm and you aren’t sure how they’re not wandering off. Perhaps you should build a proper fence for them.
You also plant some apple trees. The fruit won’t be ready to harvest until next year, but when it is, it will provide you with both food and drink.
Finally, you go back to town and pick up a couple of young chickens to add to your livestock. You’ll get eggs as well as meat once they’re ready to be slaughtered.
You notice a shop in town selling love potions and decide to buy some. While you aren’t quite sure if they’ll work on the opposite gender, you’re fairly certain they will work on members of your own. You haven’t been able to find a boyfriend or girlfriend yet and are getting a bit impatient. If a little confidence boost in the form of a potion will help you get your love life back on track then it will be time well spent.
Turn to page 39 to see who you ended up meeting or turn to page 83 to see how your farm is doing.
2 – HUNTER-GATHERER
You decide that the easiest way of gathering food is to simply gather it yourself, without the need for cultivating land or waiting for it to grow. You make a hobby out of hunting and animal trapping, regularly going out into the wilderness in search of food.
You take up residence in an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. It’s fairly rundown but you make do. You hunt and trap for deer, rabbit and other animals in the vicinity and always keep your eyes out for any herbs or plants that can be turned into food. After a few months of living here you’re pretty self sufficient.
You continue to live here for the next few years, although things don’t go quite as smoothly as you’d like them to. The problem is, due to the harsh winters in the region you’re unable to head into the woods to search for food as often. You end up having to eat preserved food and herbs instead of fresh meat and vegetables, which doesn’t agree with you.
To make matters worse, the abandoned cabin is starting to show signs of disrepair. The roof is sagging inwards and you constantly have to prop it up with pieces of wood. It won’t be long before it collapses entirely.
It’s around this time you start to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to build yourself a proper house. The problem is, you’re now so used to living here that you don’t want to have to find somewhere else to live. You settle on making the cabin more habitable first, then worry about a new house later.
To do this you need to gather resources. There are plenty of trees around so wood is no problem. You make a list of what else you’ll need:
– Lots of Mud
– Animal Hides (1 or 2 should do)
– Ropes (3 should do)
A few Stones(?
– A Waterproof Boat (Optional)
You can go out and gather the necessary materials and craft what you need, or find someone else to do it for you. Just be careful about accepting help from strangers, it’s not always safe.
Which supplies do you gather?
3-8: BAD ENDING
Due to your own hubris, you have destroyed your chance at surviving the harsh winter. You’re a fool who relied on technology and forgot how to survive without it. The world is now a harsher place.
You have the dubious honor of having the easiest bad ending in the game.
9-12: THE FUZZ
You decide to get supplies and head to a nearby town. You entered this world without a penny to your name, but now you’re practically a millionaire! Or, at least you would be if your money was any good here. Still, you’ve been taken in by the local police force and given a cheap room at the station.
It’s not much, but it’s free!
It’s going to take a while to get used to the new surroundings. Your new job is dull, the town is dull, your room is dull… You go for a walk in the park to clear your head and think about how you landed in this bizarre situation.
You get more than you bargained for however when you’re stopped by a group of thugs.
“Hey pretty boy,” one of them says, “I see you’ve decided to join our team.”
I don’t even know you guys,” you protest.
“You will soon enough. Hey, maybe you like men, that’s fine by me. Let me assure you however, I’m all man.”
“Ew, no! I’m not gay!”
The thugs don’t take too kindly to this answer and start beating you up.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pruning and training systems for modern olive growing by R Gucci, C Cantini – 2000 – books.google.com
Performance of six European plum cultivars on four plum rootstocks growing in a northern climate by M Meland – … Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B–Soil and Plant …, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
Plum pox situation in Europe by AS Roy, IM Smith – EPPO Bulletin, 1994 – Wiley Online Library
Wood density and fiber length in young Populus stems: relation to clone, age, growth rate, and pruning by DS DeBell, R Singleton, CA Harrington… – Wood and Fiber …, 2007 – wfs.swst.org