MidFEx, short for Midwest Fruit Explorers, is a non-profit organization of amateur backyard fruit growing enthusiasts. Most of our members live in the counties surrounding Chicago.
Gene’s 40” apple tree (click to take a tour)
We are crazy about the best tasting, most flavorful fruits that grow well here. We are also interested in growing special, superior and unusual fruits regardless of their appearance or commercial appeal. This includes little known varieties of apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes and nuts; and more unusual fruits such as the pawpaw, mulberry, persimmon, fig, juneberry, Asian pear, and hardy kiwi. Our members locate, graft, propagate, test, grow and swap these superior fruiting plants, and then get together and share their knowledge.
MidFEx has a video depository located at midfex at vimeo.com. Here you will find videos covering topics such as t-bud/chip bud grafting techniques.
- Grafting Workshop: Session #1
Event Description: MidFEx members only. Find out what grafting fruit tress is all about. Learn the the whys and hows with experienced grafters. We will also have an impressive amount of scion wood available for grafting. If you’d like more information about grafting see the Grafting Page.
Date: Sunday March 23, 2014
Setup Time: 9:00 am to 12 noon. For MidFEx members only to help setup, prepare rootstocks and to sort scion wood. No experience necessary to help out and much good fruit growing conversation to be had.
Afternoon Session: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Due to space limitations this session is limited to members only and especially intended for less experienced MidFEx members and their guests. Please arrive on time. Lecture begins at 1:00 sharp. Workshop will last until about 4:00 pm.
Location: See Grapevine or Members Only Page
Directions: See Grapevine or Members Only Page
Event Details: This is a member only event. See your Grapevine newsletter or the Members Only Page for additional details.
Attention Scion Donors and Seekers
Are you coming to the spring grafting workshops (preferably the 1st)? Are you looking for some special variety of scion wood? Can you bring in scion wood if needed?If you answered yes to the above questions I need your help to try to organize our collection in an efficient manner and reduce set-up work.
Last year’s scion wood varieties included 173 apple, 15 pear, 8 Asian pear and assorted other fruits (see the September 2013 issue of the Grapevine for the list). This year I am going to try to be a clearing house to match demand with supply. I am asking the members planning to attend to carefully and realistically consider what types of scion wood they would like and what they could bring. Do not forget the more uncommon fruit.
Now, please send me a short list of what you want by fruit type and variety (I don’t always recognize variety names), a longer list of what you could bring if requested along with your phone number. I will compare lists and then call everyone to ask for scion wood to be collected.
When bringing scion wood please use labeled zip-lock bags (which are easier to handle, store and do a better job of preventing drying out) and collect as late as possible while still dormant.
Remember to bring extra bags to take home your scion wood and rootstock.
Contact me ASAP at:
Kevin Kuchel firstname.lastname@example.org
2100 George St.
Rolling Meadows, Ill. 60008
847-398-6487 (days/weekends best)
- Grafting Workshop: Session #2
Event Description: Find out what grafting fruit tress is all about. Learn the the whys and hows with experienced grafters. We will also have an impressive amount of scion wood available for grafting. The purpose of the grafting workshop is to learn how to graft. Nonmember beginners will learn how to graft selected apple varieties on apple rootstock. If you’d like more information about grafting see the Grafting Page.
Date: Sunday March 30, 2014
Setup Time: 9:00 am to 12 noon. For MidFEx members only to help setup or if you’ve had any problems with your past grafts or grafting techniques, then let us help. We will have some of our most skilled members on hand from 11:00-12:00 to answer questions and assist you.
Afternoon Session: THIS SESSION IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and the less experienced or novice grafter. Please arrive on time. Lecture begins at 1:00 sharp. Workshop will last until about 4:00 pm.
Location: 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois. Go to the Linnaeus Room in the Regenstein Center building.
Parking: Parking is free for Chicago Botanic Garden members and members of gardens with reciprocal privileges. If you are not a member of the Botanic Gardens you will have to pay the parking fee. Visit Chicago Botanic Garden’s web pages for details on parking and membership. Chicago Botanic Garden
Event Details: THE AFTERNOON EVENT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, but only the individuals actually grafting fruit trees will be allowed in the grafting classroom. Friends, spouses, and children are welcome to explore the grounds during the sessions.
Costs: Our workshop and guidance are free. However you will need to buy rootstock if you want to take home a tree. We will have dwarfing apple, pear and plum rootstock available. Cost is $4 each with free scion wood for MidFEx members. Non-members pricing is $5 which includes two pieces of scion wood of their choice. Unless rootstocks were preordered, each attendee will be limited to three (3) rootstocks each. Grafting requires a very sharp knife with a 2-3 inch blade. Bring your own medium-size pocket knife--we can sharpen it for you if needed, or purchase one at the workshop. Other supplies are available for purchase if you would like to continue honing your grafting skills after the workshop is over.
Maps and directions