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Midwest Fruit Explorers
Garden Club for Backyard Fruit Growers
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Introduction Blueberries North Apple Bed Panaromic View Dwarf Conclusion
Gene's Answers Train a Mini-Dwarf Favorite Apples Map of Backyard

A sampling of the unique fruit grown by MidFEx members
Learn about what types of fruit grow well in the Midwest.  Learn how to grow these fruit. ...

Take a look at our Pawpaw page.  This unique fruit is easy to grow, tastes great, and is good for your health.

Click here to see what MidFEx members are growing.
Guests sampling asian pear at the festival
We put on a terrific show. Highlights included having nearly 100 different apple varieties on display and for tasting!

The public seemed to particularly welcome our cider press, which generated a continuous crowd waiting to sample the free cider. We served over 3,000 samples!

Like last year, we had some pawpaws which we cut up. This gave many who visited us the opportunity to taste this unusual and easily gown fruit.

There was a lot to see. We had a demonstration of apple dehydrating, and samples were given out. American persimmons and Asian pears were on display and also available for tasting, as were black walnuts and wild hazelnuts. Other displays included many different European and Asian pear varieties. Visitors could taste a slice of an heirloom apple. MidFEx volunteers were always on hand and answered many gardening-related questions.

We had 13 unusual and tasty apple varieties for sale including some classics like Ashmeads Kernel, Ross Nonpareil, and Northern Spy as well as some great newer varieties like Rubinette, Stellar, and Razor Russet.

Labeling apples for festival Apple cider, apple butter, and peach butter were (as usual) brisk sellers.

This year we expanded the number of non-edible fruit related items including some very informative books on fruit growing as well as hand-cranked apple peeler/corer/slicer machines.

We again enjoyed being at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The set up in the Regenstein Center worked out well. The Chicago Botanic Garden staff during the show were very helpful and supportive.
Robert Kurle, Fruit and Nut Grower of Hinsdale, Illinois
Bob Kurle produced
recommended fruit & nut list
several years ago as a result of discussion at a MidFEx picnic to give us a start, and so other growers in the area could add information from their experiences.

Bob Kurle was one of the top fruit and nut enthusiasts in the U.S. He corresponded with fruit and nut growers all over the world. In the 1970s he produced displays at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show in McCormick Place that stimulated many ordinary gardeners to become interested in dwarf and dwarfed fruit, hybrid nuts, and growing the best varieties suited to the Chicagoland area. He has appeared in Organic Gardening and the Chicago Tribune.

As an officer, director, and hardworking member of NAFEX (North American Fruit Explorers) Bob was responsible for organizing the Chicago Chapter of NAFEX which later became MidFEx (Midwest Fruit Explorers), a separate not-for-profit organization.

Bob was dedicated to gathering, testing, and sharing information about fruit and nuts that will do well in our area. Bob was always generous in sharing his encyclopedic knowledge, his growing techniques and his seeds and scion wood. We all owe Bob a big vote of thanks and the best way we can thank him is by adding information to this list of fruits and nuts for the Chicagoland area.
Midwest Fruit Explorers, P.O. Box 93, Markham, IL 60428-0093
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