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The Johnny Appleseed of South Minneapolis

Jeff Zeitler, co-founder of Urban Forage Winery and Cider House is on a mission to plant apple trees in backyards of South Minneapolis // Photos via Urban Forage Winery and Cider House.

Jeff Zeitler is planting a neighborhood urban orchard

By Lauren Sauer
May 4, 2018


The idea to establish an orchard in the city has numerous benefits, one of which is the general absence of hungry deer. Unfortunately, he learned this lesson the hard way a few years back.

“I planted a bunch in the suburbs in a woody area, and they were all eaten by deer,” he recalls. “This is the third time I’m doing this, so I’m still learning as I go.” But in order to protect the trees from a common city menace—rabbits—Zeitler cages the bottom when they’re planted.

Another benefit to planting in the city? The proximity to other apple trees, allowing for cross-pollination. In the past, Zeitler could only plant in yards with enough space for two or more apple trees. But since his network of cider trees has grown in the area, they’re all close enough that a yard could host a single tree.

“The reality is, now that I’ve been doing this, there are apple trees all over the place,” he says. Zeitler himself has planted about twelve trees so far, and hopes to plant another couple dozen over the next few years.

Read the complete article here.


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