Tree Grows 40 Different Fruits, And It Is The Most Delicious Science Fiction You Have Ever Seen — VIDEO
I always thought it would be kind of cool to have an orchard. I mean, it's lovely little rows of trees with fruit. Who doesn't like trees and fruit? You could have a row of plums, another of cherries, a third of apricots...But who has the space? Well, what if you could combine 40 different kinds of fruit trees into one? A Tree of 40 Fruits, if you will. "Impossible," you say. "False," say I. This guy did it! How? THE DARK ARTS! Actually, he did it through grafting, an ancient technique in which you basically just stick on type of branch one another type of tree, but the Dark Arts sounded cooler. In my defense, medieval folks used to believe that grafted trees were a kind of ill-fated gateway to the fairy realm...which is pretty dark, 'cuz medieval fairies were creepy as hell.
The edible art project was conceived by Sam Van Aken, an artist and professor at Syracuse University who wanted to explore the idea of a hoax transforming reality. The plan was to grow a bunch of these trees and plant them in different locations to be stumbled upon by unsuspecting passersby, who presumably would just stand pointing and screaming "Demon fruit! Demon fruit! What devilry is this?! Surely there is a witch in our midst, and Lo! She will blight all our crops!" ...Or they might just be in awe of the glorious blossoms that will occur in the spring...
The first Tree of 40 Fruits was planted in 2011, and Van Aken guesses it will likely be another three years before it really hits its stride. Overall, each tree, which is painstakingly planned out and grafted, taking into consideration the rate of growth for each type of fruit, is about a 9 year commitment before it's ready. Meanwhile, I routinely kill succulents, nature's idiot-proof houseplant that are never supposed to die.
Anyway, this is pretty magnificently awesome. I've been a fan of organic art since I encountered Andy Goldsworthy's memorial Garden of Stones at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City, which is an ambitious, impressive, and powerful metaphor for the resilience of the human spirit. The idea of art that constantly changes, that exists as art while developing on its own in ways the artist didn't necessarily plan or expect is fascinating, so this 40 Fruits thing is completely in my wheelhouse.
The video gives more details on this nifty project. Now time to plan my project: 40 Fruit Pies...