Prairie Gardens was established in 1956 as a tree nursery by John Chedzoy, a pioneer of tree propagation and avid nurseryman. Though his work at the Alberta Tree Nursery, John was responsible for the distribution of shelter belt trees across the province and single-handedly contributed more to carbon capture in Alberta than any other individual, with millions upon millions of saplings planted across the province. Every time our family drives through the province, we smile as we pass homesteads - old and new - with their established shelter belts, thinking how the effect of John Chedzoy's work can still be felt rippling over the hills, across farmland, and through the prairies.
Staying true to our roots - pardon the pun - Prairie Gardens continues to help folks curate unique orchards, or simply find the one special tree that brings their yard together. John planted the first row of heritage crabapples back in 1963 and we have slowly been developing our own u-pick orchards over the last 15 years, adding apples, plums, pears, cherries, haskaps, gooseberries, rhubarb, cranberries, walnuts, butternuts, beaked hazelnuts, apricots, and more, in order to create a more diverse u-pick experience on the farm.
All of our fruits and nuts are cold hardy to at least zone 3, some are hardy to zone 2 or zone 1. We don't believe in selling trees that won't survive our winters, especially since we plant them ourselves in the fall, if we have any left at the end of the season! We do have some specialty fruits, like figs and peaches, that we offer for greenhouse growing, since we like to have some fun experimenting ourselves and know others do as well.
In 2022, we are tremendously excited to offer the most diverse and expansive list of fruits and nuts we have ever had. We work hard to provide you with almost-forgotten heritage varieties, as well as tried and true favourites. This all boils down to a lot of choice - and we mean a lot. So if you unsure about which fruits are the best fit for you, please give us a call or email. We're more than happy to recommend varieties based on what you're looking for, and are delighted to help you create the ideal orchard package for your needs.