There is a tree that actually grows forty different types of fruit!
photo above: A Tree of 40 Fruit fruiting in the artist's nursery (Sam Van Aken courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Art)
Yes, there is a tree that actually grows forty different types of fruit. To be honest, when I first heard about it I thought it was a hoax to sale me some sort of new health food product but nope it's real and its great. Contemporary artist Sam Van Aken came up with the idea after his Eden exhibition where he grafted together over 1,000 fruits and vegetables.
By Sam Van Aken courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Art (Sam Van Aken courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Art) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When he started the Tree of 40 Fruit project and had a hard time finding stone fruit varieties in New York he realized that in America we have sort of created these "massive monocultures" where only one type of fruit was being grown in an area where used to there would be many varieties. The example he gives is how most stone fruits are grown in the Central Valley in California and most apples are grown in New York and Washington state. Turns out the solution to finding fruit was to pick up a lease on an orchard that was going to be torn down (my Hero). He uses this orchard now to make his grafted trees using a process he calls "sculpture through grafting". The video below is of a presentation he did on the project at the TEDx Conference in Manhattan in 2014.
The Tree of 40 Fruit is a great example of how art projects can help to preserve the environment and create new perceptions of nature.