If you want to grow fruit in your garden but also want to conserve water and avoid lots of pesticides, going native is the right path to take. many people don't realize many fruits grown in their area aren't native to those lands. People often plant drought-resistant cultivars, but the plants often require extra care because they aren't accustomed to the local climate. You'll still provide extra water or fungicides. Instead, take a look at truly native fruits -- you might be surprised how many different fruits there are in your area:
Not What You've Seen Before
Native fruits thrive in areas without much help. You have to ensure they transplant well and take root well, but once you get them established, they tend not to need much care, other than pruning and occasionally some extra water. Native fruits are also often outside the spectrum of what you'd find in a supermarket. Even if the fruit itself is basically recognizable, you'll have varieties that people just don't see everyday.
For example, grapes are not new to anyone. But the grapes you see in the market are usually European varieties or hybrids. They might grow wonderfully in your area, but they still need extra care. But if you get native varieties, you can end up with some long-lasting greenery and fruit year after year.
In California, for example, the Thompson seedless grape, Vitis vinifera "Thompson seedless," grows quite well in the hot San Joaquin Valley -- but it's actually a variety of European grape from Turkey. It also requires more water than you might be able to provide in a drought scenario.
However, the native Southern California grape, Vitis girdiana (aka desert grape or desert wild grape), is a scrappy plant that is native to wild areas in Southern California that don't always get a lot of rain. You can find the plant growing in near desert regions -- these aren't sand dunes, but the scrubby, rocky deserts you see with some plant life. Although it wants moist soil, it doesn't need constant watering.
Another option, to keep using Southern California as an example, is one of the many gooseberry or currant varieties native to the landscape. You rarely see currants or gooseberries in markets, yet there are several plants with edible fruit native to the area. Planting these will give you food without costing you too much in terms of time and water.
Not Completely Care-Free
Native plants do require some care and monitoring, especially if they need to be pruned for best fruit production -- a common issue with grapes, for example. But non-native varieties would require more care, with constant monitoring in situations where conditions were less than ideal.
Of course, Southern California grapes are only one example. Pawpaws, serviceberries, American persimmons, beach plums, and other native fruits are all suitable for eating, and they are all suitable for growing in specific areas of the country where they won't need a lot of intervention from you. If you really want to have a fruit garden that doesn't stress out you or local resources, ask your landscapers about planting native varieties.
To learn more, contact a company like Beltran Paving & Landscape with any questions or concerns you have.