Quince is a great backyard tree--productive, adaptable and resistant to pests. There are named varieties that are propagated from cuttings, like apples and pears are, but quince is also grown from seed. Seed-grown trees will not be identical, and some with have bigger or sweeter fruit than others. But since quince is closer to the wild than other fruits, there is less difference between individual plants. It is sometimes used as a semi-dwarfing rootstock for pear trees. Quince is hardy in zones 4-9 and gives huge yields of fruit on a tree that can easily be kept under 10 feet. Mine is about eight feet tall and this year it gave over a hundred pounds of fruit. It was a traditional homestead staple, but fell out of favor because the fruit is for cooking, not snacking.
Usually when I read something is better for cooking, I figure it tastes bad unless you cover it with sugar. Not quince! The flavor is like apples, but more aromatic. The raw fruit is incredibly fragrant--a bowl of quinces on the counter gives the whole kitchen a sweet tropical scent. I just canned several dozen jars of quince sauce (like applesauce) with a minimum of sugar, and it tastes wonderful.
The main challenge is that while quinces are hard like an apple, (and shaped like a pear) they are fuzzy. The fuzz is longer than peach fuzz, and sheds more easily. You need to remove it, either by scrubbing, scorching, or peeling. After that, cook them like apples for sauce, chutney, fruit leather, jam, pies, or baked whole. In Spain and Turkey, the fruit is cooked down til it's thick enough to slice (you can do this in the oven.) It's fantastic as part of a cheese board, and is known in Spain as membrillo. The long cooking turns membrillo deep red--a really beautiful addition to any snack tray. Cydonia oblonga. 12 seeds