The Orchard

ll the fruits is right. We are embarking on a crazy experiment currently with fruits. Currently there aren't many if any organic orchards in our area due to disease, fungus, pests, all of the above, so the first thing I wanted to do on the farm was, Plant an orchard. Mainly because we love fruits, and because it allows us to challenge what is known. Maybe it fails, maybe it succeeds only one way to find out...

So once we decided to make the investment, we couldn't just order 10 trees and call it quits, no we order 40 Blueberry bushed, 50 Raspberry, and 25 blackberries, 40 mixed fruit trees details below.

A couple things we are experimenting with:

  • The use of swales, heavy mulch around the trees, and green mulch (clover) in other parts of the beds.
    • The swale system we are using is primarily to keep water from just running down the property, but also to catch any nutrients, also they will be filled with yard waste to break down slowly to the root system of the tree.
  • Close planting, so only the strongest plant survives, but also so when young the trees can protect each other. It's similar to a young forest, when you see a new batch of trees, they are all on top of each others, but eventually the strongest survives. We plan to move the smaller trees that survive into new areas each winter until its successful.
  • The use of Guilds, Every other tree in the main orchard is a buffer tree or a mulch tree, we utilized Redbuds, Honey Locust and Black Locust.
    • These are fast growers, and are intended to grow up and shade the fruit trees, to protect them from the sun, slow growth and make sure they have strong root systems, and during pruning time they will severely cut back and will be turned into much.
    • Eventually, the fruit trees will take the predominate sun position and these trees will either continue to be used for much or will be cut down to make room for the fruits.
  • Interplanting herbs and perennial vegetables, to help protect from pests.
  • Goats will be rotated to graze on pasture between the rows, and chickens will follow. This is to help break up that mulch so when it rains that nitrogen will wash into the swale system and directly to the main root system of the tree.
  • We are also using Mulberrys, and Elderberries as wildlife food, to help protect those more desired fruits.
  • Some we planted into traditional patches as well, like the blueberry, raspberry, elderberry, and fig.

Below are the varieties of trees we chose to try:

  • Apple:
      • Kidd's Orange Red, New Zealand 1924 
      • Red Winter Pearmain, North Carolina 1850's
      • Newtown Pippin, New York 1759
      • Whitney Crab, Illinois 1869
      • Grimes Golden, West Virginia 1804
      • Black Twig, Tennessee 1830’s
      • Arkansas Black, Arkansas prior 1886
      • Deaderick, Tennessee 1850
      • Nickajack, North Carolina 1853
      • Victoria Limbertwig, Tennessee prior 1860
  • Pear
      • Seckel Pear, East Coast 1790
      • Warren Pear, Mississippi 1976
      • Red Bartlett, Washington 1938
  • Pomegranate
      • Eversweet Pomegranate
      • Wonderful Pomegranate
  • Peach
      • Redhaven Peach, Michigan 1930's
      • Peentau Peach, China 1800’s
      • Belle of Georgia Peach, Macon 1870’s
      • Indian Blood Cling Peach, Southern 1800’s
      • La Feliciana Peach
      • Babcock Peach, California 1923
  • Cherry
      • Skeena, British Columbia
      • Rainier, (VanxBing)
  • Nectarine
      • Arctic Queen Nectarine
      • Goldmine Nectarine
      • Liz's Late Nectarine
  • Plum
      • Mariposa Plum, Pasadena, California 1923
      • Golden Nectar
      • French Prune, (D’Agen) 1856
  • Mulberry
      • White Mulberry (Morus alba)
      • Pakistan Mulberry
  • Apricot
      • Moorpark Apricot, England 1760
      • White Ume, Japan
  • Jujube
    • Ga-866 Jujube Tree 
    • Sugarcane Jujube Tree
  • Fig
      • Black Mission Fig, California 1769
      • Flanders Fig
      • Texas Everbearing (English Brown Turkey) 
      • White Genoa Fig 
  • Nuts
      • Pedro Walnut
      • Filbert Tree
      • All-In-One Almond
      • American Black Walnut
      • Revival Chestnut 
      • Tulare English Walnut
      • Pee Wee Hican Pecan
      • Desirable Pecan Tree
  • Berries
      • Fall Gold Raspberries
      • Latham Red Raspberries
      • Boyne Raspberries
      • Boysenberry, Rubus ursinus 1923
      • Tayberry
      • Primus White Currant
      • Oregon Champion Gooseberry
      • Goji Berry, Lycium barbarum
  • Blueberries
      • BigAss Blueberry
      • Ochlockonee Blueberry
      • Powderblue Blueberry
      • Vernon Blueberry
  • Nitrogen Fixers
      • Autumn Olive Tree
      • Black Locust Tree
      • Eastern Redbud Tree
      • Mimosa Tree
      • Thornless Honey Locust Tree

 

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