Growing The Orchard

One of the first thoughts we had about our property was, “this place needs more fruit trees”. We have a small orchard that we have certainly made use of, but this year we are finally making an effort to put resources into adding new trees and grafting onto the trees we already have. Apples, pears, wild cherries, and plums are the basics we have been working with up until now. This past week, we began increasing the variety of those fruits, as well as adding in citrus and figs.

Let the grafting bring! Here is a photo of one of our established apple trees (originally some sort of yellow delicious) that has  just been dramatically altered through some serious (much needed) pruning and the addition of roughly one dozen grafts for new apple varieties. Many thanks to Thaddeus, who had made this his project!

A gopher. A gopher…ate the roots of two of our fig trees! The anger and disappointment of it all. Sigh. But, we rallied. We made cuttings from the eaten trees and have set them in dirt to re-root. And, impatient, we bought an older tree at a local nursery to replace the 4 year old tree the gopher destroyed.  This is our new fig tree, planted back into the hill where the previous one sat, but this time equipped with a loose, chicken-wire, root protecting cage.  Round two begins.

Never ones to deny the kid his love of shoveling, we had Archimedes out helping us plant five new trees in the orchard. It was raining and the ground was so wet, but we got it done: a peach, a cherry, two persimmons, and two ume (Japanese flowering plum, the unripened fruit is used to make pickles).

Now the orchard is starting to take on more of the shape we have been wanting. This is a very exciting project for us!