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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gifted an Orchard

Ethan is big on doing things according to where your passions are and what you like. This is why we are doing cows/pigs/chickens even though it would have been A LOT easier to do a market garden. If you know Ethan at all, you will know that his tastes for meat and his tastes for veggies are in stark contrast.

I am kind of the opposite. Although I do eat meat, I really don't like eating big chunks of meat. A little is plenty for me. I do really like veggies - which is why I love my garden.

What I really pile on though is the fruit. I LOVE fruit. I could make myself sick off of eating too much fruit. Not only that, but I love to prune - trees, vines, bushes - and with fruit comes plenty of pruning. When I started talking about the fruit that I want to grow I was a little worried that Ethan would want to save the area for pasture, but I was surprised to have him be excited about it too. (If you know Ethan you might also know the only fruit he will eat is store grapes and bananas.)

All this is to say that I have been anxious to get fruit crops going and especially the ones that take awhile to get established. With all of our start up expenses though, I assumed that it was going to have to be something that would require my patience.

Well, this spring I learned that I might not have to be so patient. A very generous friend let us know that in a few weeks we will have 27 fruit trees and 3 flowering trees (for pollination) appearing at our house! Here is what will be coming:
  • 3 pear trees
  • 3 plum trees (2 varieties)
  • 5 cherry trees (4 varieties)
  • 7 peach trees (4 varieties)
  • 9 apple trees (6 varieties)
This is such a blessing, and I am so excited to give these a try! Right now I am doing some research on the best way to plant our variety of trees. I would love any input that you have. Until then, I will dream of fresh fruit and preserves . . .


Rich said...

I like to consult the Extension Fact Sheets available from my state's university.

The only advice I can give besides reading as many fact sheets as possible is to learn how and when to properly prune your fruit trees.

Jean said...

Consider yourself truly blessed by God! Right now, I could only dream on about having few fruit trees on our city lot. Someday I will get it planted but time isn't right yet. It will be only apple for me. If I had more room, I'd have a few more varieties!! I believe you will do as well with 'organic' fruits to sell. The more common it is, the cheaper it is. It is not common in Iowa.

My dearest told me of how one year in Iowa there was a huge freeze so late that it killed off most orchards. Many never recovered. When I think of this, I wished most would have bounced back anyway!! I forgot what year that was. That's one thing I miss about Michigan, cheaper fruits and.... can get even cheaper if seconds or gleaned.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

That is awesome! God is so good isn't He. I have a magazine that I got a lot of my information out of but right at the moment I can't think of the name or find it so I will do some hunting and see what I can find. I am sure that there are a few others as well. I am so excited for you that is just great!

Tim said...

What exciting news! Now you just need a strawberry patch.

Anonymous said...

Wondering how your orchard is doing and if you've added any new trees, lost any of the original trees? We are in the process of establishing an orchard as well - see our page at

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

The orchard is doing okay . . . we had a number of the original trees not make it, which we replaced with trees on sale from various local stores. Of the original trees that did survive, they are growing well, however, 3 of them have turned out to be crab apple trees (2 were to be plums and 1 an apple.) After some research, it appears that this nursery had many similar complaints, got in a bit of trouble, and now has a new name. So we'll see what happens to the other trees from their when they start fruiting. It is a bit discouraging, and now I need to figure out what to do with them. (Replace them as they misfruit, taking a chance some might be good or just take them all out and start fresh.)
The trees from other sources are producing their appropriate fruit.

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