Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Working Vacation: Orchard Expansion 2011

There is nothing like fruit grown right in your own backyard (in our case, it's grown in our back-, front-, and side-yards).  I'm talking about hard cider, fresh juice, and endless fruit-filled desserts.
The fruit tree fever started in 2010.  I caught it from Ben.

Our Yellow Transparent in fruit this summer.

 Before we even moved into the house Ben planted three semi-dwarf apples: an Arkansas Black, a Cox's Orange Pippin, and a Yellow Transparent.  Those three apples were soon joined by five Brown Turkey figs.  I had absolutely no appreciation for the fig trees until this summer when I bit into the first fresh fig I had ever tasted.  I am now addicted.  Now that the Domestic Partner and I are on the same page as far as the home orchard goes, this is what we planted this month:

Arkansas Black, standard (1)
Fameuse, semi-dwarf (1)
Spitzenberg, semi-dwarf (1)
Calville Blanc D'hiver, semi-dwarf (1)
Golden Russet, semi-dwarf (1)
Northern Spy, semi-dwarf (1)
Winter Banana, semi-dwarf (1)

Elberta, standard (2)
Hale Heaven, standard (2)
Golden Jubilee, standard (2)

Sweet Cherries
Black Tartarian, dwarf (6)
Bing, dwarf (6)

Damson, dwarf (2)

We planted ten of the cherries alongside the high tunnel and strawberries.  We have essentially replaced the old tree line (below) that we had removed before we built the high tunnel.

This is what the land looked like before the high tunnel and cherries were put in.  We've really opened up the property.

My dear Ben constructed all of the protective cages and seeded the orchard areas with winter rye.

That is how we spent the Thanksgiving Holiday.

We now have thirty-five fruit trees on our homesite, and we're already dreaming of more.  Our goal is to utilize every inch of the lawn space we have.  It's not that we necessarily need the space.  We live in a rural setting and have access to all the agricultural land we could ever need.  Our entire yard has become an orchard because of the simple fact that I HATE mowing it, and I think a pretty green lawn is a waste of space.  Our homesite is only one acre, and in addition to the orchard, it holds a kitchen garden, numerous flower beds, the chicken house and yard, a mud oven, and a dog yard.  But, there is still way too much open space to mow.  Let's just say that I think we need to welcome more four-legged creatures onto the farm...