Thursday 12 July 2012

Orchard Plans

Well it's raining again tonight and I've no plans to go and face it as I've been outside most of the day.
So instead I'll start planning what I'm going to do next. One of the first things I've done on the homestead was to start to plant our orchard. I wasn't going to bother this year, what with moving on the 23rd of December, having a baby daughter and keeping enough work coming in  we were quite busy, but I remembered that my plan was if I ever bought a smallholding then the first thing I'd do was to plant fruit trees!
They don't look much yet!
And plant them I did. I managed to get 22 in before the spring, I think I went a little bit mad. I brought quite few "common" ones from Aldi (as they were British grown and only £5 a tree) and then more unusual ones from Frank P Matthews (who are local to my parents and offer a huge range and top quality trees). I even bough some two year old trees to speed them along a bit. Many of these trees I planted in the rain at night, the neighbours must have thought I was burying a body!
I've tried to get a wide selection of fruit, apples are the most important to me as i eat so many (about 3 a day) and I've tried to get some with good keeping qualities as well as all my favorites.
The plan of the types of trees (excuse my writting!)
So far I've planted:
Apple - (2) Cox, (2) Braeburn, Bramley, (2) Scotch Bridget, Elstar, Worcester Pearman, (2) Brownlees Russet, Christmas Pippin, Discovery
Pear - Duce Du Comice, (2) Conference 
Plum - Victoria, Czar, Opal,
One Quince,
One Medlar,
One Green Gage
I've got enough room for another 8 trees easily in this area, maybe more, and I know I want to plant some damsons (damson jam is my favourite) but not sure what else. Maybe some cider apple trees, a few more plums and a crab apple but open to suggestions! I've still got to fence it off and add a gate so when I get some grazing stock they can be kept away from the leaves and fruit of the trees.
All the trees look really healthy (and I've not needed to water them!)
My other plan for the orchard is to look at getting some meat chickens (day olds) in the next couple of months as I'd like to start producing some free range chickens for us to eat. I'd have to build a movable coop and use mesh fencing so I can give them a large area of fresh grass but stop them from wondering off and give them some protection from predators. It should be a good use of the space as the trees establish.


  1. Your orchard looks so good and I can see some chickens having a wonderful time roaming around in the orchard. We are currently replanting our small orchard as the trees we planted 4 years ago didn't survive (in the throws of the drought then and water restrictions. But we are eating our own oranges and mandarines as they managed to survive!! So nice to watch them grow and then to be able to pick and munch as you go about your day.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Yeah it's great to pick and eat your own fruit. When I lived at my mum and dads I planted an rchard there (around 7 years ago now) and it's just coming good, with reasonable crops on the trees each year. Nothing beats fresh plums or a crisp apple!

  2. Hi, hope you feel at home whenever you visit The Maple Syrup Mob. We have many apple trees on our property, I have no idea what they are but we're happy to have them . We chunk and freeze, or puree them and freeze each year. There's nothing like an apple pie from your own apples in the middle of winter. I make jam from them too, usually keeps us going for a couple of years. We've found that the apple crop cycles every four years ie from bumper crop to nothing, so I'll be interested to see if it is the same where you are.
    Jane x

    1. Our apple crops are normally to do with the frosts and if they catch the blossom, but on my mum and dads farm there are a few that have got into the habbit of cropping every other year. I'm looking forward to how these trees grow (as some aren't in the best place due to larger trees steeling their light. Around here there are many commercial orchards who crop well most years (and it'll be good for pollination of my trees)
      as for using them all I dry some of my apples and enjoy the apple crisps as a healthy snack (normally followed by an unhealthy one!). Cider is also on my long term to do list...
      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

  3. My allotment is on a real glebe and I am not allowed to plant fruit trees.... which is real bummer!
    am liking and enjoying your blog!

    1. Hey thanks for your comment. We had an allotment for the last couple of years (before we moved here) and we weren't ment to plant any trees but everyone did! So we had a few in but moved them into our new orchard when we gave up our allotments.
      What do you mean by a real Glebe (showing my ignorance)?
      Just had a look at your blog and it looks right up my street.

  4. Well poo I posted a longer comment on this but apparently it didn't make it lol...

    Anywho... Great to get your fruit orchard in...

    1. Thanks for trying though! I hate when I make a comment and it disapears. I've added your blog to my blog roll, really interesting to see how you guys do it over there.

    2. Never think about cherry trees?

    3. I've thought about cherry trees, but in my experience you need to net them or the birds will have the lot before you've had any. I mighth put in a couple and try to keep them small so I can net them if I want to. They are worth having for the blossom alone though!


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