Friday, April 10, 2015

More Orchard, Less Lawn

As we have grown our orchard at the farm it feels like giving the lawn more purpose (and less mowing). This past week we added twenty-three heirloom apple trees to the farm orchard! Sixteen new varieties. (Getting a head-start on Arbor Day?!)

New apple trees, in the farm orchard with established
apple, crabapple and pear trees.
We started in 2011 with two apple trees on the farm - an existing Honeycrisp and a Honeygold. During 2012-2014 we planted some pears, plums, honeyberries and crabapples, as we continued to build the home orchard, while managing the Augustine orchard.

Last spring we planted out five of John's first apple grafts (Enigma, Mantet, MN 1628, Wealthy and Sweet 16) and three more plums (LaCrescent and Hanska).

Hazel and the new apple tree plantings.
This year we add the varieties Monarch, Baldwin, Carter's Blue, Golden Russet, Bottle Greening, Crimson Beauty, Calville Blanc d'Hiver, Wismer's Dessert, Red Seek-no-further, Green Pippen, Shiawassee, Spencer, Knobbed Russet, Ortley, Black Ben Davis and Hubbardston Nonesuch. Colors ranging from brown to dark purple-red, to green and yellow. Fresh eating and baking varieties. Ugly and beautiful orbs of splendid flavor.

This winter John grafted 100 more trees, which we will plant out shortly into their nursery beds, and then be planted out to their permanent locations in 2016. Grafts expand the stock of varieties we currently have, as well as add to our list with Stark, Porter, Smokehouse, Christmas Pearmain, and Hooples Antique Gold.

Plan to expand your apple palate folks, we have a lot of good fruit coming down the pipeline!

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