August 1 Update 2012
This past week in my garden has been about the orchard. We’ve planted our entire orchard consisting of around 20 of our favourite fruit trees plus a small berry patch. My goal is to produce quality rather than quantity although I’m sure there will very soon be far more than we can eat. With grand children next door I’m sure that won’t be a problem!
I’ve followed my own instructions, and chosen trees that will produce year round, with plenty for drying and cooking etc. All are heritage varieties which we need for the nutrition. it’s all about upping our mineral and vitamin intake along with all the other goodies that go with heritage genetics, and a minerally balanced, microbially rich soil. More and more evidence comes through everyday to show us that our health depends upon these things.
I have planted the trees at 6m diagonal spacings, to allow for planting a range of legumes around the trees with the aim of providing not only nitrogen for the fruit trees but also fats and proteins for the chickens via their seed, and also so that i can chop and drop them (the legumes) on a regular basis, to encourage and grow a food forest type mulch which will also encourage bugs and microbes which I turn will provide high quality feed for chickens and ducks.
I’m one of those people that is very careful to prune my fruit trees back down so that they branch very low to the ground. I like the children to be able to climb into the trees to get the fruit and I also like to be able to prune the trees from the ground and also actually pick the fruit without a ladder! many trees we buy are grown to branch 1m from the ground which in my opinion is way too high. They have been grown for tractor maintenance and I don’t use a tractor! It just takes a little courage to cut them back down low.. say 30cm above the ground…. and then they will branch low and I can manage them from there, keeping them low as they grow.
This has also felt like the new season in the vege garden too, I’m planting loads of early spring vegetables, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, broccoli, Broadbeans, peas, onions Tic beans , spring is just around the corner!!!