The trees I ordered from Trees of Antiquity arrived. There were six: four apples, a cherry and a greengage plum. Additionally, I found a lady on Craigslist with several native hazelnuts for sale Apparently her neighbor has a gigantic 50 year old hedge and it has been sending up seedlings in her yard forever. I got five trees from her, and a couple of them were over twelve feet tall. All for twenty bucks, yahoo!
Friday, February 12, 2010
I'm not sure if I can take credit for these trees or not: Homero actually planted them. He hasn't had much work lately and so he's been catching up on farmwork. I sure appreciate it - planting eleven trees is no joke. I could have done it, but it would have taken me a hell of a lot longer and I would have been hurting a lot more seriously afterward.
The orchard really looks great now. It occupies a space about thirty feet wide by eighty feet long, adjacent to the eastern property line and running from the backyard out to the horse's pen. In that space are now eighteen trees, more or less in six rows of three, all semi-dwarfs. That leaves plenty of room to add in a tree here or there as the fever takes us. I can't imagine we will ever want more than twenty trees, assuming they all stay healthy.
Maybe I can see adding another nut tree - a walnut or two. I do love walnuts. But the six hazels theoretically ought to be enough to provide us with both nuts (highly storable protein) and oil (hard to come by here in the lands north of olive country and for smallholders without equipment to deal with canola or something like that). And now I have five apple trees, which likewise is theoretically enough to provide all our apple needs, from eating out of hand to drying, applesauce, and cider.
Our other fruit needs should be met by two cherries, three pears, two plums, and acres of wild blackberries. Within a mile of us we can get raspberries and blueberries in unlimited quantities.
I plan to put the beehives right smack dab in the middle of the orchard.
On the phenology front, at top is a picture of some adorable yellow crocuses I saw in Bellingham last Tuesday. My own crocuses are not yet up, but I am twenty miles north of Bellingham and at a higher elevation.