We’ve got a business plan. It is very ordered and budgetted for as you’d probably expect if you know us both. Definately one step at a time, everything in it’s place and planted so that our crops start cropping at the same time as we have equipment and space to process the results. Nothing shifts off the rigid timeline we have set, not even my tractor, which, if I must be frank, should be next
It doesn’t involve having an Orchard right now. Not least because the mains water isn’t connected.
Anyway, we have an orchard.
This week two events happened. One is still secret. the other is that my clutch disintegrated, so I couldn’t go to London as planned, it was sunny weather and we were excited.
Our business plan states we will plant very young trees so which can grow to fruit when we have space and equipment. It’s also way cheaper to buy young trees than 3 or 4 year old trees.
Anyway, we have 3 year old trees.
Officially 5 apple trees makes an orchard, so we’ve definately exceeded that with 12 trees, all on Cornish Rootstock and all Cornwall and Devon varieties and will give us a variety of eating, cooking and cider apples.
I have been reading about raising chickens and also permaculture. So, imagine a giant Venn Diagram. Our Orchard is partly in ‘The Orchard Zone’ and overlaps half the area the chickens will have for their 20m x 25m run. The trees will provide a little shelter from predatory birds which, while they may not take chickens, will scare them and stop them laying.
In the chicken run we have also built a berm (with Finn and Zak’s help) that will give the chooks shelter from the wind. We are also planting a bamboo grove – chickens are descended from jungle fowl and instinctively they want to forage for insects. The old leaves and sticks that you find at the base of bamboo is great for harbouring the insects they like to feed on. There are a variety of other eqally beneficial plants that will go in the Chicken Zone.
Obviously with no other planting on the business plan, you’d think that was the end of it, right?
Well, Lavender doesn’t mind being planted out in the summer…so we have some Lavender plants… 52 of them. These will be good for bees, and the flowers are a crop for people that make lavender bags and other smelly things. We chose a Dwarf Blue which is a cross between Munstead and Hidcote, two of the most fragrant types.
And, for good measure we may have snuck in a dozen blueberry plants…
They weren’t stuff scheduled (mains water…mains water…mustn’t forget the mains water has to be next!!) and we didn’t get the tiny plants, but it feels really great to have made a bit of progress and the view from the farm gate as you drive in is much more rewarding.
It should only be a few days before the sunburn calms down a bit as well!
Rumour has it I may have kept some readers waiting, sorry and all that, but worth waiting for some pictures, I’m sure you’ll agree?