Our Own Orchard

A desire we have is to make our land work for us. This year that means that we are going to plant some fruit trees and do some raised beds for vegetables, and our strawberries.

We are going to start small...we don't want to be overwhelmed by it all. Tim has been clearing an area that had become overgrown and had some walnut trees that were damaged. This is where we are going to plant our fruit trees.

We are going to have peaches and apples to start with. We love freestone peaches, one of our favorites is Red Haven. When you eat a Red Haven peach, you will think you have died and gone to heaven! We will buy several peach trees, probably 2 different varieties to stagger the ripening time. That way we can harvest, eat, can and sell to our hearts content.

I am researching what size to get, prices and whether we would have fruit the first year or not.

We also are going to buy Gala apples probably and Pink Ladies, which are also known by the name Cripps Pink. These are the kinds favored by our kids, although we have liked Cameo, Fugi, Smokehouse (especially good for applesauce) and Jonagold. We have a big fruit orchard near us and as we are mostly looking to provide food for our family, we will not be growing to sell, except if we find we have a lot of extra, then perhaps we can get hooked up with a CSA in our area.

A favorite orchard of ours since we moved to Pennsylvania 15 years ago is Kauffman's Fruit Farm. In my research as to where to buy fruit trees locally I found that they sell fruit trees!

We desire to be more self sustaining and to also help us to keep our food bill down. Has food in your area gone up in price lately? It seems as if everything here has. We also want for our children to know that they can grow food and process it, and help to provide for the needs of their families and loved ones. These are skills that our great-grandparents and grandparents had, but that no one thinks much of anymore. We are so dependent on our local grocery store.

Here are some blogs I like to read that encourage simple, self sustaining living.

down---to---earth Rhonda is in Australia and has a wonderful blog with a jam packed archive of how to do just about everything from making your own soap to raising chickens!

Coffee, Tea, Books and Me Brenda has such great wisdom and a sidebar with lots of links!

Hearts For Homesteading The West Ladies of Homestead Blessings live simply and show you how to do the same!

Tickleberry Farm jAne is a great blogging friend. She has links on her sidebar too!

Double Nickel Farm Jen is living her dream in New Mexico with her husband and children. Lots of good articles and ideas.

We will be busy this Spring, planting, watering, working hard. It will be good for us! Are you working toward being more self sustaining? Do you have a vegetable garden? Fruit trees? Any desire to do this? Do you think we are crazy?


  1. Hmm, I keep losing my comment. Hopefully, the third time's the charm.

    We have always had vegetable gardens but in recent years have started adding fruit. We've had strawberries for a few years and have tried, unsucessfully so far, to establish blueberries. We think we need to find a new location for them to thrive. Maybe this year will be better. (Isn't that a typical gardener's statement?)

    We planted cherries a couple years ago, too. Three bush cherries (sour) and a sweet cherry tree. So far no fruit-but maybe this year, right?

    It'll be fun to see what you do. Clarence wants to add raised beds every year but we never get to it. Maybe this year? ;-)

    I can't say I love gardening so much but I do love knowing what has been done to the food, chemical-wise. It's a lot of work but we feel it saves us at least a little money and, if compared to comparable (organic) produce, we save lots of $$.

    We spent Sunday afternoon pouring over seed catalogs, talking and dreaming of spring. Planning gardens sure helps beat the winter doldrums, don't you think?

  2. Good idea! We planted a small orchard a few years ago. We had an existing apple tree and added another, a nectarine, quince and last year I planted a tree that's grafted and has 3 different stone fruits on it. Well this year we have to remove the old apple tree - it became diseased, the nectarine is going - I get a few fruits and it's not worth the effort and the quince which I've had for about 5 years and has never had one fruit!

    So I'm not sure I'm going to bother with fruit trees again. I do much better with blueberries etc.

    Not to discourage you but just wanted to give you my experience!


  3. We're working toward being more self-sustaining, as well. It's a lot to think about! We always do a big garden, but this year will be even bigger! And we're planning to get chickens in the spring for eggs.

  4. I am envious that you can do this...I think it really is the *ideal* if there is such a thing...I have followed Jen, of Double Nickel forever and have seen her and her family become so self sustaining...it takes a family to do it....
    Praying the Lord will guide and bless you all as you utilize your property in such a tangible way...
    I am happy for you...ane envious...as I said, but not in a sinful way (at least I hope not)....

  5. I'd grown tomatoes, peppers and strawberries in my little walkway in our front yard for several years. I'm sure my neighbors have been appalled by the sight of those big tomato plants, but they've always been kind and enjoyed the extra. Last year my husband and son built some raised beds for me in my back yard and I had so much fun. However, we live in the desert, so I'm not sure how cost effective it was. I had to water a lot :-)

  6. This year we will be *hopefully* starting a vegetable garden in my parents backyard..I am looking forward to fresh veggies for both of our families! I had this thought to start one and my parents are for it! So we need to get started! When we first moved into my parents home, there were TONS of fruit trees, while it was nice to have fruit we encountered a huge problem of having way to much and with rodents getting to it. But then again these tees were very mature and producing a lot..

  7. We are limited by space and the rules in our town. I would really like to at least have a vegetable garden this year. I have to talk more to my family about it, but it's been on my mind.

  8. That's so great! I'd love to have a garden but we're never in one place long enough! One day when we are settled i hope!

    Pink Lady apples are my favorite! Yum!


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