Here we have some information about our fruit tree area. We don’t call it an orchard or a food forest, rather we call it our Food Grassy Woodland. We have done some more Candid Chats to explain our strategies.
Here’s Gerard talking to Allysa about the design of our fruit tree area at Eaglerise Farm and how we design to incorporate vegetable production.
The Candid Chat continues here and delves into our view of ecology.
After our discussion down in the paddock, Allysa had a few more questions about the ecological development of our grassy woodland. Here, we relax after dinner and enjoy another Candid Chat and reflection of Eaglerise Farm 60,000 years ago.
Eaglerise Farm Fruit Tree Mosaic
Here is our fruit tree map for the planting we did in 2019. North is at the top of the page and the left side is parallel with the driveway going up to the house. The trees can be seen if you zoom in on the Eaglerise Farm Map, just south of the farmhouse.
The trees were bought bare rooted from Tom and Erin’s Nursery near Stanley. They have always been extremely helpful with their advice and the quality of their trees. The trees had a couple of very tough first two years and a few did not make it. We only watered the trees 2 or 3 times each hot/dry season with a water-spear we made. Overall though, we are very happy with our success. The swales have worked well and have provided much improved soil moisture after rainfall events.
We feel we have achieved our aim for a diverse planting mosaic. This diversity is crucial to our pest and disease management. E.g, if we have a pest or disease that is dominant over Early River nectarines in a particular year, then it must travel around to find more susceptible trees – not just next door with touching canopies. We tried to mix up the pomme, the prunus and the stone fruit. It was a fairly random method and some apparent groupings can be explained when you understand that the trees were put into a pile of sand before we transplanted them. They came as each species were tied together. This meant that as we selected trees we could reach, we tended to select more of the close ones first.
We did try to plant more pears where the paddock holds excess water and stays wet during the cold/wet season. We also tried to put more apples in the lower areas to maximize the cold air on their chill requirement.
Our citrus grove is being developed elsewhere. Citrus have a higher requirement for Nitrogen and we have designed a special managed area to cater for that requirement.
The almonds are either side of the lane-way going down the food grassy woodland and fits in with our philosophy of appreciating the aesthetics, and our EPI of developing a colourful mosaic in out production areas. There will be a lane-way of white blossom through the woodland surrounded by a maze of pink and white blossom and early green leaves as we drive up to the farmhouse.
Here is a walk through Candid Chat from Feb 2020, showing the progress of the fruit trees. I was walking south along the edge from the Beurre Bosc down past the Persimmon and the Red Haven peach, as on the fruit tree map.