Instead of just a tree, why not plant an orchard?
When we moved into our home, it was shortly after Chris’ dad had passed. Family and friends wanted to give us something that would remind us of him. Maybe a flower bush or special tree? After some thought, we decided to pool our gifts into building a memorial orchard that would be not only beautiful but it would provide for us as well.
In Spring, we carefully picked a sunny place on our property that was just waiting for a fresh start. We made sure to pick trees meant for our planting zone. Sometimes stores & nurseries sell trees that won’t grow well in your area so it’s important to do your homework. Research if the trees you purchase for your orchard need another type of tree to pollinate with or if they are self-pollinators. You want to have the best harvest possible. Also look at the times at which the trees will be ready for harvest. You may not want all of your trees producing in July! You may want to spread out your timetable and choose different varieties that produce up until the fall season. This will help you to not be so overwhelmed when trying to preserve and can.
And they actually produced in the first year!
We planted a variety of apples, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, & paw-paws. Some of the trees we bought at a local nursery, others at a local farm supply store, and still more at a couple of the big-box hardware stores. We were also fortunate that our local extension office offered saplings for free. That’s right, FREE! These all grow well in our area. Fruit trees are a wonderful way to get started on your orchard because they don’t require constant care, like a garden does. It’s food on a tree, taking it’s space upright, instead of sprawling along on the ground. Most trees take years to produce fruit, so planting trees sooner rather than later, is a great idea. Our hope is to add to the orchard as time and finances allow.