Orchard Magical History Tour 2012 - 2019 -UPDATED

I was just going through some old photos and put together this little trip.

If you enjoy the trip 1/1000 as much as I did, then I am thrilled.

Mike

NOVEMBER 2012

A SHORT 3 YEARS LATER - AUGUST 2015

IN 2016

2018

AND… PATENTED PROPRIETARY SEEDLING

SEEDLING

UPDATING WITH SOME PHOTOS FROM 2019

INDIAN FREE BLOOM & FRUIT

RED BARON PEACH

MANON PEACH

MIKE

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That really is great Mike. How many trees do you have in that area?

@growjimgrow

Approximately 90 trees ( numbers change as I switch out or replace) with about 140 different varieties of fruit ( apples, pears, peaches, nects, apricot, cherry, mirabelles, pluot/apriums etc.).

The area is fenced and is 50 x 150 feet.

Mike

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Nice looking orchard Mike!

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@clarkinks

Thanx.

I was going to ask this year but got caught up in some stuff, but, for next year I will try to bother you for some scions from your small yellow pear. :grinning:

Mike

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Sure Mike anytime just let me know.

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@ILParadiseFarm

I can only get to it on weekends and weeding was killing too many precious hours each weekend.

So… two years ago when the polar express and spring frost killed off nearly the entire crop, I used that summer to lay down the weedcloth in the aisles and mulched the rows under the trees themselves. HUUUGE difference and now I have time to fine tune my pruning, thinning and grafting over those that are not working.

This year I will remove 9 cherries and apricots that just don’t work for me and diversifying into more peaches and pluot/apriums.

Mike

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@clarkinks, @ILParadiseFarm, @growjimgrow

One of the reasons I posted this was to note that the takeaway from this is that I planted a few of these in the spring and mostly in the fall 2012. and by the summer of 2015, only the THIRD growing season I had the fruiting trees you see.

And… I am growing these as espaliers, the “book” said that I should expect to invest 4-5 years to get fruit. I had sizeable crop only the third full growing season.

I guess the “book” isn’t focused on the home grower whose aim is to get enough fruit not maximum fruit. Last year I thinned 1400 fruitlets off the Saturn peach and still had over 350 go to ripeness. I could and should have thinned another 100 and gotten slightly bigger fruit. See the tree in bloom below

Mike

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That is an awesome orchard, Mike. I am mega-impressed.

That’s something to be proud of.

Dax

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I agree with Dax completely. Beautiful, efficient, productive. Well done and thanks for sharing all the pictures.

I think you said you only get there on the weekends, right? Does anybody look after the orchard during the week or does it do okay by itself? I feel like I have to check my orchard daily, which I don’t mind at all, but it would be good to know if it is self sufficient for a week.

@growjimgrow

Nobody does any work on the orchard but me. It is fenced in to keep deer out. A neighbor lives up the hill overlooking the place and he would call me if something major goes on but so far nothing over the last 6 years.

Below is a photo of the pond that is better than any ZANAX or VALIUM. This is fall on the pond. Just some more MAGIC

Mike

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Do you have fish in that pond?

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@growjimgrow

Yes, we have Large Mouth Bass, Brook trout, rainbow trout, Sunfish and Golden Orfe (see link below) The Orfe is a distant cousin of the goldfish but is not a pest and does not eat plant matter so they don’t muck up the pond. The live mainly on insects (and pellets in my pond)

Mike

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Wow! Great work!!! It’s so beautiful. Man, you have a truly fantastic setup.

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That is a fantastic orchard! That kid will be eating well!
John S
PDX OR

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In the words of the Beatles, “You’ve got everything you need” - Seeing family here.
“Satisfaction guaranteed”. Seeing your successful orchard there.

Maybe that’s a bit overstated, but no doubt some treasures all around you.

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@Olpea

Not overstated at all.

I consider myself fortunate that I lucked out and have both.

It only took eight stitches and two trips to Urgent Care over a period of six years. Not bad :grin:

Mike

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Awesome orchard, very inspiring! I assume those are standard 2.5" chain link posts? How deep did you set those and were they just stuck in the ground or set in concrete? What spacing did you use for the posts and for the trees? Also, I noticed that by the 7th pic, you had added some sort of T-shaped attachment to the top of the poles. What is the purpose of those?

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@AtlantaFruitForest
Thanx for the kind words.

The fence posts are set 10 feet apart and are set in concrete.

The posts of the espalier trellis are 10 footers that were driven 2 feet into the ground by an excavator’s bucket.

Each row is about 100 feet long and each has two end posts and two inside posts with each inside post being about 30 feet from the end. The inside posts are only 1 1/2 inch.

The T structures you see at the top was a failed experiment to provide support for netting. They are plain pvc and I ran some 12 gauge monofilament wire length and witdthwise to support the netting. BUT, alas, the area was just too large for me and three friends to try and stretch the netting over it as we did not have the right equipment to handle the large netting. If you zoom in you can make out the wire

The experiment failed but I kept the wires up. They seem to have some deterrent effect on their own or maybe my bird pressure is not as great as I had estimated it to be(once I got rid of the cherries, at least)

Mike

Looks great! How long does it take you to get to your orchard? I also don’t live at my orchard and usually only get out there one day per week. It’s about a 45 minute drive. I tend to rotate my focus each year. So one year the grapes will look good, the next year the garden will look tidy, and the next year a few rows of fruit trees will look good. I’m always playing catch-up.

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