Our orchard is not huge, and it is not an ancient one with gnarled branches and heavily laden with fruit. It is still young and still evolving every year with a couple of new additions. Most of those come from the Woodbridge Fruit Tree Nursery in Woodbridge, Tasmania, but occasionally there is a locally sourced addition. Our little hardware store was the scene of perhaps my most surprising purchase, a lovely potted Orange Cox Pippin apple for all of $12.95. Bargain.
There are many apple trees of various species, mostly heirloom varieties, but a couple of commercial favourites have snuck in. There is also a very young quince tree who tries her heart out every year to produce fruit. This year it looks like at least seven, which will be harvested to make quince brandy.
Our apricot season is over. It all happened in the blink of an eye. One day fruit, the next windfall and your pigs are pigging out on sweet, sweet fruit. We did not even get enough to jam up...and I love apricot jam!!! The peach has been a non-performer. We need to plant another couple to encourage it along for next year. The pears are STILL getting their act together, and lets not mention the nectarines. We are still waiting for the Greengage plums and our cherries were exquisite this year, and we are waiting with anticipation for next.
...and that is the part that we love. Simply watching our fruit trees fruit, then ripen and then drooling with the anticipation of harvesting the bounty. Even the horses get in on the act. They get the occasional apple that has been birded or dogged, as our boxers dogs periodically pull apples off of the lower branches. We need bird netting AND dog netting!
Also planted in the orchard are fejoias, blueberries, comfrey, gooseberries, pumpkins for the pigs, zucchini and cucumber for the chickens. We also have a variety of tomatoes planted for the chickens interspersed throughout the fruit trees. Next on the planting agenda is some lavenders and daisies to encourage the bees for the next flowering/fruiting season.