Saturday, 15 December 2007

Orchard Goals

When we moved in I decided I'd like to plant 100 food-producing trees within the first year. Most of these are fruit trees, but some are nut trees and some for tea or other use - such as the Lemon Myrtle and Bay trees.

Well, last weekend we planted another lot of trees and passed the "50 Trees" milestone! Almost all of these trees have a tree guard (we make them from chicken wire) and stake to provide some protection from the wildlife, mower/tractor, and wind. A couple of the trees are big enough to not need a guard - the growth in these first few months has been amazing!

This is the early days first stage of the orchard, with the chook house,
a grazing horse, and farm machinery in our house paddock.
I will take an updated photo of this area soon.

We have about 20 trees close to the house - around the 2nd greenhouse (to be) and hen house, and alongside the horse paddock. These are mostly stone fruit, but also some citrus and a dwarf mulberry etc. The other 30 trees are up in a sloping paddock behind the house. We've made rows and planted them fairly evenly-spaced but mixed the varieties a lot in order to attempt to trick wildlife and fruit flies and disease in the future. Now, as we walk through the very wide areas between each tree we imagine them growing up and out so their branches are almost touching and a canopy is created. We imagine the food forest to be...

We have a couple of mature fruit trees near the house. More bushtucker and other wild species grow on the edge of the forest (within view of the house). Also, 37 mature macadamias which were planted about 20 years ago. There were an estimated 50, but Cyclone Larry in 2006 knocked down or damaged many.

I was speaking with a friend about my goal, and the fact I'm only half way there with only 4 months to complete the task... He encouraged me to get the other 50 trees and put them in the ground as a priority. And asked, "Why don't you do it every year? Why stop at 100 trees?" Hmmm, there's a point!

I have a wish-list of fruit trees, and just need to find them, and fit it into the budget over the coming months. Some of the trees I'd like are:
- different varieties of avocado
- mid and late season oranges
- persimmon
- pomegranate
- tamarillo
- custard apple (and/or similar - rollinia, sour sop)
- white sapote (we have black and green)
- more bananas (varieties and clumps)

Any suggestions? We're about 750m above sea level in north Queensland. We have red volcanic soil and high rainfall. I mound up trees which prefer good drainage. We have fairly reasonable summers - wet and temperatures in the 20s. We have cool, drizzly winters with occasional frosts.


~ Mands! (on-a-mission) ;o) said...

What about a patch of pineapples? My VBGF has hers, gympie way. I am hoping to semi-hothouse some.
Look at how well you've all done~! admiration plus **
Hope to be QLD 2010 or before should it happen.
~ Mands! :o)

Bel said...

Ooooh, I have pineapples in with the vegies Mands. They're a bit slow but soooo pretty to watch growing...

Best wishes for your QLD 2010 goal!