Sunday, February 1, 2009

To Orchard or Not to Orchard

It is now an established fact that I do love gardening. I really can't think of ever going back to not gardening. The taste of a tomato so fresh I can almost taste the sunlight, lettuce so recently plucked that it is still finishing up photosynthesis while we enjoy it and corn so new and bright and sweet that it is shocking.

Yes, I do love my veggies. But I also love the process. Lovingly tending the tiny seedlings, the exciting day when those strong plants get bedded into the garden and the smell and feel of the foliage as it grows.

Oh yes, I'm a gardener alright.

But what about fruit? I do so want more permaculture that I'm feeling a terrible lack.

But there is a little hitch to just doing it.

I'm not going to be staying in this house after I finally leave the military. Instead, I'll either be moving to the 3/4 acre that I already have a few states away or, if I finally find "the place", then to there. But either way, it won't be here.

So actually planting an orchard doesn't seem smart. For most things, I'll just be getting that first harvest when I'm ready to leave. But also, who wants to to wait several years for that first harvest from trees once I get moved. Ahh..the conundrum.

What I have done is buy a few dwarf apple trees that I'm told I can keep in very large containers for a few years. We'll see if that is true. I also have 4 Arbequina Olive trees coming that can supposedly be kept in large containers forever if need be. Again, we'll see.

But for every tree that I buy and keep in a container, I also have to be committed to hauling that now much grown tree all the way to my final homestead. And while I will have a military shipment of my regular household goods, I will also be hauling all the rest and my SUV in a truck on my own. I'm sure that is going to be stressful for them.

So what does everyone out there suggest? Should I go for it and fill my life with everything from elderberries to pears or should I stick with the 7 trees I have. Or at most, get a few of those ever so tiny citrus trees that are more like houseplants.

Tough call...


Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

I'd say stick with the 7 you have and barter for the fruits you don't have. Do you ever visit your 3/4 acre? If so, you might want to start planting trees on it so if you do decide to land there permanently, you'll have established trees. Just a thought.

ChristyACB said...

I wish I could get things started there! Unfortunately, the land is plumb covered in trees that have to be selectively removed based on my final approved building plan.

Don't you just love "rural hobby farm friendly" community building boards? LOL.

Thanks for the read :) And I didn't even think of the barter aspect for fruit, but I will be scouting.

Diana R.Smith said...

I say plant them where you are and leave them for the next resident being content with the fact that you have improved a little part of Mother Earth. When we left our MI 20 acre homestead for this Ozark 120 we left behind a beautiful small orchard, grapes that we just bearing, the best rhubarb and berry patches but the people who bought our place loved it and they were so much farther ahead on their homesteading journey. Our first job here was the orchard and berries before we even touched our ancient farm house. Each year we plant trees even though we have 80 acres of them...because we can! And we always sing the old Arbor Dayad- John Denver song--Plant a tree for your tomorrow......DEE