Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The orchard site

I have decided an orchard is the best option for an area north of the pond that has a few trees, lots of grass, and almost no regeneration. Best managment practices say you should not cut trees near streams and other bodies of water. I would not want to plant a tree that I knew would be cut down in the future. Especially since the recommended BMP buffer zone is only going to expand in the future as more people veiw the land as something to protect and not another harvest. The orchard site is in a V between the inlet stream and the outlet stream for the pond. In the photo, you can see the site and the scattered trees that must come out. A bit of land may be useable on the eastern side of the outlet stream as well. A delimna has risen over what to plant. These are not just a yearly crop so you don't want to get it wrong. Mayhaws were my first thought, but the problem is marketing the berries. Jelly and other retail products would be easier, but take a $10k certified kitchen to produce legally. I have begun studying other fruits to grow organically, but run into time, quality, and sitability issues. Pecans are starting to be the front runners now. They have the most proven organic research. A lot of support is available in Texas, including marketing. It is also wide spread and accumulators are present in many locations that buy from small producers. The trick now is figuring out if a small scale operation can make enough money to justify the required equipment. Oh well, more reading to do while I prepare the site by cutting a few trees and starting mowing it down real low in preparation for planting next winter.

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