The Orchard at Hedgerow Farm

When we bought Hedgerow Farm in spring of 2008, the fruit trees consisted of 4 very large fig trees still producing after years of neglect and drought.  In a pasture, stood two very old pear trees, two apple trees and they too have given us a harvest each year.   Wild blackberries grow along the edges of the ponds and woodland.  Some years we harvest flavorful fruit, some years the berries are too small or bitter to pick, or the deer harvest first and we glean what they leave behind.

In the fall of 2011, we began the new Ancient Orchard, just a short walk behind the farmhouse.  Using local, salvaged McMillan bricks from the early 20th century, the walls give the impression of having stood there for decades.

Planting Day was Epiphany 2012.  Heirloom apple trees from Century Farm Orchards in North Carolina.  With names like Yates, King David, Early June, Royal Limbertwig, …these young trees are already a delight to our vocabulary!

Homesteading with Fruit Trees

Five fruit trees constitute an orchard.  Plant fewer and call it a kitchen orchard. Mark a milestone, honor a loved with an heirloom tree. Tend to it well the first few years and enjoy the fruits of your labor for decades!

This video by Michael Phillips of Herbs and Apples will explain more:

Old Southern Apples by Creighton Lee Calhoun
The Holistic Orchard  by Michael Phillips

Century Farm Orchards
Herbs and Apples
USDA Pomological Collection