I’ve been inspired, by P. Allen Smith’s Stone Fruit Orchard, to take our small orchard to another level. So, over the past few weekends, I’ve had Matt working on this area of our homestead for me, constructing raised beds around our stone fruit trees. Using left-over 2 x 6’s that we found on our property (and a few more newly purchased ones), this is what he constructed…
This area will eventually contain six heirloom, semi-dwarf peach, nectarine, and plum trees underplanted with strawberries, filling the large, wood-bordered boxes ( all of the trees are from Trees of Antiquity, my absolute favorite place for finding unique, historical trees that I just can’t get locally).
Right now, I’m filling all of the boxes with fallen leaves and uprooted weeds. These will decompose, over the winter, under several inches of finished compost.
In the middle of the orchard lie two, half-buried, metal boxes that I’ve already planted with strawberries (both of which were given to me from some thoughtful and generous friends — I love the look: rustic/industrial!).
I’m thinking about lining the walkways with some crushed granite or pea gravel — a few arbors and grape or kiwi vines would look amazing in the entrance/exit spaces, too, don’t you think?
I love that the area is, now, well-defined and gives a more formal look to this part of our homestead. I think Matt did a wonderful job creating these simple, raised beds, and I’m looking forward to watching how it evolves over the years, and to harvesting all of the delicious fruits that we’re going to harvest here!
It may not be on quite the same scale as P. Allen Smith’s orchard, but I think it’s just the perfect style and size for our Happy Homestead.
Do you have an orchard that you might now be inspired to transform or create?