Monday, January 04, 2010

The fruits we grow

One of our dreams at La Pasera has been to produce organically, as much fruit as we possibly can. To help us achieve this we have spent some time creating a small orchard. I was once told that to be able to say that you have an orchard you need a minimum of 6 fruit trees, we certainly have a greater number than that.
When we first moved to La Pasera, we inherited some mature fruit trees including 5 apple trees, two very old and hugh cherry trees, a walnut tree and several wild hazels. Of all the apple trees, we were lucky enough to have two varieties of nice eating apples, one of which is a russet (my favourite apple), the others are cider apples. With biodiversity in mind, we have planted two different types of pear (Conference and Manteca Hardy), a greengage and an orange tree, in addition, a selection of soft fruit bushes. The greengage and pears are still a bit young and we are hoping to start getting some fruits from them in the near future.
The orange tree was a birthday present from Ian´s parents and after blossoming last May for the first time, we now have a few oranges still hanging from the branches that hopefully will be ready for picking towards early Spring. The orange tree is an interesting tree as you get at the same time: blossom, very young fruits and fruits ready to be picked. As the weather gets colder, we are keeping an eye on when the locals start protecting their young orange trees so that we can do the same - they seem to have the experience and local knowledge to know these things! Last Winter we put a temporary frame that protected the tree during the few days we get, of light ground frost and, from hailstone. The photo shows some very healthy young oranges that we hope to taste in the future.

This time of year turns our minds to pruning, something that we are also slowly learning and putting into practice. The raspberry canes will need cutting, the apple trees further pruning and the young blueberries, gooseberries, red and blackcurrant bushes will all need tending and top dressing if they are to produce to their best this coming summer.                                              
Gawber on Patrol

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