Planning an Orchard:While our orchard was in the development stages we did a lot of planning, plotting, tilling, selecting, researching and cider drinking.When we first came to the conclusion that we should start an orchard we had been fermenting hard cider for 5 years. The idea sprang forth after a lively discussion. We realized that we knew what flavors we most enjoyed and realized that we couldn't control flavor unless we had control over the whole cider making process. We developed our first draft orchard. Our ultimate goal is to press around 150 gallons of cider annually while keeping peak production under 200 gallons. The following numbers are just ballpark figures:There is 80lbs of apples to 5 gallons of cider. One tree is estimated to yield over 100lbs of apples. So... 80lbs of apples 150Gal of Cider Yearly Apple Tree
______________ X ____________ X _____________ = 24 Trees
5 Gallons of Cider 1 Year 100lbs of Apples
Our current plan calls for 17 apple trees and 2 pear trees. This is close to 100 gallons of cider per year. Although this falls short of our 150-200 gallon goal, we are being realistic about space constraints, start-up funds and orchard maintenance. In addition, it allows us to press, ferment and test our cider. We can then plant 4-5 more flavor targeted trees to round out the product.
Purchasing the Orchard:
All of our trees were purchased from Elmore Roots. They are extremely knowledgeable, responsive and great to work with. We highly recommend Elmore Roots. So far, they are the only supplier we have used that not only met our expectations, but then proceeded to exceed them.
Here's a quick list of suppliers and service providers who have failed to meet expectations:
Linden L.A.N.D Group - Unity Rating of 0 out of, well who cares, its a zero
Miles Weston Landscape Designs - Unity rating of 2 out of 5
Maintaining the Orchard
Trees grow with sunshine and water. Yup, sunshine and water. Sunshine and water and love. Lots of love.
Also, please check out our "Wish List". The wish list is a collection of photos from magazines that we wish to mimic in our yard one day.