Ten Reasons You Need To Plant An Apple Orchard

As we were getting ready to call it a day last night, my wife said to me, “Do you realize we are surrounded by apple trees in bloom?  Every window I look out,  including the laundry room window, I can see apple blossoms.” ….

orchard in bloom

Me amidst the apple trees in bloom 2015

apple tree starting to bloom

Apple blossoms starting to open spring of 2015

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Ten Reasons You Need To Plant An Apple Orchard

Hanging scale in our sales area

1.  Photo opportunities.   Our apple orchard constantly changes with the seasons.   There is always something catching my eye and bringing me joy.

Royal Court apple tree in bloom this Spring

2.  It provides the perfect blend of solitude and social interaction.  I love my peace and quiet.  There is nothing more nurturing for me than spending a Saturday morning alone, picking apples.  At the same time, I do love meeting and bantering with the public on occassion, and when the mood strikes, I will load up the pick up and head to our local farmers market.

Hawking apples at the farmers market last season

3.  Supplemental income.   Sure there is some work involved in tending an orchard, but not nearly as much as you might suspect.  One Semi dwarf tree  will cost you  $20 to $25.00 and once it’s mature, it can produce between 2 to 4 bushel of apples a year. = 80 to 160 pounds of fruit @ $1.50 a pound that’s $120 to $240 gross, from one tree…per year..not bad for some additional pocket change if you ask me 😉

4.  mental stimulation.    While the basics of tending an apple orchard are pretty easy to grasp, there is always something new to learn.   Did you know there are over 750 different varieties of apples in the United States alone, and over 2000 varieties world wide?

5.  Keeps you physically active. Keep those muscles moving”  my grandpa used to say.  Between the pruning in the early spring, to the picking in the fall,  having an orchard provides me with lots of  opportunities  to be physically active outside, all the while,I’m getting paid  and enjoying some fresh air.  As I  get older  I will probably do more of that “you pick” marketing, but for now, I can still climb and honestly, I love picking apples.  Last Saturday, I picked about 1200 pounds of apples in about 6 hours.

6.  Provides me with lots of opportunities to bless others.  I’m not going to brag and tell you how this works itself out except to say, I try to sell mostly our #1 apples, which means, what to do with the seconds?    The opportunities  to give are all around.

7.  Get to enjoy some varieties of fruit that are hard to come by normally – plus if you can find them, you’ll pay through the nose.  Sure we have Honey crisp, was told last year they were charging up to $5.00 a pound for those little rascals.   So far this year, I’ve picked 11 crates of them and probably have at least another 8.  My personal favorite is called the Ginger Gold:

Ginger Gold.

It is every bit as crispy as the Honey crisp and sweet.   Last year we had 32 crates of these little jewels.

8.  Fresh apple cider.    You haven’t lived until you’ve had fresh apple cider pressed from your own apples.   It’s got a texture and taste you’ll never , ever find in a store -ever.  If you come to visit, and the apples are in season, you can help me press out a batch. 😉

9.  You’ll  give the bees something to talk about.  Ever hear of the “waggle dance”?

10. Provides me with lots  of spiritual insight.

Life is full of mystery.    I believe God has hidden the answers to some of our questions about life in the apple orchard.

Pruning and suffering.  I hate it when people try to slap pat answers onto my life when I’m in the middle of something hard.  It makes me angry.  So I will not disrespect you and do that now.  Sometimes it feels like I’m getting “pruned”  and when it does, I barely have enough energy to survive, let alone  do more.

Fruitfulness (ever see an apple tree grunt?  🙂  Me neither.

Seasons.   Apple trees don’t produce fruit 12 months out of the year.  In fact, they need large blocks of “down time”  in the winter..to get ready for the next season.  They literally need that time, which is why apple trees don’t do well in warmer climates.

Variety.  Already mentioned this one, but it bears repeating.    Apple trees vary widely and differently in the type of fruit they produce.  I think people are created much more varied than culture tries to tell us.   I found an apple tree on an abandoned farmstead a few years ago like nothing I’d ever seen before.  Some heirloom variety I’m sure.  It looked and tasted just like it was designed to taste.  Definitely not some domesticated boring apple.  So why do you and I sometimes think we have to look like everybody else?   Nothing more beautiful than someone being 100% alive just the way they were designed:

Heirloom variety I found at an abandoned orchard near here

As always, thanks for reading my stuff 😉 DM

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14 thoughts on “Ten Reasons You Need To Plant An Apple Orchard

  1. When I read the post title outloud to Ben, my former orchardist husband, he snorted. He was growing apples for a living–early 80s to 2000. Lost his 55 acres to the bank during a time when small farmers were having a rough go. He learned a lot of course, loved the independence and quiet, mentored young many who worked for him, but it ended up a deep loss. He moved here to the Yakima valley in 2000 to lick his wounds. We met in 2004 and married in 2006. I had an acre with an apple tree and two peach trees. Just perfect!! I’ve always loved to watch him prune. We had a large crop of peaches last august but this year a warm March fooled the tree into early bloom … and then a few 28 degree nights did its job. We’ll have less work in August…but will dearly miss the fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tell Ben “Hi” for me! I’m sorry to hear about the heartache w/ the orchard/ banking etc. That was a lot of apple trees!!!! I’m at 100 trees/ just under an acre of ground and that is enough to scratch my apple tree itch. any more than that and it would be work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Three reasons I don’t need to plant an apple orchard:

    I don’t have anywhere to plant one…
    Apples don’t like to grow in Houston…
    It’s better I should buy apples from you, and people like you, to help support your apple growing habit!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good to hear from you Archeocotech! That does not surprise me….I’m guessing a good portion of Russia and the area where we live are somewhat close to the same latitude, on the map..and apples need (LOVE) winter in order to get a well needed break…something some of us humans still haven’t figured out 🙂 The need for a regular “pause” DM

      Like

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