This week was all about my kitchen garden… well my orchard really. I have always owned lemon and lime trees, but now I have 23 acres to play with, I thought it was time to expand my collection. Needless to say, I’ve gone a little crazy. My husband, the financial controller in our family, started to put the breaks on when I hit 15 fruit trees. To be fair, we had also just bought 26 Canadian Maples for our driveway and 130 Leighton’s Green Conifers to line the western side of the property, which also runs alongside the dirt road. My husband built a temporary green house to help these young plants combat the harsh frost in the Yass Valley, until we have time to plant them.

Leighton Confiers in green house

My husband built this temporary green house- but if you ask my son he’ll tell you it’s his cubby house!

I really wanted to try and get as many heritage varieties of fruit trees as practical. I didn’t see much sense in planting what we could buy at the supermarket. Not to mention, often the varieties at the supermarket are grown because the produce a lot of fruit and are robust. I don’t necessarily value the same qualities. Taste is paramount.

My daughter sitting amongst the trees.

Someone had a lot of fun riding around with the trees.

Initially I researched on the internet and picked my favourite varieties… then I found it was really difficult to source these varieties. So I changed my game plan. I headed over to the Heritage Nursery in Yarralumla, took note of what trees they had, went home and researched them, then came back and bought the ones I wanted. They had just had a delivery so the variety of their stock was incredible. We want to espalier our fruit trees. This not only means the fruit is easier to pick, but the increased air flow around the fruit should mean they are more resistant to disease. I realise that this will take up more space, but we have 10 hectares… it may also mean we don’t get as much fruit, but we can always add more fruit trees. Knowing this, Holly showed us how to pick out the trees that had a shape that lended themselves towards being espaliered. But that was not all! She then pruned them for us. By the time we got through all the trees, we felt we knew what we were doing. Now we just need to remember it for next year!

Holly pruning the fruit trees

What did we end up with?

Apples: Gravenstein, Michelin (for cider), Cox’s Orange Pippin, Red Braeburn, Granny Smith, Pink Lady (my children’s favourite.

Plum: Mariposa, Satsuma, Angelina

Pear: Williams, Corella, Josephine

Fig: Brown Turkey

Peach: ANZAC, Blackburn Elberta

Cherry: Lappin (I will add one more variety)

Apricot: Trevatt, Goldrich

Quince: (I am still deciding between Van Deman or Rhea’s Mammoth)

 

What do you think of my choices? Have I missed your favourite? We will add a few more next year. I’d at least like to add one variety of Nectarine and a Nashi.

Our build story on our new property began last week. Did you catch our July Week 2 post? We continue our build story next week July Week 4: Mud and Work.

 

Remember to check out all the other great blogs who link up on Tuesday with Jess.

Written by Nadia

7 Comments

nadiamc

I know! I can’t wait. I don’t know if I’m more excited that we’ll have grown our own fruit – or that our grocery bills will drop dramatically. I am absolutely astounded at how much toddlers eat!!

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Jo

All those fruit varieties sound fabulous, and I’m glad you’ve got some cider apples. We had a few trees in the UK that bore mostly cooking apples, which was yummy. But as I’m domestically challenged, I didn’t make the most of them. Now I live in Australia, I’m desperate to have citrus trees – just for the novelty of being able to grow it outdoors! However, not only am I domestically challenged, I have a talent for killing plants, too. I guess Woolies is safe in the knowledge my business will keep coming it’s way. ūüôā

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nadiamc

Citrus are very robust. If you do get any pests, they tend to be common and easy to fix. When in doubt, photograph it and take the picture to your local nursery. They’ll point you in the right direction on what to get to fix it. I’ve always had citrus (mainly because I’m too stingy to pay what the supermarkets charge). Unfortunately, now we live in the Yass Valley, the only way we’ll get citrus is if we have them in a greenhouse. Maybe next year?

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nadiamc

It will be even better when we have a house! Not so great when you have to pee behind a tree ūüôĀ

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Emily

Oh wow. Feeling way out of my depth. We renovated our house and are FINALLY about to start on the backyard. I have no green in my thumb. I asked hubby if we could just have grass. No flowers to maintain. Just mow the lawn. Easy, yes? No? Gah, I’m useless! #teamIBOT

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