Our Orchard Design & Development

Mar 26, 2015

here, which we’re slowly, but surely nudging towards looking something like the sketch below… orchard sketchWe don’t really have a good photo of what this space looked like before we started work on it. But here’s a photo of the excavator moving rubbish (the previous owner dumped there) when we were in the early stages of getting things started. DSC03057 At the moment it looks like this. IMAG0230 One of the first things we did when we stablised the main steep bank was plant it out with lots of vigorous seeds including white clover, calendula, borage, corn flowers and nasturtiums – plus we had volunteers such as dock and plantain spring up everywhere to ‘hold’ the bank together. We’re now enjoying the “instant” beauty of these plants while we wait for all the native ground covers and small bushes to grow. They’re so small you can’t see them in this photo, but they’re there! IMAG0233 The central path has been dug out on contour, filled with these fancy things which look like milk crates (designed for grey water systems), wrapped in geo fabric and back filled with woodchips. Most of the time it’s an empty space, over designed to be able to cope with crazy floods (just in case) so there’s no risk of it flooding or causing water logging with the plant’s roots. Eventually we’ll be directing greywater from our house (kitchen/bathroom water) into this absorption trench, currently this is where the overflow from our rain tank (which is so big it never over flows) is directed.

IMG_2164

Globe artichokes and comfrey have been planted on the downhill side of the slope to capture excess water runoff (they love moist, fertile spaces) and to stablise the slope.The comfrey also gets slashed back a couple of times every summer and used as mulch for the fruit trees.

IMG_2171A young apple tree in its early days of being trained along the wires

IMG_2172One of our cherry trees being ‘fan’ espaliered

IMG_2169 We cut down the existing wild plum tree (which was all pip and no flesh) and did a bark graft with a super awesome plum variety. It’s looking pretty exciting and promising!

IMG_2166Kiwi vine with perennial nasturtium and a rogue cape gooseberry in the background

We also planted hops which are a perennial crop that grow super tall into Summer and get cut down every Autumn. The idea is that they can be trained along the same framework as the fruit trees and kiwis, just at a different height, so they can all live harmoniously in a compact space.

IMG_2160

988952_931631203537792_8210469918187294265_n

Anton and some of our hops – our first harvest from our young orchard space.

In the photo below, you can see a fluffy plant on the bottom right, along the line of espaliered fruit trees – this is asparagus, which has gotta go. It’s simply too big and dominating for our super compact orchard and will compete with our fruit trees for nutrients and space above and below the ground. I had a moment of false enthusiasm when I planted it so will be transplanting it into another space this coming Winter. In a larger orchard, asparagus can be planted easily, we’re just a bit space poor on our crazy steep slope.

IMAG0234_BURST002_COVER One day in the not too far future the empty lines of wire you can see will be covered in kiwi vines and mature fruit trees. It will be pretty spunky. But we reckon it looks pretty spunky right now compared to the massively weedy mess it was when we started – think large sprawling cotoneasters and rosehips with thorns that could rip your eyes out. We kinda already feel like we’ve ‘made it’, imagine how we’ll feel once we’re hanging out in there, enjoying some homebrew and eating fruit straight off the tree… Good, really good.]]>

your thoughts:

5 Comments

  1. Kathy

    A compact orchard is a beautiful way to phrase it! Espaliered apples can be just as productive (if not more so) than their standard counterparts! I had a huge harvest of over 130kg of apples off mine this year, check it out! http://bit.ly/1BI7bzx

    Reply
  2. Joel

    Gosh, it’s so great to see your orchard progress! So much inspiration, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Hannah Moloney

    Thank Joel! It’s been a bit of a slog, so it’s great to see it coming together!

    Reply
  4. Rebecca

    Hi Hannah. Am wondering where you got your “milk crate” drainage things? Just came across you site. It all looks great.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might also like…

Home Harvest Host Call Out!

Home Harvest Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our third annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Saturday March 5th, 2022 in and around Hobart where […]

The Hot Box

The Hot Box

When it comes to energy efficient hacks, the humble hot box is as simple as it gets. The hot box is exactly what it sounds like, and is how you can cook quite a lot of your food after being initially heated on the stove for a short time. But why bother? Australian households are […]

6 Hacks For Easy Chook Keeping

6 Hacks For Easy Chook Keeping

If you’re looking to start keeping chickens, or are wanting to tweak and refine your current system, this video is for you. I’ve summarised just six hacks which will transform you and your chicken’s lives and included some more links to other highly useful things you can do in the resources list at the end […]

Managing Your Perennial Kale “Trees”

Managing Your Perennial Kale “Trees”

This week I’ve put together a little follow up video on the “Perennial Kale Trees” video I did around a month ago.  I explain how you manage the plants once they go to seed or get invaded by aphids – which happens to us all! This little video shows you a simple way you can […]

Edible Flowers

Edible Flowers

You may not realise that so many of the flowers in your garden can actually feature in your next meal.  In this latest Good Life For All video I take you for a stroll through our garden where I harvest and eat seven different flowers. This is the 12th video in our Good Life For […]

Food Forests

Food Forests

Come for a tour of a few of our small food forests to learn what they are, the plants we’ve included and how they play a key role in our steep landscape. This is the 11th video in our Good Life For All series. Each Monday I’ll pop up a video to help inspire folks […]

How To Manage Codling Moth (video)

How To Manage Codling Moth (video)

While some pest and diseases can be tolerated in small amounts, codling moth is not one of those as it will devastate your apple crops and make you cry.  This latest video builds on one of our older blogs and shows you exactly what you can do to keep codling moth out of your apples […]

How To Grow Kale Trees

How To Grow Kale Trees

We grow a lot of leafy greens in our garden including kale. But we treat it a bit differently by pruning it to turn it into a perennial plant where it can keep feeding us for a few years. this little video shows you how… Also – In the video I mention that we make […]

A Reading From My Book, ‘The Good Life’

A Reading From My Book, ‘The Good Life’

This past week I launched my book in nipaluna at the Town Hall with Kirsten Bradley and 300 other new and old friends. It was very special for me to be able to share this moment with so many beautiful souls. Dear friend, Kirsten Bradley and me 🙂 To celebrate the book coming out into […]

Worm Farm Tour

Worm Farm Tour

As part of our Good Life For All videos we’re uploading to Youtube weekly, I filmed a little tour of our large worm farm to show folks how it works and why we love it so much. Enjoy! DID YOU KNOW: Keeping food scraps out of landfill and returning them to the Earth isn’t just […]

How To Prune A Young Fruit Or Nut Tree

How To Prune A Young Fruit Or Nut Tree

For our second video in our Good Life For All series I show you how to prune a young fruit or nut tree. This method can be used for most fruit trees to shape them for maximum yield. Pruning can be confusing For anyone who’s researched pruning, you’ll notice there’s an overwhelming amount of ways to […]

Winter Property Tour

Winter Property Tour

A collection of videos to explore our garden and life. This video is a winter property tour so you can get a sense of where we are and what we’re doing. There’s still so much to do on our property – but it’s already punching above its weight, providing us (and our loved ones) with food […]