Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Backyard Orchard

Back in the fall, Brian discovered a group called the Valley Permaculture Alliance, which is a group of people who grow things here in Phoenix.  There are only certain things that grow here in the desert, and even those require some special treatment.  So, Brian has learned a lot about what varieties to grow and how to take care of them so they'll bear fruit.  It's a lot different than having a garden in Oregon, where it doesn't get to be 115 degrees in the summer!

So, one day we visited a lady's house who claims to have a backyard orchard.  I was curious how she was able to plant multiple fruit trees in her backyard and make them fit.  Brian wanted to pick her brain about which trees she has and how she takes care of them.  Here are some pictures from our visit...keep in mind, this was December, so everything looks kind of scraggly.

This is her citrus, she had tangerines and oranges and lemons along the side of her car port
These are apple trees.  She had 3 or 4 planted really close to one another so they'd cross pollinate
banana trees!!!  (doing much better than ours!)
These are the apricots and peaches and plums along the other side of her house.

We thought this was a fantasticly brilliant idea!!  So, when we moved into our new house, we started making plans.  We quickly pulled out the GIANT oleander and the 4 bougainvillas to make room for more fruit trees.  Just last weekend Brian planted 5 new fruit trees he bought.

Our 5 new fruit trees: peach, plum, apricot, pluot, nectarine
Our 5 new babies all planted!!

I'm really excited to have these grow up and bear fruit.  Plus they'll create a nice hedge to hide that ugly, boring fence.  But, we're going to have to learn how to can!!

So, here's what our "orchard" looks like now:  4 different kinds of pomegranates (did you know there are different kinds?  You always just get Wonderful at the store!), 2 different kinds of guavas, the 5 fruit trees above, our 2 citrus trees (oranges and grapefruits), our 2 banana trees that we brought from the other house, and we have a blackberry plant (a special species that grows in the desert), a star fruit plant, and a goji berry.  Then, of course, we can eat our neighbors figs if we want them!   Next year, we plan on planting 3 or 4 apple trees out front.  And we'll build the beds for our garden and start growing our vegetables in there.  The goal is to not have to buy produce at the store!  I think we're on our way!!

What do you think?  Anything else you think we should plant?  What do you like to grow at your house?

1 comment:

  1. A backyard orchard is aesthetically-pleasing and practical. I find it brilliant and fantastic to grow your own food in your backyard. I know it’s an effort to take care of them, but it’s worth the favor it gives the wellness of the house and its owner. How is your backyard orchard doing, btw?

    Richard Smith @ Bay Area Tree Specialists