One of our farm goals for the next few years is turning our market vegetable garden into a fruit paradise. With this, we needed a few more acres. So, we are extending this to eventually cover at least six acres.
This year we will be planting grapes and more apple trees. Our goal here is to eventually plant enough for a fruit CSA (community supported agriculture) and sell value-added products. For example, jams, jelllies, apple cider, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and apple butter are all value-added products.
We also would like to keep our fruits organic. This way, we will have a niche that no one else in our area or surrounding areas will have. This will not be a big orchard or vineyard, so, keeping it organic will be a little bit easier, plus, our products will be selling at a premium compared to pesticide-sprayed fruits.
Because we pay cash for our farm businesses, we have to take small steps. Planting six acres of different kinds of fruits all in one year would be quite expensive! That is why we are only planting grapes and more apple trees this year.
What's on the agenda for the following years? More apples including antique varieties, more grapes, cherry trees, peach trees, nectarine and plum trees. On a smaller scale we will be planting unusual varieties such as northern hardy kiwi, persimmon trees and elderberries.
We have many u-pick blueberry farms around here and one u-pick strawberry farm. I doubt we will plant these other than for our own consumption.
Raspberries and blackberries are also on the farm goal plan.
So, what goes well with fruits? How about nuts? We plan on planting a few almond trees that are hardy enough for our zone 5.
Although planting fruit will take 2-3 years to make a profit, I do believe it will be worth the wait! Imagine people coming to your very own farm store and buying fruit that you tenderly cared for!
Add a herdshare of goat's milk and goat cheese and we have a fulltime operation!
I'm seeing it, how about you?
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