In a previous post I mentioned that we would want at least 5 of each variety of tree we plan to plant in our orchard.
So now I am trying to decide how many of each fruit tree to plant, and it is proving problematic.
I created this spread sheet (work in progress) to help keep me organized, but in doing so I found out that there are any number of ways that a person/group/company/university can refer to a harvested yield of fruits. I just want to know pounds, because that is generally how consumption is statistically presented.
I needed to calculated based on the following to determine how many of each tree I would need to plant.
- How many pounds does the average person consume of each fruit per year?
- How many pounds does each tree produce per year?
- In our location this could be less than one harvest per year (i.e., produces only once every 5 years, etc.)
- How many people do we intend to feed off our trees?
I was going to create my own post that pulled together all ratios, formula, conversions, etc, since I was bouncing all over and using conversion calculators to find it myself. After about an hour, I finally found this page, from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, that gave a pretty good compilation of what I was looking for! Thank goodness!
I am now only missing a few of the more obscure fruit trees. I will probably only plant 1 -3 of those since they are not what I consider “staples”. To me, staple fruits are apples, pears, peaches, and maybe apricots, plums and cherries. Currently (and as you know, things change) I need to plant at least 8 apple trees and 9 peach trees. It seems like I could get away with just 1 of each of the other trees. To limit possible losses due to tree illnesses etc. I will probably plant 3 or 4 of each with grafted pollinators where necessary.
Currently, I never eat cherries as they are just too expensive to buy. As high as $6 per pound in some places, so I am looking forward to trying to grow my own. I think using the fruit walls that I talked about earlier will hopefully make growing much easier.
I am also learning that fruit trees don’t seem to like to pollinate with like varieties. They do best when they are cross pollinated with another variety of the same type of tree. I find this interesting but also disheartening. As far as I know, cross pollinated trees produce questionable seeds. You never know if you will get a tasty fruit off a propagated seed from a cross pollinated tree.
So, once again, this is a work in progress… heading up to the homestead property again this weekend. I hope to share the property layout soon and get some feedback on that.