We already have a great variety of trees planted in our orchard. But this fall, we decided to plant 4 new types of on our homestead. So our orchard now also has a chestnut tree, a hazelnut tree, a peach tree and quince tree.
After spending a full summer and autumn here we can finally say that we know what grows in our back yard, or better said in our orchard. We started getting fruits around May from our cherry trees and those were delicious! The weather conditions were just right for our cherry trees so we had a lot of fruit on the trees and the cherries grew nice and big. So many in fact we happily shared them with our loved ones.
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Then came the sour cherries. We got so many we even had the chance to preserve some of the sour cherries for winter. We just put them in sterilized jars with about two tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of preservative. The juice from the sour cherries then filled up the whole the jar and along with the sugar kept it from spoiling. Now we have a bunch of sour cherries to bake some mouth watering sour cherry cakes.
We also have a big bag of them frozen to use as ice cubes in our wine glasses. Putting a few frozen sour cherries in your glass of wine simply makes you feel more classy!
Mid summer we had a few was cherries and plum cherries that ended up as jam. We actually made only two jars in our Crockpot Slow Cooker because we didn’t have a kitchen at that time. We also messed up the recipe a bit so we’re waiting for next year for to apply what we learned this summer.
As autumn drew closer we started getting a sorts of apples: green, yellow, red, big and small. We also got pears, nuts and mulberries throughout the year.
Quince is a peculiar fruit. Personally I don’t like eating quinces. But I love the way they smell and I think having a few quince fruits laying around the house beats any fragrance dispenser. And I also love chicken breast with quince sauce. It’s a delicious dish, I might post the recipe sometime…
Our neighbour has a few quince trees so we know they grow in our area. We’re not sure if they can make it in the heavy clay soil we have where the orchard is situated, but we hope to be able to take good care of them. The previous owner didn’t have the time to take care of the orchard properly, so the soil hasn’t been tilted, mulched or watered in recent years.
Since its autumn right now we won’t know if any of our freshly planted fruit trees will survive. For now we mulched and watered generously and we hope for a forgiving winter.
We planted a peach tree right next to it, but I’m not sure how well it will do in our climate. It tends to be just a little bit too cold here during winters. The peach tree will do just fine in summer, when it gets nice and hot, I’m just hoping it can also survive the cold snaps we get here.
We have 3 old walnut trees on our property already, but we wanted to add some variety. It will sadly take a lot of years before our chestnut tree will bare fruit, until then I can only dream of the moment when I’ll be eating roasted chestnuts sourced from my own land. Can’t wait!
Roasted hazelnuts are amazing for cakes, fresh hazelnuts are delicious to eat so that was also something we wanted to have around. Plus, hazelnut trees grow really fast and attract a lot of birds, which we love.
Next spring we’ll get to see how our trees survive. Hopefully all of them.
Now that cold weather settled and the trees in our orchard enter dormancy, we’re ready to start pruning the orchard. Most of the trees are overgrown and there’s plenty of dead and diseased branches to cut down. Now that we also bought a chainsaw it’s going to be much easier to the job.
This weekend we’re getting our firewood ready. I’m cutting down the big logs we bought and splitting them up as I go. And next weekend we should get to pruning the trees.
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