Under the Trees: How to Run Your Own Orchard

close up shot of oranges in the orchard
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Retiring to an orchard sounds like something that most people would want to do. Have a bit of money saved and earn a bit more with your own crops. Whether it is apples or oranges, an orchard sounds like an idyllic life. The problem with that is farming, and agriculture is hard work. Plus, there are things that you need to know. Here is a quick guide to familiarize yourself with what you need so that your orchard is a success.

Know the Trees

It can be a surprise, but an apple is not a single fruit. There are actually multiple varieties of apples. Some of them are great for eating directly, some are better for baking, while others have features that make them special in their own way. If you are planning to own an orchard, you need to know the varieties of the fruit tree that you plan to grow.

This knowledge will come to be useful in various parts of the year. For example, there are several fruits that don’t react well to the cold. Knowing what to do in these times can help save your crop from frost. Familiarity with the plants will also allow you to decide on how big your orchard is going to be and what you need to do to grow and expand it.

Be Familiar with the Equipment

Many people think that when you own an orchard, you can just go up to a tree and start picking the fruit off of them. Though that is possible for one or two trees, this is going to be labor-intensive operation. To make it easier, you will need to get equipment both for maintenance and harvesting. For example, equipment like an orchard ladder is there so that you can reach the tops of trees with ease. This allows for you to prune the taller trees and also harvest fruits from the higher branches.

Ladders are just the beginning. You may want to get other equipment that will make harvesting easier from tall trees. Best known as cherry-picker trucks, having one of these is a big help since it allows for a steady platform for fruit picking.

Be Aware of the Laws

woman farmer

As a farmer, there are several laws that you need to follow to the letter. The most important ones are those that concern the use of insecticides. You don’t want people getting sick from eating your fruit. Laws are also there if you want to go fully organic and how you can be worthy of getting that label. The current laws state that you need three years of orchard operation without any chemical additives before you can call your produce organic.

Know Your Labor Needs

An orchard is a big place. If you maintain and harvest it alone, you will have a ton of work on your plate. This is why you need to know how many people you need to run the place. This can just be day workers or actual employees. Just make sure you don’t do it alone.

A proper orchard setup still takes much work. But solid know-how can make your orchard dreams a reality. Plus, with enough hard work, you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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