More and more consumers are choosing organic produce to protect their health and the environment. If you’re thinking about starting an organic orchard, here are the steps you need to be successful.
Plan the Orchard
It’s important not to plant the same type of trees next to each other. This concept is much different than a traditional orchard where there are hundreds of apple trees in a row. The reason why is that if a tree gets infected or diseased, the disease is less likely to spread. So to plan an organic orchard, decide on a variety of trees that will work well together. The general rule is one nitrogen-fixing tree for every two fruiting trees. Planting nitrogen fixers will enable you not to use chemical fertilizers.
Start the Seedlings
Starting seedlings this early may seem premature if you don’t even have land yet, but seedlings take a while to grow into trees that you can transplant. So now that you know what trees you’ll be producing give them a head start.
Buy the Land
You’ll want to consider many things before purchasing land. How many acres do you want? How much do you want to spend? What is the average rainfall? If it’s in a dry climate, how will you get water? What do you want to plant, and does the environment allow for it? What is the quality of the soil? Is it close enough to a populated city so you’ll have people to buy your fruit?
Install the Irrigation
Only do the mainlines at this point so you can target the actual trees once you plant them.
Transplant the Trees
Look up your climate zone to know which month you should plant. Follow the guidelines of the variety of trees you have about how far apart to plant each one. Stake the trees, so they’re not susceptible to damage from wind storms. Finally, make a ring of soil around each trunk to prevent runoff, and connect the trees to the irrigation mainline.
Organize the Picking
Depending on how many trees you have, you may need to hire pickers. You can also be a “pick your own” orchard. People love the experience of picking fruit and nuts, and it will save you on labor costs. If you’re hiring people to pick a lot at once, you’ll want food-grade bulk bags fibc to store them in.
Starting an organic orchard would be a fantastic way to bring quality and nutritious food to the world.