This is to be part of a series of posts about what we are, or are on our way to being, Self Sufficient In ...
Everywhere is greening up nicely now, so much so that I am going to start calling the spot where the chickens are currently living The Orchard. After all according to Wikipedia -
Which is exactly what this is, although with the trees appearing to be no more than spindly little sticks until this last few weeks, I was loathe to give it such a 'posh' title.
So in The Orchard we have:
3 Damson trees - Merryweather
3 Pear trees - Doyenne du Comice
3 Cherry trees - 2 Stella and 1 Morello
3 Apple trees - 1 Bramley, 1 Braeburn and 1 Cox's Orange Pippin
3 Plum trees - Victoria
And at the top of the hill espaliered on the fence is another unknown variety of Pear.
All the trees used to have identifying labels on them ... but the chickens have very helpfully removed most of them, it's a good job I have a little notebook that reminds me of everything that we have planted!!
I have temporarily moved the Blueberries out of the Net Tunnel to stand by the back door of it. The wind has been much calmer recently and as a reader commented recently (thanks for the reminder Kris) they do need to be pollinated by the bees. It was okay while I was working in there with the door open each day but I have had no reason to be in there for the last week and I doubt many bees would be able to fit through the mesh of the tunnel so (to quote Nellie Pledge) they are stood standing outside for now.
At the front door of the polytunnel, this week's sunshine and warmth has brought the transplanted strawberries on a treat and at last we have flowers. The strawberries in the tall galvanised planter on the right of the tyres have now been joined by the start of the Jerusalem Artichokes that also live in this tub. That's the first one coming through that you can see in the top righthand corner of the tub.
As well as the fruit trees in the Orchard and the strawberries here in the old tyres and planter, we have the nut trees in Nut Wood, four Walnut, two Almond and two Sweet Chestnut. This is our wildlife area and also has wild flowers and lots of Borage to encourage the bees. In the Rhubarb patch there are now four rhubarb different kinds of rhubarb alongside some more strawberries that were hiding when I moved the others. There is also a hanging basket of strawberry plants in the polytunnel and a tray of Cape Gooseberries that have over-wintered nicely.
Dotted regularly down the fence of the hillside we have our red, black and white currant bushes and by the Rowens at the bottom of the hill are the four Gooseberries. All of which were cuttings taken from our neighbour Mary's lovely bushes last year and they're doing really well. And I mustn't forget the old Belfast sink near the back door that is absolutely full of lovely flowering strawberry plants.
And of course over in the original Chicken World there are the Plum and Cherry trees and the huge old Bramley apple tree that absolutely dripped with huge apples last year, many of which are still residing in the freezer, sliced and in crumbles and pie bases. Over by the man-shed there is another old eating apple tree of unknown type, all these were here when we moved in and although we do not know the type we do now know the flavour and that is very good.
So I have my fingers firmly crossed for another decent fruit yield this year, with the amount of blossom that is on all the trees it's looking hopeful.
So one day we will be Self Sufficient In ... Fruit and Nuts