[permaculture] spindle cut orchards

paul wheaton paul at richsoil.com
Sat Jun 2 09:53:36 EDT 2007


Rich,

Good info!

At this point there is no need for trellises.  The branches on the
trees are pretty short and thick.

> I had talked to Tom at Cloud Mountain about clover in the rows for
> nitrogen fixing (he used a creeping red fescue that didn't need much
> mowing).  He'd said that the legumes shed a pulse of nitrogen in fall as
> they go dormant, just as he's trying to get his trees to shut down for
> the year.  If a warm snap hits after the N-pulse, he'd get a push of
> growth that will burn back when winter hits for real.  He's in a pretty
> wild weather area, so I don't know if that holds for all regions.

If there were a dozen different species of legume, including some
perennials, I wonder if that problem would be mitigated.

> This is one of those commercial vs homestead scale issues....

I can see that you can get more apples per acre in a monocrop.  I can
see the safety of fewer ladders.

With more diversity, but a primary focus on apples, I wonder if you
would have half the apples, but ten times more food?

I also wonder about the flavor/nutrition of the apple grown this way.

And the sustainability.

> it seems a
> shame to rip out a bunch of mature producing trees just to introduce
> some diversity, unless there's a problem, either existing or imminent.

Apparently she had the orchard pruned properly the year before.
$1300.   It took three guys all day.  Apparently they were very
professional, very fast and brought a lot of fancy equipment.

This is about 75 trees with the fruit of about 7 full size trees.

> Like all of these decisions, it depends on the context of the
> property...is it a cash crop, or a hobby?

This woman is doing this as a hobby - although if somebody came along
and offered to work it for cash, she would probably be into that.

> Are they all just a couple of
> varieties, or is there a wide diversity of them?

Dunno.

> And how big is the
> orchard?  And what's nearby?

Open fields of grass.



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