Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Starting an Orchard in Vermont, Part Two: Clearing a Hillside

by Tara

Today, Tyler felled the last three trees we've been talking about removing for our hillside orchard. They were perfectly healthy, but they would shade our site more than we wanted. It was hard for me to let go of them, but if we didn't do the work today, it would be a lot harder to change our minds later, with all the fruit trees planted around them. So, we went for it, and spent most of the day limbing branches, bucking logs, and generally clearing up the resulting mess.

Tyler Chainsawing Tree Tyler

Despite my hesitance in letting go of those trees, once they were out of sight I was so happy I almost forgot they ever existed. Suddenly, our land felt spacious in a brand new way—open and sunny and full of bright blue sky. It's as if the true form of our homestead began to reveal itself when the third tree fell.

Tyler Tending a Brush Fire

A few years ago, this hillside was scrubby slope dotted with a handful of large trees, many small saplings, and loads of bushes. Now, it's finally becoming the orchard we dreamed it would be since ever since we laid eyes on it during our very first visit.


I can't believe how far we've come. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we should be able to plant all of our fruit trees!

Previous Entry
Next Entry

1 comment

I wish you best luck with the fruit trees, we planted around 30 last year and found that the best change had the larger ones which we planted in a soil mixed with cow manure, we also used a mixture of water, soil and cow manure (1/1/1) to keep the roots for 30 minutes before to give them the bacteria they need to help them gather nutrients from the soil. We used old cow manure since the new is a bit acidic and if too much "burns" the roots. This old recipe seemed best. Good luck and be that next year you can taste at least one fruit :)
Posted by Len on September 21st, 2015 at 6:36 AM