Planting a Mini Orchard on a Half Acre Homestead—How to Choose the Right Trees

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It’s no secret that my homestead is teeny tiny! I’ve even hesitated to call it a homestead because it’s more like a backyard. But I’m gonna name it and claim it! Once I got the goats it became a homestead in my eyes. My half acre, in all of its glory, is serving us very well!

So we had the poultry, we added the goats and we had the garden. What else could we need? An ORCHARD! But we didn’t have any room. We had two weird apple trees already (they may be crab apples) that were in the goat pen but they suffer from June Drop really badly. And I didn’t want any trees bringing more bees into the backyard (no matter how good for the garden) or taking up the kids room to play. So I guess an orchard was out of the question.

Then it dawned on me THE SIDE YARD! We have a decent sized side yard that we don’t use. There used to be a really ugly damaged pine tree there but we had it pulled down.

So then I began to research what kinds of fruit trees would be reasonable for us. If you have a small homestead here are some points to consider:

  1. Trees that will stay on the smaller side as opposed to being massive 100 foot tall trees
  2. Trees that will be grafted to produce fruit the first year from proven parents (you don’t have room to plant more trees if the fruit is no good)
  3. Trees that are self fertile so you only have to get one instead of two or more.
  4. Trees that bear fruit that your family will like.
  5. Trees that will do well in your grow zone and soil type.

Keeping all of these points in mind we selected: a Granny Smith apple tree, a Gala Apple tree, and Stella Cherry tree. The ones we chose were grafted to produce fruit their first growing season and are self fertile .

So now we have a little orchard on the side of our house.

We also found a great deal on some berries. So we added a top hat blueberry, a peach sorbet blueberry plant, and a Niagra grape vine.

So with any luck this year we’ll have some delicious fruits as well as veggies on the homestead.

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