Copyright 2008 ~ Eden Ice Cider Company ~ West Charleston, Vermont
We planted 300 trees!
The biodynamic calendar said "transplant" in late April, so we put in our new trees - 300 of them! We started planting on a gorgeous spring day in the Northeast Kingdom.
Preparations began a couple of weeks before then when Mark, an organic dairy farmer in our town came and tilled the pasture where the new orchard block is going in. Then he spread composted manure from his grass-fed cows mixed with some lime and potash. The guys put up a honking big deer fence to keep out the honking big deer and the even bigger moose that are frequent visitors to our farm.
Monday Ben and Tim laid out the rows and tree holes. Then, we prepared a micorrhizal root dip, got the hose running from the barn well, and cracked open the first of five boxes of trees. Binet Rouge, Cherry Cox and Reinette Clochard were the first three varieties we planted. Fourteen other heirloom and cider varieties followed.
It took us a little longer than usual because we had to stop for 6 inches of snow that fell the next two days. By the next Tuesday, however, all the new trees were in the ground, and looking happy.
After tree planting we planted cover crops of cow peas and oats between the rows to add natural nitrogen. No synthetics for us!
Click on a photo to see the slide show -
An heirloom French apple variety, it has white almost flourescent flesh, glistening with moisture, juicy and sweet. - Cummins Nursery
"To bite into one is to fill your mouth with a burst of earthy spiciness and a lingering taste of honey. It is not an apple that would catch your eye...The Reinette Clochard (Clochard transaltes as bum or tramp) looks as if wind, rain and sundry forces of nature had battered it. But when I bite into one, I am instantly transported to the rolling countryside back when family farms blotted the horizon."
Apple Tarte Tatin - RECIPES from LA CUCINA di TERRESA by Theresa Murphy on Bonjour Paris [www.bounjourparis.com]
A more or less solid red, Danish offspring of the classic English apple Cox's Orange Pippin. Cox's is regarded as one of the finest tasting apples ever. Two characteristics of its offspring are first its relatively strong and aromatic flavor, and second its striking and attractive orange/red coloring.
A French hard cider apple variety from the Normandy region, classified as bittersweet, and often used in the manufacture of Calvados.
- Cummins Nursery
A few of the apple varieties we planted -