Stefan Sobkowiak of The Miracle Farm is encouraging more vegetable farmer to consider planting some fruit trees. And to start planting some trees now, so they are established and producing when you or the vegetable farming gets old.
Now you may be saying, “I barely have enough time to do the work that I am doing now.”
Establishing this orchard might not take as much time as you think. And the slow growth of trees might be on your side.
As Stefan will talk about in this episode he manages his whole operation on just 50 hours per year.
That includes all pruning, training, irrigation, spraying, clean-up, the whole lot.
And he thinks that one person could maintain 4 to 6 acres.
Overall making it a doable takes that makes your farming enterprise less fragile, while adding some diversity to your famers market booth or CSA box.
If that sounds intriguing stay tuned.
Overall Stefan brings it in this one.
- He walks through what a typical season is like.
- Talks about why you want to be a price maker not a price taker.
- Talks about the pros and cons of a u-pick model.
There’s a lot in this one, and I am willing to bet that it will have you looking at small scale orcharding in a different way, and how it might be possible for you…
Let’s jump right into with Stefan talking about the importance of sanitation inside the orchard.
Notes from the interview with Stefan:
- It’s really importance to pick up all of the dropped fruit at the end of the season.
- Doing so will severely reduce insect pressure the following season.
- A Good Farmer:
- “A good farmer knows what to do, when to do it, and they actually do it.”
- The third makes all the difference between the good farmers and the bad.
- “Many times it’s basic things that make the difference in running a farm.”
- Plant less, but plant everything (all the layers) at once.
- Do everything on that section of land within a year.
- If you don’t like dealing with people don’t do a u-pick model.
- As Joel Salatin says don’t cut your prices give something away for free.
- When Stefan has too much he gives it away for free.
- Organic may be more advantageous when you are selling to a third party or faceless public, when you are selling peer to peer it probably isn’t needed.
Bill Mollison’s Phases of Abundances – Year One: Abundance of Species
“When we set out to make a garden on at least 2-5 acres, in the Permaculture mode, we also set out to trial dozens of species, and to select those that thrive in our soil, under the conditions we impose, and in association with each other. Thus, in the beginning, even with generous help from our friends, we have relatively few plants of any species growing, but the basic garden assembly would have at least 300 plants representing some 240 species and 70 or so varieties. It takes a year and about $800 to put together such an assembly, and when we do so we feel the first sense of abundance, which we could call the rich abundance of species and forms. The yield is modest, more of a contribution to diet than a full diet, but many tree species will later come into production by years 3-6.” Bill Mollison
Connect with Stefan Sobkowiak:
DID YOU LIKE THIS EPISODE?
HELP SUPPORT THE SHOW…
Permaculture Voices is listener supported by people just like you.