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Orchard for an Optimist

The humble orchard  A few weeks ago my future orchard was just a series of photos in a catalog. The fruiting trees, bushes and plants were too much to resist. It started in February with the early hints of spring. Having begun raised beds I now need worthy plants to fill them. Columnar apple trees would be perfect for the small confines. Strawberries and low blueberries would round out the would-be fruit farm. Other locations would accommodate aronia and North American Cranberries. I adjusted the soils for the right PH. Having raised beds allows me to customize the mixture.  My fruit farm arrived in two brown paper bags and a small box. I put the new plants in pots of soil and watered them generously. After filling the beds the plants were settled into their new home.

I have four favorite tools that would not be without. I have a triangular bladed weeder, a Mantis tiller, soil knife and a garden cart. The ease of use and time saved makes them invaluable. The gardener needs good tools.  In addition to small parcels, trucks with chipped stone and garden soil rounded out my orchard investment. Hours turn into weeks of work the optimist’s orchard is taking shape.Who am I fooling? I live near real orchards and fruit farms. The real world and my garden dreams become blurred at times.

I sit on the screened porch and study those raised beds. The colors and plants are yet to develop and grow. I am blessed with good health and the joy of my gardening efforts. As I push soil and stone in carts and the wheelbarrow, wrens serenade my labors.  I’ll be turning over more stones and writing more about this optimist’s progress.

Nancy Stone



  1. barbmq

    I’m enjoying watching this develop. I’d love for you to share some basics like how you plant the plants- what you put in your hole, how big you make it and how you amend the soil.

  2. Garvan McCann

    Hi is this Nancy Stone that I stayed with when I was a young boy back in ’86 ?

    • Yes, Garvin, we are living in Ohio now. Where are you?


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