We began realising our dream of planting an orchard of heirloom fruit trees we love in 2010, when we first purchased the land for Mirabelle Farm. This orchard will allow us to encourage the preservation of these special varieties that are always best eaten fresh off the tree.
Heirloom varieties are not mass produced as they don't meet commercial requirements for long periods of cool storage and transport. Instead, they are best suited to home gardens where they can be picked fresh off the tree when perfectly ripe. We've used various espalier techniques, mowed paths and underplanting of bulbs to demonstrate how growing your own fruits can be decorative as well as practical and environmentally sound.
Mirabelle Plums were the first trees to go in, followed by 10 varieties of quince.
The mulberry walk was a fun way to create a link to the plum and apricot orchard. Names, well known and less familiar, are found in this collection of mainly prune plums and flavourful apricots.
Two winters ago, 13 varieties of pears were planted. We have planned for extended seasons by choosing early, mid, and late fruiting varieties.
This last winter finished the planting of the espalier pomme fruit orchard with 49 varieties of heritage apples.
Our orchard consists of varieties we have tasted or chosen based on their promising descriptions, as they're not widely grown. It will be a few years yet before we achieve consistent crops, so we have some time to consider how best to share our produce.
If you have any enquiries about our orchard please contact us.