Global Village has struggled to maintain and grow a fruit tree orchard at the farm in Grafton. When we began stewarding the land, there were 14 older apple trees, mostly heavily diseased with fire blight and cedar apple rust fungus. Despite three years in a row of eastern tent caterpillar infestations in 2016-2019, the trees fruited well in 2020 and 2021. We took down 8 of the most diseased large trees this past year to try to control the spread of disease, pruned and sprayed in the spring but got no fruit in 2022. There is also significant deer pressure in the orchard.
We are looking for support in making orchard decisions around the existing trees and the planting of a small new orchard (not just apple trees) in the next couple of years. Can we keep some of the remaining trees? Do we need to remove/move cedar trees? Do we need a deer fence? Where is best for the new trees? What varieties? What is needed for irrigation and care?
If you or someone you know could potentially advise us on some of these questions, please contact us! We are fundraising to pay someone as a consultant on this project, but much of it may need to begin as a volunteer role at this point. Ideally planning would start by March 2023.