Fruit in Season. Cherries,plums,peaches,nectarines,apricots,pears apples, blackberries, grapes. Herbal Onion Bread. I raise the onions and c|
Burr Oak Farm is a young orchard in progress located in the beautiful hills of Madison County. We have some trees in production with more each year. Many of our trees are standard, which take seven to ten years to produce. The last several years, we have added dwarf and semi-dwarf trees which produce in two to three years. Thus, we expect production amounts and varieties to increase in the next several years. Presently we have about 800 trees planted. Deer are a big problem. It was about 2003 when we got started in the fruit business when Bill wanted to plant 60 more trees to go with the 30 already there. I wondered what we would do with all the fruit and so the business was born. We are an older couple and employ one or more people as needed during harvest season and during pruning time. I do markets during market season augmenting our fruit with baked products and jams and jellies, etc.
After going 2 years without any fruit, we have had an abundance of fruit. However, due to lack of rain, much of it is too small to market.
Browse through our Products for Sale
Practices (our standards for raising or making our products)
Our orchard is not laid out in blocks of same trees. Rather all kinds of trees are interspersed as a means of helping discourage the spread of disease and pests. Because our land is hilly, we mow the orchard instead of tilling it. Deer are a constant problem and we have tried various methods to deter them. At the moment, we are trying large rings of woven wire that are portable and moveable placed around some of the most vulnerable trees. This should help the trees get good leaf development rather than being stripped by the deer. So far, it looks good. We are working on getting a sorting and processing area other than our living/dining room. As fruit gets too ripe to sell, it is processed for freezing for later jam/jelly making. We have to rent locker space at a local meat locker as we do not have enough space on the farm. All the jam/jelly is made in our kitchen. We invested in a good label maker and use pictures of our orchard or fruit on the labels.
A focus of our orchard is heirloom fruit, especially apples, some peaches, and some pears. Of 56 peach varieties, 12 are heirloom. We have 6 varieties of Asian pears. Of the 11 varieties of European pears, 4 are heirloom. There are 3 varieties of sour cherries and 17 of sweet cherries. Two of those are heritage. We have 95 varieties of apples of which 52 are heirloom. There are 21 varieties of plums, 4 of which are heritage. We have 16 varieties of nectarines, 2 of which are heirloom. There are 8 varieties of apricots, 3 of which are heritage. Every year is an adventure as more of these start producing. As summer approaches, we have a pretty good idea of what varieties will be fruiting. Keep in mind, that we plant more trees each year and thus keep expanding the possibilities of various fruits.
Highlights this Month
We have many pears of good size and many small apples that could be used for applebutter or jelly and applesauce. The crab apples did well and make excellent jelly, too.