In our orchard, we have just over 30 different fruit-producing trees including a wide range of apples, pears, Asian pears, figs, plums, and cherries. Most trees are more than 15 years old and even two trees in the back, Coos River Beauty Apples, a local heirloom variety, is more than 50 years old and one of our favorites for its crisp texture and tart-sweet flavor.
During the harvest season in late summer to early fall, we harvest and preserve much of our fruit. We of course eat as much as we can fresh. With the rest, we pull out our hydro-press and make hard cider and juice. We serve much of our homemade cider to B&B guests for dinners. We dry, can, and freeze the rest of the fruit for our consumption throughout the year. As well, we allocate a quantity of fruit to stay in the root cellar so that we can have fresh fruit throughout the winter and spring.
Every winter, every tree in the orchard gets a pruning. This is a major job for us in February. It’s spectacular to watch the orchard through the seasons: the bulging of the buds in early spring, the fragrant flowers pollinated by hungry bees, the small fruits growing in various blushes, the leaves fading into oranges and reds, and finally, the trees falling asleep in the cool of the winter.