We have been trying to use the slower wintertime well with lots of planning. One of the new aspects of the farm we are keen to move forward is the planting of fruit trees with the aim of having a fruit share as well as a veg share.
Eventually it would be great to have an orchard area that is devoted to the production of fruity things. Soft fruit too would make the fruit share more rounded and go on longer but this will involve some form of refrigeration so won't be part of the first phase in development.
The first part of this plan is to plant a variety of fruit trees around the farm. This might involve filling in the gaps of the existing line of trees that run through the middle of the field. This row of trees marks the original boundary where the land was once divided and we'd like to see it reinstated. Also or alternatively trees could be planted around the new social area that is in current discussion, this would bring the trees very much into sight for the projects members at social gatherings.
The immediate issue the farm has is that we are starting up on very limited means and the cost of buying in more that a few trees would be prohibitive at this stage. Because of this Bennison Farm and Bennison Farm CSA are looking for people to sponsor a tree for the farm with the understanding that the bulk of the fruit from the tree is destined for the CSA members. Those who sponsor a tree will be able to choose the fruit i.e., Apple, Pear, Plum etc and will be able to come and collect the first kilo of fruit from the first harvest as a thank you. There will also be orchard updates and a special card detailing that a tree has been sponsored.
The working title for the scheme is 'Trees for Tomorrow' as this is a long term project that hopes to replace one of some many orchards in our area that were grubbed up during the 20th century.
In line with the land's conversion to Organic, the trees will be bought from a certified Soil Association Nursery and will be certified organic from April 2014.
If you would like any more information about sponsoring a tree please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org