Over a year ago, Nick and I moved onto some acreage near Hood River, Oregon and started Stellegacy Farms.
If you know us, you know we love a good project (or four), and the acreage gave us the opportunity to dabble in far too many at one time, while giving us the space to build our own trails, let our Australian Shepherd children run, as well as us grow our own food, mainly apples. Long term, we hope to put in a large scale apple orchard, and make our own cider for our restaurant, KickStand Coffee & Kitchen. But let's be realistic - Nick and I have grown vegetables, but never managed an orchard, let alone grown apples or pears - this was going to be either a brilliant success story or complete failure.
Lucky for us, a small orchard on the property of about 30 trees (Apple, pear, nectarine, plum, peach and cherry) gave us the opportunity to learn as much as possible about pruning, insects, thinning, sprays, harvesting + so much more prior to putting in the big orchard. The first year was an utter failure as we inherited this orchard from the previous owner being somewhat neglected - never pruned, never sprayed, producing no pears, no peaches, no cherries, no plums and only apples on 2 of 10 trees. No idea why. Over the winter, we asked all the stupid questions, googled everything orchard that existed, did everything we could to have a better year, and so far, "knock on wood", the trees have fruit and look pretty darn good!
While it's not riding bikes, nothing gives us greater satisfaction than eating an apple straight off the tree at our home. There's plenty more to learn, but for now, things are looking up!