This April at the orchard we kicked off a new growing season by planting 160 peach trees. The planting covers about an acre and replaced 120 of some of our oldest apple trees. Six different peach varieties were planted and once they begin to bear fruit will give us a steady crop from the end of July to the end of August. Peach trees grow fast and will start producing a nice crop in the summer of 2019.
The addition of peaches to the orchard will expand the variety of fresh fruit that we can offer to hunger relief, as well as allow us to engage orchard volunteers earlier in the season. Volunteers and team leaders have already been hard at work in the peach orchard helping prepare the plot and plant the new trees. Other tasks to look forward to in the coming seasons are pruning, hand thinning the small fruitlets and harvesting a delicious crop of peaches!
The peach tree planting was made possible by a grant that was awarded to Community Harvest Project in 2016 by The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. The grant also included funding for two acres of high density apple trees which were planted last year.