Interesting article/website: Six Defining Characteristics of Co-Housing
A WEALTH of information on how to start and run your own small farm. Their animal section focuses mainly on chickens: http://smallfarm.about.com/
Orchards: apple orchards, blueberries, strawberries, MAPLE SYRUP: http://smallfarm.about.com/od/orchardsandberries/Orchards_and_Berries.htm
Another EXCELLENT site about starting your own farm. First link goes to animal husbandry articles. Second is specific to the pros/cons of ducks. Third, geese.: http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/husbandry-topiclist.aspx
Geese: http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/raising-geese-14963.aspx – Did you know that geese eat grass and make great natural lawnmowers? I had no idea!!!
Dude’s short bloggish article on his first year with bees: http://www.bloomingthorn.com/pages/read/bees-my-first-little-farm-animals
More Bees, short video on how-to: http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-raise-bees-farm-240815/
Hobby Farming 101: http://www.smallfarms4you.com/
Homestead website: http://homestead.org/BrowseAllTitlesbyTopic.htm
Oregon State University Small Farming Website: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/crops Wealth of more advanced level farming topics. Perhaps searching the internet for other agriculturally focused colleges with yield similiar results? Think Virginia Tech.
Small hobby farm blog: http://www.squidoo.com/tinyfarm?utm_campaign=direct-discovery&utm_medium=sidebar&utm_source=alimack
Short article on general differences between fruit bearing trees… plums pears apples cherries apricots: http://www.yourguidetogreen.com/learn/articles/
An absolute TREASURE TROVE of information regarding many fruit trees, many ornamental flowers, and many vegetable plants.
Well organized information on what to fill your forest (not orchard) with. Scientific focus: http://www.hort.cornell.edu/forestfarming/learning.html
Has small sections on varieties of nuts and fruit (even pomegranates and figs) trees that can be planted. Also includes other gardening and ornamental topics. Catered to dry, hot climates: http://www.hotgardens.net/
Tropical permaculture nut and fruit growing site. Also has a vegetable sections. The cashew section was illuminating… Did you know that there is a cashew apple? That cashew nuts have a shell but are bought post-shelled because cracking them open releases a stinging fluid? http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-fruits.html
Further keywords: hobby farming, market/truck gardening, ecovillage, homestead, back-to-the-land movement, permaculture, cohousing, commune, intentional community, how to skin an animal, fruit orchard farming. solar energy, wind energy. nuts, mushrooms, maple syrup, medicinal crops. small business viability of hobby farming. cheese, eggs –> care. how to build your own house. research fruits/nuts specifically not broadly. permaculture.
Fruit-bearing trees are perennial plants. The benefit of this in comparison to annual plants is that once planted, food can be gathered for several years with little to no work necessary for upkeep.
Smaller trees = easier to pick fruit, more trees per acre.
Important to keep in mind what time fruit ripens.
Cherries require cold, can not survive well in desert.
Peaches and apricots thrive well in the desert. Plums do average.
Peaches should be producing well after 3-4 years in the ground. Produces easily and plentiful.
Apricot trees require 400 hours of chill time. Produce less fruit than peach trees.Plant away from structures that hold heat.
Plum trees do moderately well, but usually only produce fruit every other year, 5-10 lbs of fruit per tree.
Apple harvest begins at end of Mat and concludes at end of July.
can produce several hundred pounds of apples.
Apple butter, Apple sauce, Apple juice, Apple cider.
Pears have problems in desert climate. Take 4-6 years before fruiting.
Only produce 5-10 pounds per tree.
Citrus can ripen as early as December in the desert through late spring, early summer.
Pears require crosspollination. Plums do better with crosspollination, but it is not necessary.
Apricot, peaches, apples, pears, cherries do not need xpollination.