An orchard is a planted and managed area of fruit trees. In kenya, we have about 400 indigenous fruit tree species which are said to contribute much to livelihoods of rural communities, particularly during the frequent periods of food shortage. Read more here:
If you love orchards and the delicious fruit within them as much as we do, that is reason enough to get your own orchard started. If you need some convincing, read on for 8 reasons to justify setting up an orchard on your farm or homestead.
- Orchards provide a focal point, a gathering space, and a place where people and the rest of nature successfully work together to create abundant harvests.
- Continuous production: Once a tree is established, it can provide a large yield of fruit year after year for decades, requiring little human input. As a deep-rooted, long-lived perennial, the tree has time to adapt to local conditions and be more resilient.
- Orchards are conducive to healthy, diverse and resilient systems, while reducing our impact on climate change and environmental degradation.
- Orchards provide vital green spaces in our cities and towns, where people are encouraged to interact with nature either through becoming custodians of the trees or by simply being around them and enjoying their shade, beauty and fruit.
- Nature’s teacher: Orchards offer a space to learn from each other and nature, and a place in which training of traditional skills can occur, such as pruning and grafting. And a place for celebration of diversity, nourishing fruit and the trees that provide it.
- Orchards invite nature into the urban environment and provide a refuge in which it can flourish; in our schools, housing estates, parks and commons, improving human wellbeing and making our cities more pleasant places in which to live.
- Tree crops such as fruit trees are contributing not only to nutrition security, but also to food security. Due to their extensive and deep rooting systems, fruit trees are less sensitive to droughts as compared with annual staple crops and give a harvest even when the staple crops fail.
- Orchards are vital to regenerating degraded land.
Highlights on Kenya
- 800 indigenous food plants (105 families); 400 species are fruit plants (57 families),
- 50 species market potential;
- 10 local markets
- 4 national markets -T. indica , A. digitata, Dalium orientale, Syzygium guineense
International market -T. indica
Priority species -Tamarindus indica, Adansonia digitata, Sclerocarya birrea, Ziziphus mauritiana, Balanites aegyptiaca Source:
Make sure to consult your local nursery/tree expert to understand the best trees to grow in your area and in no time at all you will be enjoying an abundance of fruits and herbs for many years to come.
Orchards should contain a good mix of medicinal or fruit trees as well as a variance in height and width of so that it works well and is appealing to the eye and looks more natural to the landscape.
Do you have an orchard, questions you need answered? Feel free to share your experience with orchards. #PloughinOn