Adopt a Tree (or Three!)



see below for full description of premiums & benefits

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  • SEED OF CHANGE CONTRIBUTOR – $5 – $35 (add to cart in multiples of $5)
    “I don’t have much but want to be part of growing an orchard”
  • + Get access to both current 2023 & historic photos documenting our young tree growth.
    “ I’d like to provide a year’s nurturing for a young tree”
  • + Get access to both current 2023 & historic photos documenting our young tree growth.
  • + Get your name on an Orchard Block wall of tree supporters Panel + access to growth photos of the trees + visit the trees onsite.
  • 3-TREE GROUP BUDDY – $80
    “ I’m able to provide a year’s nurturing for a buddy group of 3 young trees in their early seasons”
  • + Get access to both current 2023 & historic photos documenting our young tree growth.
  • + Get your name on an Orchard Block wall of tree supporters Panel + access to growth photos of the trees + visit the trees onsite.
    “We believe in the importance of small local farms. As climate change makes harsh weather events even more impactful, we know no single family can go it alone. We want to be part of the resilience backstop, supporting organic fresh food in our local supply chain.”
    + Get access to 2023 & historic photos documenting our young tree growth.
    + Get your name on an Orchard Block wall of tree supporters Panel + access to growth photos of the trees + visit the trees onsite.
    + Get access to Pick the Farmer’s Brain – schedule a 1/2 hour call or video chat where you get one-on-one question and answer with Steve Ela for any growing questions which might be simmering in your curiosity.

Every single fruit tree in the orchard gets cared for by hand every single year. Your support helps us care for our young trees every step of the way!



We cut down and remove old trees. Those get cut up for firewood. Then the stumps must be pulled out of the ground – luckily we’ve got big equipment to help wiht that! Then we have to prep the orchard block for water delivery by putting in a pipe system to run water to each future row of trees.
Buying the nursery stock usually has to happen 2-3 year in advance, the nursery grafts our selected variety (which selects for seasonal timing, flavor, & fruit characteristics) onto the rootstock (which selects for things like cold hardiness, pest or disease resilience, tree size)
Planting takes place in the spring after plowing, discing, and roto-tilling the field. It takes multiple people working quickly behind a tractor pulling a heavy pointed weight which digs a furrow, creating space for slipping the trees in one after the next as it progresses down the row.
Lastly in the planting process is laying new irrigation lines, and planting cover crops which retain moisture, for controlling insects, for building soil nutrients, and for fertilizing.

Caring for new trees through each of their second through fifth seasons can be tricky. Inevitably some don’t make it through weather, water, and wildlife variability. Those that do make receive lots and lots of tender care though.
Shaping the trees to catch the maximum amount of sunlight, to create a strong structure which will support future growth, and which will maximize our ability to pick the fruit is called training. These young years are all about feeding and training!
Weeding around the trunks so the mice don’t get in and girdle the tender young trees is key to their surviving the winters. So is keeping our human presence evident so deer don’t try to rub their itchy antlers on the young trees as they pass the velvet stage – that can decimate many young trees.
Irrigating is of course always a thing. Getting a Goldilocks amount (not too little, not too much) throughout their young lives does a lot to influence how they grow.
Pest and disease management is also very important. We want our trees to grow with bark intact! We are spraying them with minerals and biological compounds to prevent pests and disease which might shorten their lives.

Now pruning is not so much about training the tree into a strong and productive shape, it is about keeping new branches growing which will have fruit buds on them for the next year or two. Growing great fruit takes seasonal pruning of each and every tree.
     Running wind machines to stave off frost in the spring, means we’ve got temperature sensors with alarms stationed throughout the orchard. As spring progresses, the fruit buds get more and more sensitive to temperature. That means there is never a single set temperature which is “too cold”. The threshold is a moving target. Research stations help with monitoring the stages of the buds and share that information with growers. When we think temperatures might be approaching a dangerous level of cold (this happens usually in the middle of the night) and conditions are right (cloud cover with no wind) we can zoom around the orchard turning on wind machines to stir the air and hopefully get the coldest air off the ground level. Those machines run on propane-powered old truck engines. As the local propane companies are getting bought up by national chains, it’s getting trickier to make sure we get the tanks refilled immediately. Since cold nights often come in sets, that can be a little nerve wracking!
Irrigating has to wait until the freezes have passed, since we don’t want to flood the lines only to have the water in them freeze and create cracks or leaks. Then we keep water coming to the trees on rotation until our season’s water is all gone. How much water we have varies year to year depending on snow pack, soil moisture, and summer rainfall.
     Blossom and fruit thinning is also part of each spring and early summer. The goal is to give each tree only as many little fruits as it can support. We thin each tree by hand!
Pest and disease management is very similar to Stage 2, except we are now also adding in netting for our apple trees. These are giant rolls of loose-weave fabric we drape over the trees, securing the net below the branches. They have drastically reduces insect damage, and also reduced overall heat stress on the apple trees, resulting in big beautiful fruit!
Finally, picking. When a block is ripe, the scent is the first indication. It is mouthwatering! We turn the whole crew’s labor to picking a section of the orchard when it’s ripe. Usually it takes us 2-3 runs down an orchard section since not everything ripens at once, even within a single variety.
It takes more folks to sort and pack that fruit into boxes. Finally we get to Fridays, bringing it all that’s ripe and ready to markets – right to you!


We have been able to replant about 10+ acres’ worth of peaches (about 9 acres total lived), and to nurture the 11 acres of our other young trees. We are at Stage 2! Your support is helping us take care of those trees until they bear fruit. Words can’t describe how much your contributions touch our hearts. Thank you!

Additional information


ORCHARD SUPPORTER, Student / Pocket Change, Tree Supporter, 3-TREE BUDDY GROUP SUPPORTER