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Sustainable Agriculture | Orchards and Vineyards for the self-sufficient backyard and hobby farm growers

Updated on February 2, 2012
Orchard at the Cottage Craft Works homestead
Orchard at the Cottage Craft Works homestead
This years grapefruit harvest off just one 8 year old tree
This years grapefruit harvest off just one 8 year old tree
Vineyard at the Cottage Craft Works homestead
Vineyard at the Cottage Craft Works homestead

A healthy productive orchard and grape vineyard provides so much for the backyard or hobby farm grower

On less than a quarter of an acre families can grow an orchard and a vineyard to produce fruits and grapes.

The self-Sufficient family can have fresh fruits, juices, as well as jam, jellies, and even homemade wine. Surplus can be sold, traded or given in place of other store bought gifts.

Dwarf sized orchard trees designated for the different growing zones are ideal for the small backyard orchards and hobby farms. The trees can start producing fruit within five years and stay a manageable size with pruning for step ladder harvesting.

Most fruit trees will need a mate to produce, so be sure to check which ones that do and the spacing needed for pollinating.

Grapes need a substantial arbor to grow on and the variety grown need to match the growing zones.

Most people make the mistake of depending on the local stores to stock the correct varieties for their zone, however many chain stores often stock the stores with varieties that may not do as well in some zones.

The local county extension office or Master Gardener’s club can give you advice on the best varieties to grow in your specific zone.

Cottage Craft Works at offers free advice on building a substantial grape arbor. The article is located under the Farm & Garden section and then Orchard and Vineyard tab. You can also purchase back-to-basics American made products for Orchards and Vineyard growers, such as apple cider and wine presses, harvesting tools, an orchard sprayer, and books on planting, growing and producing fruits and grapes for ciders and wines.

Cottage Craft Works sustainable living online store provides a variety of products for those seeking to live a more wholesome self-sufficient lifestyle.


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    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      Great hub, with useful info! I love the little orchard we have here at the farm. We planted 18 apple trees over the past three years and finally saw a couple little apples on the Newtown Pippins this summer - very exciting!

    • lizstevens profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Houston Texas

      Patchofearth, I will do that thanks for stopping by and letting me know.

    • patchofearth profile image

      Rebecca Long 

      8 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

      Great Hub. I have a grape arbor and am hoping to plant some fruit trees, so this is useful information. If you are interested, check out my hub on black rot in grapes.

    • David Legg 7 profile image

      David Legg 7 

      8 years ago from Trout Paradise, Colorado

      There is some terrific information here. I was surprised to hear that I can buy plants locally that are not correct for our growing zone. I just assumed that they were correctly stocked or they wouldn't be selling them. Thank you for the useful information.



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