Off-Grid Orchards: Planning and Building + Challenges We Have Faced


In this video, Lindsey takes us on a tour of Lynette’s Off-Grid property and shows us the original site of the orchard. She explains the challenges we have faced in creating terraces to carve out a flat piece of land. Lindsey then takes us to the new location for the larger scale orchard, which will have more room to expand and space out their trees for optimal growth.

0:00 Change of Plans
1:59 Small Orchard
4:30 Large Orchard
7:00 Food Security


Hi everyone, it’s Lindsey and I’m here at Lynette’s Bug Out property and I am standing in the site of the orchard, or at least this was our plan for the orchard. So I’m gonna talk a little bit about how this piece of property developed, what we wanted to do with it and what we’re thinking going forward because we’ve had a little change in plans.

If you think that the world is headed in a direction that makes you a bit concerned for the future and you’d like to be as self-sufficient and independent as possible, then you’ve come to the right place. My name is Lynette Zang. Now it’s time to go Beyond Gold and Silver.

This area right here was just a slope. It went all the way down. It was similar to the side that you see there with just foliage and rocks and just not very compatible for one walking on and two planting. So what Anguss was able to do with the team up here is they started to make these terraces and carve out some of the bigger rocks, and then we can see that these terraces will create a flat piece of land. And as they continue to work on this, this will be, they’ll be really clean and smooth and then some rocks will be used to hold. So we have some hold from erosion just to keep all this soil from slipping down when we either have weather or just even from irrigation over time and the roots starting to develop, we wanna make sure those walls stay in place. But this terracing structure allows us to plant on this hillside. And this is where we were planning to do the orchard and we were gonna fence it all in and do all our fruit tree varieties here.

As we’ve continued to look at this piece of property and think more about it, and we have experienced winter here, we started to second guess the choice that maybe this was the perfect spot for the orchard. While it does have close proximity to our barns and to the garage and where our tools are kept and it’s convenient in that way, this area gets a lot of snowfall because of its direction. It doesn’t really thaw out very quickly. So when we have fruit trees here in the winter, they would have a little bit harder time bouncing back in the spring. So that’s something that we thought about maybe as a downside to this piece of property.

Also, ones that’s been terraced, it does lose a lot of the square footage that we originally had in this piece of area. So when it was just a slope, it had a lot more square footage for more trees. But when you terrace it, which is essential, in order to have the trees grow properly, we lose a lot of that surface area. So our ability to grow our entire orchard and all the trees that we want to in this area significantly declined. So we wouldn’t be able to put all the trees that we wanted to in this space without having to smush them together. And we don’t wanna do that. We wanna properly plant everything, give everything the space it needs. So going forward, our plan is that this will be an act as more of a personal orchard. This will be the orchard directly nearest where Lynette lives and it’ll give her the ability and whoever is up here to pick from this orchard. But it’ll be at a smaller scale. We’re also gonna do grape vines up here. This will be a great area for our grapevine and some of our smaller berry bushes. This will give us a great planting area for those, but we won’t have to focus our entire energy on the orchard making it work in this space because we just kind of got to the point where it didn’t make as much sense as it once did. So as a small personal orchard and just a eating from garden, this will be perfect. And then I will show you where we are thinking about putting the larger scale orchard, which will be the main producing ground for our fruit trees.

After about seven minutes of walking downhill on the property, we were just at the orchard and this is the new location that we are considering and starting to implement for our orchard plans. As you can see, this is a much bigger gradual slope and will give us a lot more growing space as well as because of the orientation and because it’s on the south side of the mountain, we get more morning sun. So this area actually warms up a lot quicker. The snow thaws faster, gets more morning sun, which will just make the trees a lot happier in this area. They’ll be able to bud out faster in the spring and they won’t have as much issues with snow and struggling during dormancy in the winter. This slope goes down a decent bit, but we would, it’s a less steep incline than the other orchard was, but we’re still gonna terrace this. So we’ll still terrace it out really nicely, but it’ll give us the ability to make our terraces bigger so we have more walking space around our trees so we can maneuver equipment and vehicles on our terraces just so it’s a lot easier to maintain and manage. And we’ll still fence in this piece of property, so it will be a lot bigger fenced in area. So we have protection from wildlife, but this area will just be a lot more conducive to growing a bigger orchard. It’ll give us more room to expand if we want to, and it’ll give us the ability to space out our trees, which I think was my main concern when I sought the other orchard after it was terraced, was just that we wouldn’t be able to space our trees as efficiently and as much as they needed if we wanted to try to fit in all the trees that we got into that space. So I’m really excited about this idea. It’ll be a lot of work for Anguss and the team to terrace it all out. But once it’s done, I think it’ll be a lot easier to maintain this space because we’ll be giving ourselves so much more room. So Anguss is going to continue this road as well, so we have easy access to it.

And like I said, it’s only like a seven minute walk from the main structures. So it’s not an unobtainable area to get to in maintenance, it’s just the difference of this gives us a lot more opportunity and we’re really grateful that we have different spaces to play around with. And this is just one of those things that we had an idea and we thought it was gonna work out great and it will work out great for our new plan of just making a smaller orchard and doing our grapevines there, but we’re always willing to adapt and change and try to make the best use of this land and our resources, and this is the way that we are going to try to put that into motion. Another benefit of this area here is that there’s a lot less rocks in the soil. The soil is a lot looser. It’s red dirt, so it’s more nutritionally relevant for growing plants. You, you can see that there’s a lot of green foliage growing here. So it’s a really great space for growing. We can see that the native plants are doing really well there. So this area has a lot more viable soil for growing our trees. Just remember that regardless of what you’re doing, regardless of the changes you’re making, they things always come up and you can always figure something else out. If your original plan doesn’t work, it’s never too late to find the solution that’s gonna work best for you.

So I hope this helps you kind of get an idea of what we were thinking and we’ll show you the progress as we get this terrace out and we start to plant our trees. But hopefully in the coming months, we’re hoping that this will be a pretty quick turnaround since we’re ready to get those trees in the ground.

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