Breeden’s Orchard has been around for 45 years. It was a destination point for school field trips and family trips. Peaches in the summer, apples in the fall. Miss Marynell says Peaches sell themselves, apples take work.
When we bought it in December of 2017, we had never been to it in the summer, in it’s glory. We have only seen it in it’s Fall and winter state. Dark trees, all gnarled and wild. We have no idea what it is going to look like in the spring or summer or fall. Right now, we only know winter. But, let me tell you. Winter is magnificent. Standing in the front, I see rows of trees, barren. I not only see but hear the cows by the red barn on one neighbor’s hill.
The birds are plentiful. Standing at the back of the store, where (if you drink my koolaid you see a porch with some bed swings and tables) I see rows of Red Haven Peaches and I look out onto straw colored fields of another neighbor. I also see a lot of work, a lot of clean up.
The store and most of the out buildings hold lots of years of stuff. Some treasures, some not. But we work to sort thru them. One of our goals is to use as many of the treasures that we find to tell the story of Breeden’s past as well as just our past. A cool old scale, 3 beautiful antique stoves (reminder – beauty is in the eye of the beholder), old sleds. We have our work cut out for us.
So, one of our main objectives is to bring the orchard back to life. Many of the trees are old, they will still produce fruit, but many need to be replanted. So much to learn. We need to remove the trees, test the soil, prime the soil, figure out what we want to replant and then we need to order the trees in April of this year to plant in February of next year.
Researching what to plant is overwhelming. So far I have learned : we only want freestone peaches, and they need to fall somewhere within the timeline of the fruits we already have (you don’t want everything to reach it’s peak at the same time), then what is best for TN… still too many to pick from. Miss Marynell said people like yellow fruit over white (knocks out a few). Dr. Lockwood said nectarines can grow but people like peaches better (what’s wrong with me – I like white peaches and I love nectarines – ha). Of course when Dr. Lockwood said an emphatic “NO” to my “can we grow apricots” he did kind of break my heart, but when Dr. Lockwood talks… well, you listen. But the choices that we can pick are starting to narrow, so that is a good thing.