Sustainable Farming as a Legacy
The Engelbrecht’s Orchard tradition has been sustained/continued since 1919 when John Engelbrecht planted his first trees in Evansville, Indiana. It is simple enough. An orchard is simply an intentional planting of trees for the purpose of food production. The goal is to grow delicious, nutritious fruit year after year. But there’s the rub. The trees draw nutrients and moisture from the soil. Trees get older. Trees may attract disease, or storm damage may reduce productivity. So how does one sustain the orchard to remain productive for years or decades?
Sustainability requires planning and dedication, and the grower must know just as much about his profession as the surgeon knows of hers. Fruit trees must be pruned properly to increase sunlight and air flow, as sun light and good air circulation are key to avoid fungal infections. For similar reasons, the location of the orchard must concentrate on the quality of the soil, but also on the available sunlight, and sufficient air flow. This airflow also helps protect the delicate blossoms from a cold, damp, late frost from nipping the year’s harvest off before it ever fruits.
There are lots of other aspects to sustaining the orchard, such as ways to reduce harmful insects, and to attract the beneficial ones, such as lady bugs, bees, and ants. There are times to replace portions of the orchard with new trees, and it’s even important to properly mow and maintain the grasses and plants at the foot of the trees.
We at Engelbrecht’s Orchard are committed to our community, and providing delicious, nutritious fresh fruit both now, and for generations to come.