Blue Spring Orchard is located in Ojo Sarco, NM in the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains surrounded by the Carson National Forest. It is halfway between Taos and Santa Fe on the famous "High Road to Taos". It is a part of an old Spanish land grant, and the area has been inhabited and farmed for many centuries. Blue Spring Orchard was planted in the 1930's, probably as part of the Works Project Administration. There are a variety of fruit trees--apple, pear, plum, apricot, and cherry. About fifty fruit trees have survived. The orchard was neglected for over thirty-five years until we bought it in 2005. The actual restoration work began in March 2008 by orchardist, Ron Boyd. Most of the trees were severely overgrown and required a significant amount of pruning.

In 2009, we started orchard-keeper training by enrolling in the "Organic Orchard Management" class taught by Gordon Tooley (Tooley's Trees, Truchas) and his team, which included Ron Boyd (Mergirl Gardens, Alcalde), Linda Prim and Les Crowder.

Our work restoring and expanding Blue Spring Orchard continues. Over the past two years we have planted twenty additional fruit trees, all on semi-dwarfing root stock. Most of these trees we grafted ourselves. Work continues on restoring the original trees and improving the soil.

In the future we also hope to grow hops, make hard cider and harvest honey, and who knows what else. Please stay tuned as the restoration project continues...

Map of the Ojo Sarco area

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Springtime in the orchard

Spring finally arrives at Blue Spring Orchard after a long cold winter. A late spring frost killed the apricot blooms, but it looks like we will have plums, pears and apples this season. Apple blossoms are shown below.

Two calves were born this past month, and Rio inspects the new members of the herd.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Making sweet apple cider

In our last class thru the Permaculture Institute we pressed cider from our orchard's apple harvest. It was a beautiful day and we spent the afternoon at Mergirl Gardens in Alcalde, NM. Before pressing our own cider we tasted a variety of cider concoctions thanks to instructor Ron Boyd. We had a great time- we learned alot and made delicious sweet cider.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We are excited to host the Permaculture Institute's "Organic Orchard Management" class on summer orchard care. This Saturday the class will spend the day at Blue Spring Orchard. The topics for the class include: Summer Orchard Care, Identification of Diseases, Insect Damage, Deficiencies, Leaf Analysis, Sap pH, Stress Indicators and Summer Pruning. It should be a fun and informative day in the orchard.

Gordon Tooley teaches class at Blue Spring Orchard.

Ron Boyd opens a top bar beehive.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Apricot Harvest Time

Blue Spring Orchard is celebrating its first-ever crop to market! Our tree-ripened, hand-picked, all natural, pesticide-free and chemical-free heirloom apricots were sold to markets in the Taos area. The apricots were delicious and beautiful!

The very first load of apricots being prepared to go to market.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BeeKeeping 101

In our most recent "Organic Orchard Management" class (taught by Gordon Tooley thru the Permaculture Institute), we covered "Beekeeping 101". We were lucky to have beekeeper expert Les Crowder show us the basics of beekeeping. Les is known for his expertise in topbar beehives. In the future we hope to take more intensive training on beekeeping and add beehives to our orchard. The following photos show the opening of a top bar hive to reveal the honeycomb and the bees. Photos taken at Tooley's Trees, Truchas, NM. May 2009.