CoralTree organic summer orchard

Video: Summer in the Organic Apple Orchard

Another behind-the-scenes look at how we grow and harness nature’s vital energies to make the best organic Apple Cider Vinegar.  One of the key components is the biodynamic orchard integration and careful management of the natural processes that grow our fruit. And central to our philosophy is diversity leads to resilience.

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Transcription

Hi, welcome. Kim from CoralTree here. We’re here at one of our organic orchards just on the outskirts of Otaki. The Otaki River is just behind us here. We’ve got the Tararua Ranges to our left and the coast, west coast here, not far away. Otaki is a really lovely spot on the beautiful Kapiti Coast. We’ve got the Otaki River bringing down all that lovely fertile silts down that have set the Otaki plains here growing. We’ve got abundance of growth happening at the moment. Moisture, there’s been a little bit of a problem this season. We’ve had a little bit too much rain, but things are starting to warm up now. The sunshine is really coming through. We’ve got the longest day of the year happening in the next few days, and the apple trees are really going well.

It is really lovely being in these orchards and there is an energy that sometimes we’re not aware of. I can hear the birds singing here. A little bird flying from tree to tree there, and the whole insect life that’s happening. Normally in an environment like this where we’ve got the herbal leys and the trees and then the bigger shelter trees behind us is hosting a whole range of different things that are going on.

Conventional orchards are run with complete control so there is chemical sprays and insecticides there, and it becomes an environmental desert, but we’ve got this oasis happening here that’s just bringing in all of those diverse elements. The whole complexities, even more complex I think than what we are seeing. There’s a whole lot of different elements coming together here to add that resilience that nature gives us. I hope you enjoyed the first couple of videos. We’ve been trying to introduce you to some of the simple concepts of growing so in the first videos we showed the life force starting and the dormancy process moving into leaves and flowers developing.

The second video we’re showing you the flowers and the diversity that that brings into the orchards and the fruit setting and the seeds starting to form inside as those flowers have been pollinated. Now what we’re looking at is obviously the fruit here is developing around the seed, and the tree has got lots and lots of green leaves, and so the next element I really want to bring in now is the sunshine. That’s the key driver for all life processes on the planet. The trees are simply the solar panels taking that solar energy and converting it through photosynthesis and now building that energy that they’re harvesting into beautiful fruit.

This period now, starting from spring, as the fruit is forming the trees have been going through a lot of cell division and multiplication trying to get that fruit forming and setting. It’s been quite a stressful period for the trees, but we’re now coming up to the longest day of the year which will trigger the tree from the development phase that it’s been going through into that ripening phase where these apples will be expanding and the sugar contents will be rising.

The point I’m trying to work through here is that the photosynthesis from the sunshine, through the leaf converting that energy into energy that it’s transferring into, obviously, growth and branches and leaves, but most particularly into that fruit, so the fruit will be ripening up between now and our harvest time and that’s the sugars that the fruit is offering for us.

What’s happening here, some of the things that I can see happening here. The organic growers are allowing this whole diversity that normally would be chemically sprayed out, and weed strips under the trees. They’re allowing these things that we would normally term weed, but they’re part of the whole natural cycle that nature is trying to work some kind of a balance back into these blocks and using these diverse range of plants. We’ve got right from clovers, plantains, and the thistles, and blackberry even coming through to bring quality back onto the property that here was removed when we’ve come in and disrupted it.

The organic grower is really focusing on trying to allow nature that freedom to work with us instead of against us, and using the things that she’s offering us in a positive way so that it’s helping the trees here to balance. We’re getting better biological activity happening down in the soil. We’re getting much more earthworm and fungal growths happening that are transforming all the leaf litter into good humus so the tree has got a really good strong solid base to be growing, both lovely leaves, and this beautiful fruit for us. It’s so easy for humans to go back to controlling and chemically intervening in these systems to try and do what they think is beneficial, but it just adds a whole restraint on nature. It stops nature from working and giving us the diversity that she sees needs to be put into these blocks.

Thanks for watching, everybody. I hope you’ve enjoyed this third video. We’ve tried to add a little bit more interesting information in for you to explain more of the organic environment that George and Jackie here have been creating, and I’d like to just thank them for having this special space here and allowing us to shoot. Over the next month or so we’ll be taking some shots into the processing plant and showing more of the production of our apple cider vinegar, so please leave any comments and questions below. Yeah. Look forward to seeing you next time.