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Bayhead Farms

Orcas Island, Washington

Paul Townsend

Bayhead Farms
Paul Townsend
Tell us about your growing philosophy.

Work with nature , not against it .


Tell us about your place on Earth.

We have roughly 100 trees of various age and size. Apples,pears,quince,peaches,plums,and cherries. Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Depending on which map you look at we are in zone 7-8b here in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

What draws you to growing fruit?

Growing fruit is just something that I've always been a part ... of even growing up in South Dakota we had fruit trees and a large garden. As an older teenager my hitchhiking thumb brought me to the orchards in Washington .

What holistic innovation keeps your trees rarin' to grow?

What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?

Who ever planted this orchard , planted it on a north facing slope . Not very well thought out. It makes a perfect little frost pocket.That being said I wish we had overhead irrigation to make a layer of ice on the blooms  for those cold spring mornings.Im not sure how to deal with the 200 Canadian geese that love to eat every reachable apple and poop EVERYWHERE. Gets on my shoes .. then the ladder.. then my hands .. then on the fruit . YUCK! The goose sausage does taste good .. not sure how legal it is to shoot them ..I've tried scarey balloons.. they love them. The propane boomer machine would totally disrupt the peaceful zen of the neighborhood.

How do you go about marketing the good fruit?

We sell very little of our fruit (other than berries) most of the apples and pears get juiced to be made into wine,vinager and brandy. We've experimented with various ways of keeping apples thru the winter. Packing them in buckets filled with nitrogen was a good thought but that didn't work for us. The green plastic vegi bags sucked too .. fruit tastes like plastic. Our root cellar will be ready next year. I think that will be the best.

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