Being the partner of farmer Joe O’Grady, Emma Hoyt is well aware of the goings on around Holcomb Farm. Last year, in fact, the Drummer published a story about her mobile chicken coop and its productive occupants who are now laying lots of eggs and eating lots of insect pests in the growing fields.
The increase in activity on the Tree Trail in the east fields got her thinking that it would be nice to feature some trees that provide food for both wildlife and humans and, to that end, she has established what she calls a “demonstration orchard”—a half dozen fruit-bearing trees, planted in April. So far, there are peach and plum trees, and a couple of varieties of cherry trees. Nearby, the Tree Trail arborists have planted some blueberry bushes (both high and low varieties) which complement her mini-orchard.
Hoyt isn’t sure where this project will go—it’s just a beginning, but she hopes that it might inspire homeowners to plant similar types of plants that nurture nature as well as humans. On a recent walk up to “Emma’s orchard,” Hoyt discovered that some critter, probably a deer, had been munching on the delicate branches of one of the newly planted trees. It seems the next step will be to put some protective cages around the trunks before the fruit gets nipped in the bud.