High-density orchards are not new but are rare on farms along the front range of Colorado. The basic principles are: 1. High-Tree Density = High-Yields. 2. Balance Vegetative Growth to Fruit Production 3. Grow Fruit, not Wood.
We chose to plant at a high density to ensure our farming is sustainable. In standard orchards where trees are grown 15-25 feet apart, each tree produces only a certain yield depending on the cultivar and quality of the nursery stock. Our newly planted orchard at 1000 trees/acre will produce double the yield of a traditionally planted 500 tree/acre orchard.
To put this plan in place, it took 18 months of field preparations and a big dose of support from our community. In 2022, Mariposa Farm was awarded a grant from the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Fund of Boulder County. This grant was used to establish the high-density apple orchard.
Orchard design will focus on energy and water conservation using existing on-site solar power, under-tree mulch strips to conserve soil moisture during periods of drought, and subsurface tiling to encourage deeper root growth. By year two, the project is estimated to produce 1000 bushels or a minimum of 10,000 pounds of fruit annually and sequester approximately 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
“We are thrilled to be a large-fund recipient of the Sustainable Food & Agriculture Fund,” said Lisa Suarez-Tadus, owner of Mariposa Farm. “The money will help establish a high-density apple orchard generating fresh produce, juice, and wines for our new community here in Boulder County.”
We're happy to discuss our progress at our farm and the exciting projects ahead of us. Please fill out the form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Cheers! Jack and Lisa Tadus