These days the orchard of ICARE practical learning center is coming back to life after the winter and you can smell the spring in the air. There are no leaves on the trees yet, but you can hear the bees buzzing, birds singing around and people working in there. Early spring activities are intensively performed in the orchard by the experts to get the best harvest in the summer and autumn, to improve the yield.
“Even though the harvest time is far away from today, we should start caring about the trees, feeding them, pruning and cleaning the orchard properly,” said Nerses Kostanyan, the expert currently working there.
There have been more than many to do in the orchard because it has not been looked after quite a while and all the preparatory activities have vital importance for the trees growing.
We find it important to share with you some activities that are performed in the orchard for the tree growth and expected high yield.
In the early spring, it is important to add a layer of bulky, organic materials around the base of the trees, which stimulates the tree growth, prevents the weed growth, retains the moisture and builds the soil life. It is also a good feed for the tree.
For the tree growth, expert Nerses Kostanyan mentions, that it is recommended to feed the tree with rich organic materials, such as the manure and compost. This will allow the tree to get the necessary nutrients before the intensive growing season.
The most important and common activity that is performed during those days is pruning. Unlike the forest trees, which live quite well without the pruning, orchard trees require better care to handle their structure and aesthetics. This process should be done with the proper knowledge of tree biology, otherwise, you may encounter serious problems cutting the wrong branches. This activity helps the tree get rid of the dead branches, improve the form and regulate the air and light penetration.
The orchard is not intended solely for growing the fruit and processing by-products for business, it will also be a big component in the educational process. “It will provide an opportunity for active farming work in only 10 minutes’ drive time from Yerevan for the ICARE students and others, who are interested in the farming and agribusiness entrepreneurship,” mentions Arthur Grigorian, Director of ICARE Foundation.
In the vision of the practical learning center, we also aim at creating a nice environment for the kids meanwhile stimulating a healthy lifestyle. Those who live in urban places far from the land and agriculture can come, play and harvest the fruit for themselves.
Therefore, all those activities which are being done by the professionals and ICARE staff members in the orchard create a good base for a new approach to education, lifestyle, environment, and business.
Currently, all the spring activities continue to be implemented and it is time to go to the second phase of the actions.