O'Reilly's Organic Garden
O’Reilly’s Orchard began life in 1993 as a run down 40 year old stone fruit garden of around 1500 trees. The initial property investment was made, based on the stunning and relatively clean rural outlook, together with a decent quality underground water supply. It felt like the sort of place we could really enjoy spending our time on.
A small amount of further spending on a tractor and various tools of trade left us cash strapped but we reasoned we would at least be able to feed ourselves… something that has always been a priority.
During our early years we set about reworking the old trees and grubbing out those that didn’t respond. Along the way we have harvested a great deal of fruit off of these original trees which in turn has financed a replanting program. It was probably about 1998 we made a decision to stay with fruit after looking around at what others were doing… which included pulling out fruit trees and planting vines & olives. Our plantings have increased the diversity of types and varieties and to complement the fruit we have been slowly expanding our summer vegetable garden. Chiefly this has been driven by local consumer demand.
I first read about a marketing system of produce called Community Supported Agriculture in the mid 1980’s and it would appear that we have sort of fallen into a similar marketing model. We never set out with a clear ideal but as our business has grown it has just fallen into place, based on choices made by following our personal values and needs.
It is true that small personal experiences with wholesalers and distributors has left me wondering if the conventional distribution system really works for the sometimes smaller and usually more diversified and integrated organic grower.
Mostly though our basic principles have followed such things as having a sense of purpose, feeling connected to people and participating with them in a positive way....
just doing things that are hopeful whilst delivering feelings of freedom and spirituality, whilst keeping us connected to the earth.
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Freshly Picked Organic Beetroot
Fresh and Organic Fruit
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Organic Fruit picked and arriving at the packing shed!