Posted on

Interested in the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

Orange fruit farming

Kenyan’s potential in fruit production is rather untapped when compared to South American and Asian countries that dominate the export market. It is high time that Kenyans start to look out for ways of exploiting the demand that is growing and the lucrative market for tropical fruits both domestically and internationally.

How huge is the potential for the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

As millions of people around the world look for healthier and organic foods, fruits are growing in demand both locally and globally.

Apart from the millions of fruits that we eat at home in Kenya, many of us do not notice the huge volumes of bananas, pineapples, mangoes and several other tropical fruit varieties that are shipped to Europe, the Middle East and USA every week!

Kenya has a unique advantage to profit from this very lucrative market for tropical fruits which grow abundantly on our continent.

This post explores the tropical fruit business and looks at a couple of successful entrepreneurs who are already exploiting the potentials of the fruit production business in Kenya. In our earlier posts, we have also included very detailed manuals that reveal all the technical details of starting and succeeding in fruit farming.

Why Is The Market Potential For Tropical Fruit farming Huge For Kenya?

Our research has identified three strong reasons why Kenya’s future in the tropical fruits business is shining very bright. Here they are:-

·         Kenya Has A Strong Geographic Advantage

More than 70 percent of fruits consumed on earth come from the tropics, which is why they’re called ‘tropical fruits’.

A very large portion of Africa is located in the tropics – a region that enjoys all-year-round sunlight and has a perfect climate for fruits to thrive and grow abundantly.

As a result, Kenya and Africa at large remains one of the world’s largest producers of some of the most popular fruits on the planet – citrus, pineapples, bananas and many others.

Despite our continent’s huge potential for fruit farming business, a lot of fruits grown in Kenyan are consumed locally.

Because fruits are highly perishable (spoil very quickly) and many farmers have little access to good storage facilities, Kenya currently exports less than 5 percent of the fruits it produces every year.

However, there are signs of positive change as some entrepreneurs are already making the best of this bad situation.

Profitable poultry farming and production in Kenya

·         A Growing Demand For Healthier And Organic Foods

Due to the revelations by modern science about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, millions of people around the world (especially in developed countries) now include some form of fruit in their daily diets.

Apart from their rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content, fruits are now known to lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; and help to lower the risk of eye and digestive system problems.

The growing consciousness in Western countries to adopt fruit-rich diets is one of the major drivers of the growing demand for tropical fruits which are abundant in Kenya. As a result, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Kenya earn millions of dollars every year from fruit exports to Europe, the Middle East and USA.

According to the World Health Organisation, millions of people around the world still die prematurely from diseases associated with low fruit consumption. While this is sad, it signals a promising and lucrative growth in the demand for Kenyan tropical fruits now and in the future as more people add fruits to their diets.

Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

·         A Rapidly Growing Fruit Juice Industry

Recently, Prof Kibwana the Makueni County governor launched a mango processing plant which is meant to buy mangoes from residents of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni to process juice. These are some of the changes that we are talking about. Value addition is taking shape in Kenya and in the near future Kenya will be producing finished products. Another company in Mweiga Nyeri County is producing juice from tree tomato fruits. Tamarillo farm in Nyeri is now processing tree tomato fruits to produce chillie source, jams, and juice.

This rapid growth is driven by a rising preference by customers for healthy drinks (like fruit juices) over soft drinks (such as carbonated drinks – like Coke and Pepsi). There is also a rising demand for organic, super fruit and 100 percent natural fruit juices without any sweeteners and preservatives.

This means that in the very near future, producers will require more raw fruits to make a glass of juice making fruit farming business lucrative.

As more manufacturers shop for fruits to produce more juice to serve the growing demand, Kenya will become a huge supplier due to the abundance of fruits that grow on the country. This added demand from fruit juice manufacturers is allowing farmers across Kenya to process their harvested fruits into less perishable concentrates thereby reducing spoilage and earning them more money.

If you are confident that the fruit business will work for you, it’s important that you start taking action as soon as possible. Oxfarm is here to help you by providing certified seedlings as well as required information that can help you grow.

 

Posted on

Health Benefits of Green Apple Grown in Kenya

An apple is a very nutritious fruit containing a lot of vitamins and minerals with several impressive health benefits which qualifies it as part of one’s daily diet.

It is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that help to regulate normal blood glucose, fight digestive problems of different types and promote appetite; these are just but a few to mention among other benefits this fruit adds to human health. Below are some of its benefits on human health

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Apple has the content of soluble fibre which has the characteristics of lowering high level of bad cholesterol in the blood caused by high fatty foods and improving general cardiovascular health.

Results from scientific studies showed that eating an apple on daily basis helps to reduce arterial plaque, lower LDL, balance sugar level and thwart other illnesses associated with the heart.

Generally, the presence of high potassium content and epicatechin, an antioxidant flavonoid helps to improve heart health.

Apple Farming Manual

 

 Enhances Metabolism of The Body

Apple contains soluble fiber which makes it a strong anti-oxidizing agent that enhances the metabolism of the body.

It is good to eat apple regularly because it is a natural metabolism booster but more effective in the morning as it will fasten the speed during morning hours.

The presence of iron in green apple fruit also helps in the process of metabolism and quick absorption of oxygen in the body.

Boron is a trace of mineral in an apple that also helps the body to metabolize appropriately and make use of other vital nutrients.

Helps to Detoxify the Liver

Green apple fruit helps to detoxify the liver by removing some harmful toxins; it contains active detoxification properties which make it very effective for cleansing the liver.

Drinking the apple cider vinegar with water daily is a natural remedy that contributes greatly just as apple fruit does to protect liver problems by eliminating harmful toxins from the liver.

Reduces Digestive Problems

Eating of green apples can help to reduce digestive tract diseases. Apple fruits are rich in fiber which helps to maintain a healthy gut.

Also, they contain essential minerals and vitamins such as folate, phosphorus, vitamins A and C that all contribute to maintaining a healthy digestive system and good functioning of the intestine.

 Reduces Blood Cholesterol

Some important properties contained in apple which are linked to cholesterol reduction are epicatechin, a plant flavonoid; polyphenol which is a strong antioxidant and pectin. Both contents help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Scientific studies carried out to compare a cholesterol moderating drug, statin and an apple showed that Apple is more effective in reducing bad cholesterol which causes serious heart problems.

Taking just an apple per day regulates cholesterol level in the body which can lead to the risk of stroke and related other heart problems when not controlled.

 Enhances Low Appetite

Apple contains organic acids that help to control human appetite; therefore, people who suffer from low appetite can use the green apple fruits to boost their appetite.

 Reduces the Risk of Asthma Attack 

Apple fruit contains an important flavonoid compound on the skin known as quercetin, which helps to reduce the tendency of an asthma attack in the human body.

Other pronounced antioxidant properties that are contained in apple also help in playing this role and getting rid of oxidative damages in the lungs.

 Prevent Allergies

Other important compounds in apple fruit are quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid which are all flavonoids with potent antioxidant actions such as fighting sicknesses like certain allergies also helps in body pain reduction.

Lowers the Risk of Diabetes

Apple fruit helps to prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes which is caused by beta cells insulin damage due to the presence of a soluble fibre that stops the blood sugar spike.

Polyphenol, an essential plant compound that plays a key role of antioxidant in preventing tissue damage to beta cells is contained in apple. It helps to inhibit the risk of type 2 diabetes by averting such damage that leads to the case.

 Contains Properties that Help to Prevent Cancer

Apple has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances that help to fight the development of cancerous diseases in the body.

Studies supported by the American Association of Cancer Research proved that the flavonoid and triterpenoids compounds in apple play a key role in frustrating the growth of pancreatic cancer and other tumors in the human body

Maintains Proper Bone Health

Apple is one of the major fruits considered the powerhouse for bone health due to the presence of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and calcium which are bone nutrient density.

Another bone building phytonutrient in apple is phloridzin, a naturally occurring plant compound in an apple that helps to prevent induced bone loss and play other potential roles in the body. 

Helps in Boosting Brain Health

Antioxidants play numerous roles in overall human health which one of them is boosting the brain health. Apple is rich in antioxidants and these properties make it very good for brain health.

This fact has been supported by several scientific studies which proved that eating apple fruits prevent certain conditions that affect the neurons in the human brain such as Alzheimer’s.

Juice contained in apple fruit helps to lessen mental decline as well as protects a neurotransmitter in the human brain called acetylcholine which tends to have age-related function reduction.

Vitamin C is one of the major properties in green apple fruit which is an essential dietary nutrient that performs many vital functions in the body system.

Eating one apple per day is a daily recommendation by nutritionists and health practitioners because it helps to flush out toxins in the body and other numerous benefits it provides. This follows a saying that “one apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Apple plays many important roles in the human body which should make it a part of our daily diets as it plays lots of uncountable health benefits. Adding to the ones mentioned above, apple helps to prevent a swollen canal in the anus, in other words, called haemorrhoids or piles.

Green Apples

English apple has different varieties such as the green apples, red sweet apples, yellow, yellow and pink. These colors on apple pigments are just the natural coloring that develop as apples grow.

The taste of all these varieties of apple remains the same just as the benefit they offer to man’s health and lifestyle in spite of the colors.

Apple is one of the most consumed fruit in the world today, cultivated in most parts of the world. Green apples which originated in Australia are today grown in most part of the world including the East African countries including Kenya.

 

Apple fruit is generally healthy and safe to eat for all ages. There are no side effects attached to the eating of this fruit. But the warning is that the seeds should not be consumed excessively either by mistake or otherwise as they contain cyanide. Cyanide is a chemical compound that can be extremely toxic to human health and when eaten in excess can cause harmful damage to human health.

Apples do well in Kenyan soils particularly in colder areas. Contact us for seedlings and more information.

 

Posted on

Some of the best fruits to grow in Kenya

The world loves fruits. Fruit farming is a great contributor of our economy, contributing to the food basket. Below are few of the fruits that you can grow both for home consumption or for commercial purposes.

Banana Farming in Kenya

In Kenya, bananas are favorite fruits among many families. It is almost impossible to find a home that doesn’t grow bananas. In some parts like Kisii and Nyamira, it’s almost a main dish. Bananas should be grown in rich soil with plenty of water, shade and support, as their trunks tend to bend. There are different types of bananas in Kenya; hybrid and local.  A banana tree takes about 9 months to grow, and bananas meant for commercial purposes are harvested before ripening to reduce damage and loss during transportation.

Apple Farming in Kenya

There are two major types of apples grown in Kenya, the green one and the red ones. Apples grow best in full sunlight away from wind, in wet loamy or sandy soil. From the time it’s grown, an apple tree can take an average 2 – 4 or 2 – 6 years to bear fruit and can live for 100 years or more.

Read: Get Over Ksh 700,000 from an acre of Hybrid onions in Kenya

Mango Farming in Kenya

Mangoes are succulent fruits grown in places with plenty of sun and water. There are different types of mangoes grown in Kenya. One should do research to know which mangoes will grow best in the area they are in. A mango tree can take 3 – 5 years to mature and bear fruit if grafted and upto 8 years if not grafted. Like bananas, mangoes are harvested before they are ripe reduce damage and loss during transportation. Learn more about mango farming here

Orange Farming in Kenya

Oranges are very popular in the Kenyan market. They are found everywhere; in markets, supermarkets, kiosks and the likes. There are different types of oranges, some of them may not be too sweet. Identifying the type of orange tree is not a difficult task though. The sweetest oranges have a deep orange skin. Oranges take about 3 years to grow and produce fruit if grafted, if not, they may take up to 15 years! They, just like pineapples, require high temperatures to produce sweet fruit. Learn more about Orange farming in kenya here

Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Hass avocado at Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm

In kenya, hass avocado farming is picking momentum. Avocados are widely used in Kenyan homes. They are used as baby feed, mashed and mixed in food (some people cannot stand this), or used as dessert in homes and hotels as well. There are quite a number of avocado types grown all over the country. Avocados take about 3 years to grow and bear fruit. They grow best in warm weather. They must be harvested before they ripen in order to reduce wastage during transportation. Learn more about hass avocado farming here

Read: How to achieve success in a given agribusiness venture

Pawpaw Farming in Kenya

Pawapaw farming is very sensitive but pawpaw are always in demand in kenya. Unlike other sweet fruits, pawpaws are extremely sensitive to sunlight which can kill them. They need plenty of shade during their first year of growing. A grafted paw paw tree can start bearing fruit in 2 -3 years, while a non-grafted tree can take up to eight years! This of course depends on the quality of the seeds used. Learn more about pawpaw farming here

 

Posted on

10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Crops Organically

There is nothing like biting into a fresh ripe apple plucked your Shamba. This is just one of the pleasures you can enjoy when you grow your own crops. There was a time when people didn’t give much thought about the foods they buy in the grocery stores. Food safety is one of the main reasons for growing more of our own organic foods, but there are so many other reasons too. Here are the top 10 reasons to grow your own organic crops:

Superior Flavor

There is nothing like biting into a fresh ripe tomato or snacking on string beans plucked from the vine as you putter through the garden.

Many of the varieties of fruits and vegetables sold in grocery stores are adapted for commercial farming. Through selecting and breeding specific traits, these strains are developed to produce more per plant, be ready for harvesting all at once, have a longer shelf life, be uniform size and shape, ship without bruising, and often times finish ripening on trucks during shipping. Even when you purchase organic vegetables, this breeding can compromise flavor. The taste and texture of a grocery store tomato cannot compare to one that is freshly picked from a plant growing in your own garden.

Read: How To Establish An Arrow Root Farm

More Variety

Growing from quality transplants from your local nursery or starting your own seedlings under lights allows you to select from so many different varieties that offer greater flavor and texture than what is available in the grocery stores. You can choose from hundreds of varieties based on flavor, shape, and color. When you grow your own, you can select varieties that are adapted to your growing area or mature in a short period.

No Chemicals

You control the growing environment of your garden. There is no need for chemicals and pesticides in your backyard garden. If you have problems with disease or pests, there is usually an organic remedy to solve it. In worst-case scenarios, you simply chalk that particular crop up to a loss, pull the plants, and plant something else in its place.

These are some of the easiest garden vegetables to grow in your own backyard garden without using pesticides.

Food Safety

Growing and harvesting food from your backyard garden ensures you know where your food came from. I cringe every single time I hear about a food-borne illness on the news and there have been many since my eye-opening experience back in 2006.

Healthier Eating

Tending to your garden and growing your own food will teach you to eat in season when flavors and nutrients are at peak. When you have a lot of harvests to use up, you tend to eat more vegetables and think of creative ways to prepare them so nothing goes to waste. Since they are harvested fresh, the natural flavors of the vegetables shine and do not need additional oils, salt, or other additives to make them taste good.

Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally in the garden and are consumed within days of harvest have more nutrients than store-bought vegetables. Most of the vegetables that line the grocery store produce section are picked early, shipped to warehouses, distributed to the stores, and stay in storage or on the shelf for a while until you purchase them. Over time, the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables declines. Not only do freshly picked fruits and vegetables taste better, but they also have a higher nutritional value.

Read: Success on bee keeping this is what you need to know

Outdoor Exercise

During the growing season, gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine regularly. There are a lot of different movements in gardening that require strength or stretching. Digging, planting, weeding, and other repetitive tasks are excellent forms of low-impact exercise.

Did you know that 45 minutes of farming burns the same amount of calories as running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes? Regular physical activity can help you feel better and improve your well-being because it relieves stress, boosts energy and releases tension.

Reduction in Food Waste

None of the fruits and vegetables harvested on our property go to waste. We make every effort to eat or preserve all the food harvested from the garden. Whatever scraps or trimmings we don’t consume is either fed to our hens or added to the compost bin to be returned to the garden again as nutrients. We also give away excess harvests if we are unable to use it.

Saves Money at the Grocery Store

Many will challenge that gardening saves money. When the garden bug hits, it is easy to find yourself purchasing cute pots, plant stakes, and gardening gadgets on the market. If you stick to the basics, gardening really doesn’t cost much in supplies in comparison to the amount of food it produces.

Even if you grow a small garden for fresh eating, you will save money. For example, a package of organic kale greens cost at least Ksh10 at my local grocery store and is usually only enough for a few servings. If you grow your own from a package of good-quality organic seeds, it costs half that and produces for a longer period of time yielding about 6 Kilos of greens.

Food Security

The World Health Organization states that food security is achieved when “all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”

Growing your own food garden contributes to your food security by providing direct access to food that can be harvested, prepared and fed to your family daily during the growing season. If you learn how to preserve your harvest, you will be able to stock your Pantry and feed your family even when the growing season is over.

Sense of Pride

Planting a seed, watching it sprout and grow to produce food for you, and your family is one of the most gratifying feelings. Sure, many of us work hard to earn a living and provide for our family, but the close association of this simple effort and direct reward is fulfilling.

I love the feeling of pride as I look over a meal I prepared with vegetables from my garden. I revel in the sensation of accomplishment as I stock with potatoes, onions, garlic, other storage crops.

Also Read: 7 Requirements Of Successful Bee Farming, Number 3 Is The Most Important

 

Posted on

How to Start a new apple orchard

Is it true that an apple a day may help keep the doctor away? Yes, it certainly is true. There are many health benefits from eating apples.

Apples are a good source of fiber. Pectin a source of soluble fiber helps to prevent cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls. The insoluble fiber is like a cleanser for your intestinal tract holding water and moving food through the digestive system. Insoluble fiber can be found in the skin so don’t cut it off.

Apples have always had an anecdotal healthy reputation and that reputation has and continues to be confirmed by past and ongoing medical research. The bottom line is that eating apples are good for you and the health benefits of apples are numerous and include anything from lowering bad cholesterol to reducing the risk of contracting cancer.

An orchard is a lovely way to grow this tasty and healthy fruit but it will take planning and time before you’re harvesting.

 

Reasons to Eat Apples

  • Apples are a perfect portable snack food
  • Apples are fat and cholesterol free
  • Apples are sodium free
  • Apples contain antioxidants which may help fight off diseases
  • Apples are a great source of dietary fiber
  • Apples can strengthen lung function
  • Apples contain many vitamins and minerals
  • Apples come in hundreds of varieties
  • Apples are low in calories
  • Apples have no artificial colors or flavors

 

Picking the site

Apple orchards, once successfully established, can last for decades and you really do not want to be faced with the prospect of starting again if your selection of the orchard site does not work out for one reason or another.

First of all, consider where an apple orchard might work in terms of the topography of your land. Apple trees cannot tolerate standing in water, therefore discount any low lying areas that have or may be subject to flooding or likely to retain water from run off. Even if you have a low lying area that does not flood or hold water it may well be a frost pocket where cold air settles.

These areas can kill the apple blossom and the developing fruit. Once you have selected an area that might be suitable, check out the soil. Ideally, the soil should be rich, loamy, and well drained; apple trees will also grow in sandy or clay soil as a second best. Having identified your best likely spot, you should be looking to test your soil’s PH. Aim for a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 as an ideal but a PH between 5.5 and 8.0 is tolerable too.

Related Content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

 

Selecting trees

Apple trees come in numerous varieties and growth patterns. Some varieties will be more suitable to your area than others. However, bear in mind that for pollination to work you will require at least two varieties of apple tree in your orchard. In order to maximize fruiting, you should also be looking for apple trees that blossom around the same time, that could be early, mid-season, or late season, your local nursery should be able to advise you of the right varieties that will work for you, especially as some varieties are simply not compatible with each other as their blossom is sterile.

Now it is up to you to select the best trees that both suit your needs and your site. Some apple trees, called standards, can grow 25 feet high or more and can live more than fifty years. However, you will be waiting five or six years for apples from these trees and the height of the tree may be a deterrent for you as the trees will need pruning at some time.

Smaller varieties such as semi-dwarfs and dwarfs however, could be producing within two to three years but are not as strong or as long lived. In terms of production, standard trees should be producing around eight bushels of apples each, semi-dwarf’s five bushels each, and dwarf’s one to two bushels each. Again, talk to your local nursery man and establish what will best work for you.

 

Planting

Ideally, you will want to buy apple trees that are around 3 months old and stand about one feet high. If you think the roots are dry when you get them home soak the root ball in water for 24 hours. When you are ready to plant you will need to dig a hole that is 2 feet by 2 feet and about two feet deeper, allowing the root system to spread out when you back fill part of the hole with loose soil.

Gently spread the tree’s roots out when you plant the tree, firm the soil around the roots, and backfill so that the place where the tree’s roots meet the trunk is up to two inches above the ground. Pack the soil down and water the tree well; no fertilizer is required at the planting stage.

After planting your trees remove a circle of grass or ground cover to a radius of three feet, taking the tree as the center of the circle, and add a layer of mulch, which will deter weeds and keep your tree well supplied with water and nutrients.

In terms of spacing, dwarf apple trees will need staking and should be planted between eight to 12 feet apart, semi-dwarf apple trees are hardier and should not require staking and can be planted ten to 15 feet apart, while standard trees should be planted 17 to 20 feet apart; proper spacing should ensure the effective pollination of your orchard. Your orchard is established now all you have to do is look after it.

Book for various variety of apple seedlings

 

Apples trees seedlings

 

Posted on

Factors to consider when starting an orchard enterprise

There’s no place on the farm quite like the orchard. For dew-fresh fruit, but also for picnics in blossom time, watching the bees gather nectar for your honey, and simply enjoying life. Making a detour on your way to feed the chickens in the morning and stopping by the orchard for a night-chilled Transparent apple is a country experience hard to pass up.

The only problem is, unless your land comes with an established orchard, it’s going to take a couple of years’ wait. That’s why starting an orchard should be one of the first things you set out.

To speed up your first yield even further, try a few dwarf trees. You probably won’t bother much with these once your big ones start bearing, but they will give you an initial crop to tide you over the second or third year of waiting.

Where to Plant an Orchard 

The orchard is going to be around for some time. That’s your first consideration in deciding where to locate it.

As a permanent addition to your homestead, the orchard should have not only good soil, but good air and water drainage as well. Thus, a slope is the best location if you have one. Avoid low-lying sites, since this harbor the cold. The ideal spot is on the small hills surrounding a valley or depression. No trees should be exposed to the windy hilltops and none to the frost-retentive bottom land. Rows of trees planted on hills should, of course, follow the contour system.

The soil in your orchard should be as good as you can make it. If you want to plant fruit trees right away and your soil is hard clay or sand, you’ll have to build it up for each individual tree. It will pay you to fill the excavations in which the trees are to be set with improved soil, compost, rotted manure, ground rock phosphate, and rock potash to a depth of — hold onto the book — about five feet.

Planting Fruit Trees

Agri-business in KenyaEven if your soil is ideal, prepare to spend a bit of time with a pickax and shovel. The minimum size for a tree hole is three times the size of the root ball. In the case of fruit trees, the bigger the better. Usually one no smaller than three or four feet in diameter and two to three feet deep is dug. Pile the topsoil separately, since this is what should go back into the bottom of the hole along with well-aged nitrogen-rich compost and ground rock phosphate and rock potash. Don’t use fresh manure. Spread most of the extra subsurface soil elsewhere and grow a cover crop over it.

If what you’re removing is almost solid clay soil, and you’re replacing it with the ideal light, humus-filled one, the improved area around the tree will act as a sponge. Water retention will be too much. In this case, put a tile drain at the bottom of the hole. This is simply a single row, or a cross, of sections of drainage pipe, usually four inches in diameter, spaced out on top of a layer of gravel across the floor of the hole. It leads the water away from the root area, culvert-fashion, to the surrounding subsoil.

The mechanics of planting fruit trees are important. All injured and broken roots must be pruned back. The roots are then spread out evenly on top of a layer of enriched soil replaced in the hole to raise the tree to its proper level. Make sure you keep the roots moist while you work. It’s a good idea to mix up a bucket of mud slurry from your compost to pour over the roots when they are spread out. The slurry will coat the finer roots, keeping them moist, minimizing air pockets, and helping to settle them in. Fill the rest of the hole, tamp down the soil and give it a heavy dousing of water or light mud slurry. The tree should sit in the center of a slight depression about a foot in diameter. At the same distance out put up a two-foot-high wire mesh “collar” to keep out field mice, rabbits, etc. Outside of this mini-fence cover the ground with an inch of rotted manure extended all the way to eight feet from the tree. Cover the circle in turn with about a foot of hay mulch.

A regular fruit tree should be planted at least twenty feet from its nearest neighbor. Dwarf fruit trees can be spaced as close as ten feet apart. Set the tree straight to ever so slightly leaning in the direction of any prevailing winds. The largest branch, like a weather vane, should point into the prevailing wind. Prune back the branches of a newly planted tree a little more, proportionately, than the root loss. This will give it a chance to build a good strong root system. Give the trunk a pole support to prevent wind whipping from loosening the roots.

One final thought on planting. Science is discovering more and more about the roles bacteria and fungi play in crop growth. There is no doubt some of both interacting with the orchard. An old farmer I know would never plant a new fruit or nut tree without going around to an orchard he particularly admired and, picking the best tree of the kind he was planting, “borrowing” a shovelful of dirt as a “starter” for his own tree. Now I’m not saying this is necessary … the only reason I mention it is because his new trees never failed, and they were always covered in season with the most incredibly delicious fruit.

related Content: drip irrigation in fruits

Points to consider when choosing an orchard enterprise

  • Location
  • Costs and returns on investment
  • Complexity of management
  • Markets
  • Labor requirements
  • Water security

The key areas of risk to production include: pollination, pests and diseases, and climatic factors such as, drought, frost, hail, wind and heat. Orchard yield and quality is determined by the integrated management of the soil, irrigation, tree canopy and nutrition. These inputs are dependent on each other as water and nutrients cannot be separated from the soil that supports the root system that in turn dictates the performance of the canopy and therefore the yield.

Key factors for success

  • Growing the right varieties (meeting market demand)
  • Business and orchard management and mechanization
  • Economic return on investment
  • Efficient use of water
  • Shortest lead time to first commercial harvest
  • Consistency of production including yield and quality
  • Choosing the right region, soil type, available water and land aspect

Tree density may range from one hundred to several thousand trees per hectare. The relationship between tree spacing and yield illustrates that the more trees planted on a hectare of land, the higher the initial yield. However, at higher densities, unless trees are trained carefully they will eventually compete for sunlight resulting in a reduction in yield per hectare and quality of fruit and nuts produced. Higher density plantings will have greater establishment costs but there will be earlier economic return on investment.

For more information, visit our offices today. Book your seedlings today and establish an orchard of your choice.

 

 

 

Posted on

How to improve your fruit harvest

Growing your own fruit means that you can enjoy the pick of delicious varieties fresh from the tree or bush, turn them into pies, jellies and jams or store for future use. And you don’t need a lot of space, either – in small gardens, you can grow fruit as cordons or trained trees. You can also grow fruit in containers.

With a little care throughout the year, you can enjoy the best possible harvests – here’s how.

Plant at least two fruit trees

Plant at least two fruit trees so that they can cross pollinate. Where space is limited, choose self-pollinating varieties that fruit on their own, or try family trees with several varieties grafted onto a single trunk.

Protect blossom

Protect blossom from frost if possible, by covering with fleece. Remove the covers by midday so that pollinating insects can get in, then recover at night.

Mulch

Mulch around the base of plants with well-rotted organic matter in autumn, to lock in nutrients and water into the soil, and suppress weeds. Use pine needles around berries as they create the acidic conditions they love. Scatter slow-release fertiliser, such as chicken manure, each spring onto moist soil.

Water regularly

Water new fruit plants regularly until they are established, and continue to water any plants in pots. Water all fruit plants when they have ripening fruit, but be careful not to over-water as this can lead to tasteless fruit and can leach nutrients from the soil.

Related Post: drip irrigation in fruits

Pick off fruits

Pick off baby fruits from newly planted fruit trees in their first season. It takes willpower, but it allows the tree to concentrate on establishing well. Mature trees will drop fruits early in the season (called the ‘June drop’) but it’s a good idea to thin fruits growing too close together so that those remaining have room to mature.

Underplant with flowers

Underplant fruit with nectar-rich flowers such as nepeta, lavender or annual flower mixes to attract bees and other pollinating insects – they’ll pollinate your blossom at the same time.

Let fruit ripen fully

Let fruits ripen fully on the plant or tree, so that they have more time to build up nutrients. But pick them before they become overripe as they may rot and spread disease – and will attract wasps too.

For more information, visit our offices, and book your seedlings early enough.

 

 

Posted on

Benefits of Growing Your Own Fruits

Benefits for you and your family:

  • Fresh and nutritious fruits. Fruits from your own garden are higher in nutrients than the ones that have traveled several thousand miles to get to your grocery store.
  • Having your children assist you in the garden can increase the chance that they will eat more of the fruits and vegetables they have helped to grow.
  • Growing your own fruits can offer you the opportunity to reduce the amount of pesticides that you use in your garden, making them healthier.
  • Growing your own fruits will save your money at the grocery store.
  • Gardening increases physical activity. It is a great way to engage the whole family in physical activity and lets them help to take responsibility for the garden.
  • The fruits grown in your garden will promote health because they are rich in nutrients, especially in phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.
  • Gardening gives you’re a real sense of appreciation when you can see the bounty of your efforts.
  • Growing a garden gives you a new appreciation for nature, when you can have the opportunity to see how things grow.
  • Gardening may stimulate many new interests. You may want to learn more about botany, landscape architecture, photography, nutrition, and farmer’s markets.
  • Gardening gives you the opportunity to give back. If you have an abundant garden, you might give some of your produce to the local soup kitchen or food bank.
  • This can be a great time to create memories with your children, memories that can last a lifetime.
  • Your garden can lead to new skills, and knowledge for you and your family, your child may have a new found interest to become a farmer!

Society and Community

  • Gardens can foster a great sense of community through parent to parent connections, teacher to student or student to student.
  • Schools and community may decide to build a community or school garden. This is a tremendous learning tool for all involved as well a providing a source of nutritious fruits
  • A community/school garden can help to foster and motivate future leaders (e.g., 4-H afterschool programs).
  • Neighborhood Community Gardens beautify landscape, support local farmers, can create a food secure community where residents do not need to rely on vendors to supply fresh produce.

Environment

Tall fruit trees provide shade.

  • You can use less pesticides or use natural pesticides and this will be less contamination to the environment.
  • Produce peels and waste can create a lot of green waste and takes up a lot of space in the garbage can. Recycle them to make your own compost. It is less expensive than buying fertilizers.
  • Turn unsightly lands into attractive landscapes.
  • Get creative. There is a potential to grow an innovative gardens like futuristic horticulture gardens that are very cost-effective and require substantially less space.

If you’ve got a bit of empty space on your farm, growing a fruit tree is a good way to fill it and still get a passive income- beehives are a similar option, but you can surround a grown tree with beehives for kicks.

Investing in more fruit trees will make them more worthwhile, definitely- the combined benefit of many fruits is always going to be more apparently valuable for the time you spend interacting with the tree every few days. Even ignoring the quality level gain of a fruit tree and placing some kegs or preserves jars right next to your trees can boost the profits you’re seeing from your tree without much extra effort, or you could keep them around as a guarantee of some portable energy consumables during a given season.

Start exploring today!! Book seedlings today!

 

 

Posted on

Apple farming in Kenya – mitigating risks for better productivity

Apple farming in kenya, farmers share identical ambition; to realize high yield, grow healthy and alimental apples, and sell them as presently as attainable for an honest value. Rather like the opposite permanent crops, apples are a long-time investment. An extra advantage of growing apples is that they’re strongly adjustable to numerous growing conditions, and so, will be full-grown virtually anyplace. Besides that, the demand for apples is continually present throughout the year.

Tempting Business with several Risks

Although apple production may be a tempting business, it’s dependent upon several factors and it’s its own risks. The common risks in apple production that perpetually threaten farmer’s pursuit for achievement area unit as follows:

  • Climate change; unpredictable weather events like drought, hail, frost, flood, sturdy wind or perhaps cyclone area unit a sorrow reality of today’s farming. In precisely someday, unfavorable weather will flip a stunning plantation into a wilderness
  • Insect pests and diseases; there are a unit over a hundred apple insect pests and diseases that perpetually threaten apple yield and quality. Yield losses attributable to numerous pests and diseases could reach up to four-hundredth
  • Post-harvest management; an awfully delicate stage in apple production that directly affects the ultimate yield, moreover as farmer’s gain
  • Unpredictable market prices; attributable to world market provide and demand
  • A replacement era of farming needs further investments; to achieve success, apple production needs bound investments. On one hand, investment into any business is usually risky. But, on the opposite hand, investment in correct technology, a capable employee or farm instrumentation will bring forth some important and positive changes, significantly for farmers UN agency follow sensible farm practices in their crop management.

 

Related Content: Pomegranate fruits: Amazing Benefits

Apple Farming in Kenya
Apple Fruits Farming

 

Higher aspect of Apple farming in Kenya

Apple farming in Kenya isn’t for everybody. It takes lots of information, patience and labor to realize profitable and property apple production. However, once managed properly, apple production in Kenya will be a secure and long farm investment. Despite all challenges that area unit before of apple farmers in Kenya, trendy farm technology is developing distinctive solutions familiarized towards enhancements in apple production.

 

Related Post: Future state of Grapes in Kenya

 

Miraculous farm inventions like exactitude farming supported time information, improved farm machinery, moreover as farm management package, will mitigate all aforesaid issues and convey valuable yield results.

Contact Oxfarm us for more information and seedlings. Plan Your land and give us a call or visit our office.

 

Apples trees seedlings

Posted on

Starting an Orchard at home isn’t As tough As you would possibly Think

We all realize that fruits have lots of health edges, however growing them in your farm provides several benefits. Not solely you’re assured of a constant offer of recent fruits, however tending to them right in your own farm adds physical activity to your daily routine. Additionally, growing them, yourself can provide you with additional management over that fertilizers and pesticides that are applied – or not applied – to those fruits. However, lots of householders realize growing fruits is discouraging. We believe that the exercise needs excessive amount of attention, time, and space. and the very fact is that growing fruit reception isn’t as tough as everybody may suppose.

Related Story: Tree tomato farming made easy in Kenya

Planting your Fruit Tree

If you intend on moving a longtime flowering tree or fruit plant or planting a vacant root or potted tree, make sure you dig a hole doubly as wide and doubly as deep. Back fill the opening with loose soil and a layer of compost. If any of the roots are broken, take them away before planting. Keep the extent of soil at a similar level as it was in the nursery. Produce a depression around the base of the tree to allow the water to filter down onto the roots rather than running off into the encircling soil or land. The soil can settle and you’ll be ready to see wherever you would like to add more soil. Don’t over water within the rainy months.

Throughout the primary sunny season, you’ll be required to water the plant once per week if there is  rain fall. Even within the highlands areas of Kenya, you’ll still wish to follow the rule of watering deeply once per week with a recently planted tree.

Picking Your style of Fruit

An important issue to recollect once planting your flowering trees is to make sure you either decide a pollination fruit tree otherwise you will be required to purchase 2 varieties that may fertilize. A crab apple will fertilize most fruit tree varieties because it blooms for an extended amount of time than an everyday apple, permitting it to fertilize early, mid, and late season apples. You’ll be able to conjointly purchase “fruit cocktail” trees, wherever many varieties are grafted onto one stock. although a fruit selection is pollination, you’ll get a bigger harvest if a cross-pollinator is near.

Best Fruits to Plant These Days

Tree- Tomato

One shrub big in sensible fertile soil will bear additional fruits than a median family will eat for three months. The fruits are consumed recent by scooping the flesh from halved items. For alternative uses the skin should be removed that is well done by gushing boiling water over the fruits and material possession four minutes before peeling. The shrub flesh is more to stews to form distinctive flavor. The shrub fruits are tasty and ornamental in salads creating savory desserts.

Fresh shrub is usually integrated with sugar and water to form refreshing juice. The fruits shouldn’t be cut on wood or alternative leaky surface because the juice can build an ineradicable mark. The shrub plants are tiny appealing,  woody and evergreen. The leaves are  alternate and evergreen with a heart formed base and a pointed apex. The shrub plants are brittle and shallow frozen growing to a height of 3M to 5.5M. The fruits are long pedunculate and support, in clusters of three to twelve swish, egg formed and pointed at each end. The color is also deep purple, blood red, orange or yellow.

Grapes

Although grape vines aren’t exhausting to grow, you’ll face stiff competition at time of year, from birds and alternative animals. Grapes would like some style of trellis or support to grow on. There are lots of recommendations of a way to prune them, however many folks grow them quite with success with a way additional casual approach. Refer to Oxfarm for the most effective varieties for your space and make sure you select the sort you’re yearning for, either recent ingestion or wine grapes.

Apples

A well-established fruit tree could be a real quality, And there’s an apple to suit each size of garden. select your apple rigorously to fit your tastes and the size of your garden. If your farm permits then select 2 varieties that may fertilize each other. In smaller gardens attempt growing fruit trees in tubs. A dwarf Family Apple has three completely different varieties on a similar tree – simply good for a instrumentation on the area. Or if you fancy one thing extremely completely different then a step-over fruit tree can produce a true talking point!

Apple trees solely do not give the impression of being stunning and supply shade, they’ll conjointly give twenty-five years or additional of fruit for you and your family. Fruit that may build some superb homemade merchandise, like applesauce, conserve, apple pie. And that’s not even numeration the easy pleasure of biting into a crisp ripe apple plucked straight from the tree!

A lot of parents withdraw from planting apple trees in their yards, thinking they grow too huge or take an excessive amount of care. However, with several dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, you’ll be able to match some apple trees within the tightest of areas.

Peaches

Peach trees tend to be sufficiently little to suit in any size curtilage. Once the peaches are ripening, you’ll be able to smell their sweetness many yards away. they are doing need some pruning, to stay the branches productive and accessible, and a little of cutting the young fruits, so you get a smaller crop of enormous items, instead of a significant crop of small peaches.

Related content:Tips on how to get over 20Kgs/Tree from Tree-tomato farming

Pawpaw

With the year virtually coming back to an end let’s take a glance on ways that to form cash out of pawpaw. If you’re thinking of beginning an orchard and you don’t have a thought, pawpaw fruit is additionally a decent begin. Pawpaw could be a fruit enclosed by lots of thought and plenty of farmers shun from it. Botanically, the pawpaw could be a giant herb, while not wood tissue, thereafter it’s not a tree. It’s a bent to be dioecian, which means that male and feminine flowers don’t grow on a similar plant. Therefore, the plant is either male or feminine. Male plants are fully unproductive however are required for cross-pollination, at the speed of concerning one male plant to twenty feminine plants (the cross-pollination is finished by insects and to a lesser extent, by wind and birds). Today, let’s take all plant a pawpaw and that we can notice however we are able to profit each financially and health wise.

Grafted Purple Passion fruit

Passion fruit is an evergreen, flowering tracheophyte that originated from Brazil that climbs by tendrils. Its height and unfold varies looking on the structure it climbs on. Passion fruits were introduced within the Twenties in Kenya for business growing. There are many species and varieties, of that the purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis power unit edulis) has the most important business potential. Most of the fruits are processed, however it’s conjointly consumed recent. The yellow passion is analogous to the purple passion, however is additional vigorous, additional tailored to tropical lowlands and additional drought resistant. The fruit pulp is incredibly aromatic however rather acidic. The common fruit is slightly larger and turns from inexperienced to yellow at maturity. Ripe fruits drop from the tracheophyte. The purple passion is grafted with the yellow passion to allow it handle harsh weather conditions.

For these fruit seedlings, contact us or visit our offices.