Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fisher Orchard Planting May 15th

After 3 years of research and planning on this Saturday, May 15th at 10:00 A.M. the Fisher Memorial will begin planting it's restoration of Jonathan Fisher’s fruit orchard with historic varieties duplicating Fisher's original choices as laid out in an 1820 plan of the orchard.  The orchard is a major part of the design to reproduce the broader context for the house and furnishings of the first settled minister in Blue Hill whose tenure spanned the early years of the village until 1837.  Reverend Fisher’s famous 1824 painting “Morning View of Blue Hill Village” shows his orchard from the vantage point of Greene’s Hill.      
 Jonathan Fisher's 1820 plan of his orchard, including an allee from the parlor windows (Jonathan Fisher Collection, courtesy Farnsworth Art Museum & Library
 The heritage plantings, Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Ribston Pippin, have been grafted and nurtured by Tim Seabrook and Leslie Cummins of Five Star Nursery and Orchard in Brooklin, plus two cherry trees descended from Fisher’s original trees have been donated.  The field has been cleared and readied thanks to a donation from Louise Abbot, a great-great-granddaughter of Jonathan Fisher. On Saturday, in a wonderful bit of continuity, Mrs. Abbot will turn the first spade of soil for the hole in which will be planted a cherry tree directly descended from the 'English Cherry' that Fisher planted, in the original location indicated on his plan.  Reverend Rob McCall of the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill, an orchard keeper himself, will bless the orchard.
 The Fisher Farm, detail from 'A Morning View of Blue Hill Village, 1824, showing the Fisher house at left, with orchard below.
8 trees will planted this year, with 7 more to follow next year.  For a couple of years, the trees will have to be protected against deer and raccoons with rather unauthentic chicken wire and stakes, but we anticipate that in five years, the orchard will once again bloom in spring as it did nearly 200 years ago.
The Tree Planting Ceremony is planned for Saturday, May 15, at 10AM.  Refreshments will be provided and the public is invited to attend.  For those who wish to (support) become more involved in this project, a tree may be (adopted) purchased for a $150 donation to the Jonathan Fisher Memorial, Inc.  This will include the cost of the tree, planting, fencing and maintenance.  Or, any donation to this heritage project will be greatly appreciated.    

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