This short summary outlines the “Memorial Orchard” plan for RickeyFarm.  Generally, it is a place where those who have passed can be memorialized with a fruit tree on our beautiful 9-acre hillside.  The image above is good representation of our future orchard.  It has a similar topography, curvature and spacing as our plan and even has a comparable setting to our spectacular views of RickeyFarm, the Vernon Valley and surrounding mountains.

The current cultural dynamic is moving away from funeral homes and cemeteries.  People are having “Memorial Celebrations of Life” rather than funeral home services. People are seeking greener and literally, less expensive and less polluting alternatives to internment in cemetaries.  As of 2015, more people are now cremated than buried and that trend is still accelerating.

Cremains can be spread on any private property in NJ with only the property owners’ permission required. RickeyFarm is already a bonafied agricultural operation, so there are absolutely No approvals required for the “Memorial Orchard” where cremains can be interred under each tree.  Note: Internment of cremains will not be required for a memorial tree planting.

The dwarf fruit trees (6–8′ wide and high) that will be used are set up much like a vineyard and can be configured in densities from 400 – 800 trees per acre.  We have chosen to stay on the low side, providing a nice spacious layout on the 9 acre “Big Bowl” hillside that will house 3,000+ spaces for memorial fruit trees.

Package(s) will include year-round daylight hour visitation, a Memorial Celebration of Life and a Bio page on the “Memorial Orchard App”.  Optional benefits include: Special Placement in the orchard, Recurring Family Gatherings/Reunions, Special Private Celebrations of Life, and even shipped fruit packages to benefactors after trees reach maturity. The trees we will use are well established, high-quality nursery stock.  These trees will reach maturity and start bearing fruit in approximately 4 years.  Our average space will sell for just under $500.00.  Planting in the Memorial Orchard will take place in the early spring and late fall (coinciding with the spring blossoming and fall foliage respectively).

The projected purchasers are expected to mostly be adults 30-70 that are still alive and planning for the future.  In other word, the orchard will be installed mostly over time with payments upfront.  There is an expected 10% or less of spaces sold that will be for those who are already deceased.  This provides a very comfortable situation in regard to the preparation and development of the orchard planting rows.  And we already have the soil and compost stockpiled, as well as the local know-how that will be needed to create nutrient rich planting rows that will nurture these special trees into a highly productive mature orchard designed for longevity.

This project dove-tails extremely well with RickeyFarm Ministries, a Church on a Farm !!