Alden Biesen is the standard orchard of Flanders. The landscape surrounding the Grand Commandery is one of just a few places where the typical standard orchard landscape has remained intact. The standard orchards on the estate make up a fructuarium that helps preserve old varieties of cherries, apples, pears and plums. The walled deer pasture houses a special orchard where some seventy old cherry varieties were grafted onto young tall rootstocks. Records dating as far back as the 16th century already mention a large and a small orchard within the Grand Commandery. The large orchard was situated in the deer pasture, between the castle and the steward’s house. The different fruit varieties were well-represented in Alden Biesen as early as the 18th century.
More than 40 hectares of standard orchards are managed biologically, i.e. without the use of pesticides, and the fruit ripens by late September. Still, the trees themselves are at their most beautiful in the blossom period.
Tip: the orchard is a heavenly setting for a picnic when the trees are in full blossom. In one of the orchards on the estate you will find a picnic table, benches and a waste bin. Don’t feel like preparing your own picnic? Then order a special picnic with regional products and we will gladly prepare your picnic basket for you!