@rkelly17 You use orchards a lot; is it necessary to have a farmer assigned to each one the entire time the trees are growing, or can you reassign the farmer to something else (professional, not as a laborer) for the years between planting and the first harvest?
I'm not really sure. Lately I have been making orchards that only require 1 orchardist (15 wide by 4 high or 9 wide by 4 or 5 high in the 9X9 block farms) and he/she seems pretty busy weeding, etc. even when not harvesting. Personally I don't want to spend the time micromanaging them,
so I set the 1 and wander off to build something else. In most of my farms I build just enough housing to house the requisite farmers plus a barn for them to use. I'm not sure whether or not the orchard farmers become laborers in the Winter like the field farmers.
If I have a East-West boulevard/avenue I'll also plant a series of 15 wide by 4 high nut tree orchards for decoration in the middle (I don't do North-South orchards since I can never remember the right width to get two rows of trees) with a house for farmers at the mid-point of two. In my vegetarian settlement this gives me plenty of protein.
Now that I am trying to learn trade I'm planting blocks of 4 15X4 orchards of the fruit for ale-making with 2 houses and a barn and a near-by tavern--built after the trees start bearing. It appears that the 4 orchards can't quite keep the brewer working full-time all year, so I'm thinking about a fifth orchard using the second adult from the brewer's house. If the space allows it, of course. One of these blocks seems to keep two trading posts stocked with c. 1000 ale each.