Apple scab and fireblight are two of the biggest disease issues apple growers contend with in any given season. 2016 was a relatively low pressure year, but who knows what 2017 will look like? In this workshop we will discuss the biology and ecology of each disease, their disease cycles, available monitoring, and forecasting tools, … More Apple Scab and Fireblight workshop – Holistic Style
Grafting is a very personal process. You can learn the basic steps from almost any manual or by attending a hands-on workshop, but you’ll never fully figure it out until you do it. The first step is to get the supplies that you’ll need. Here’s what I suggest: • Rootstock (see previous newsletter for detail) … More Starting Your Orchard – Grafting 101
This time around I’d like to focus on the larger apple rootstocks. All rootstocks have their pluses and minuses, and larger rootstocks certainly have their downside. Principally, they lack precocity and don’t always produce the highest quality fruit because of more interior canopy shade (less interior sunlight and photosynthesis), greater wood to fruit ratios, and … More Starting Your Orchard – The Larger Rootstocks
When the first of the dwarfing rootstocks were released, the testing procedures were not as elegant or elaborate as they are today. East Malling-Long Ashton researchers were looking largely for rootstocks that would grow smaller, more precocious trees with higher quality fruit. They accomplished those goals, but ended up with a bunch of other issues … More Starting Your Orchard – Know Your Roots
For well over 100 years, orchardists and researchers alike have been striving for ways to make orchards more productive, efficient, and profitable. And while the story doesn’t begin with England’s East Malling and Long Ashton (EMLA) Research Stations, the modern chapters of dwarf fruit tree production certainly do. The East Malling research station was established … More The Ecosystem Orchard: A New Orchard Aesthetic
Well, the Earth has orbited the sun one more time and we’re all getting ready for whatever this year may present us. Last year, our fruit crops got upended by Mother Nature. In February we had the Valentine’s Day massacre when subzero temperatures, preceded by a stretch of very warm weather, resulted in substantial tissue damage to fruit trees … More Happy New Year 2017 – Class and Workshop Schedule
Sustainable farming means different things to different people. At a very basic level, sustainable means “the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely.” At an agro-industrial level, “sustainable” means massive off-farm (and usually petroleum-based) inputs from chemical companies that keep profits high and environmental accountability low. The theory is that as long as you keep … More The Ecosystem Orchard: What’s it All About?