A series of workshops, covering theory and hands-on practice in organic fruit tree and orchard management. Designed for beginner to intermediate orchardists managing backyard plantings to larger orchards
Registration is now closed for all workshops. See you next year!
March 16: Pruning Fruit Trees
Locations: Jefferson and Unity
Fee is $30
March 23: Pruning Fruit Trees
Blue Hill ONLY, no snow date. Fee is $30
Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set, and quality fruit yield. Collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed. Unity: Course will focus on pruning 10-12 year old trees and include renovation pruning of an old tree. Please bring a bag lunch, course will run from 10 am to 3 pm. A snow date of March 17th is planned.
March 30: Renovating Old Apple Trees
Locations: Gardiner and Beech Hill Farm, Mount Desert Island
Fee is $30
Course is focused on pruning and feeding very old non-productive fruit trees in order to bring them back into fruitfulness. Instructors will employ various methods to demonstrate proper pruning of trees that have been unmanaged. Gardiner: Taught by John Bunker and Phil Norris on an urban orchard in downtown Gardiner, which has about a dozen old apple and pear trees, with varieties like the Red Astrakhans, Russetts and Snow apple. These 30 to 100 year old trees have been unmanaged for several decades. Beech Hill Farm, Mount Desert Island: Taught by C.J. Walke. Please bring pruning tools and a bag lunch. Courses run from 10 am to 2 pm.
April 20: Grafting Fruit Trees
Location: MOFGA (Unity) and Bar Harbor
Fee is $50
Learn to propagate and reproduce your favorite fruit tree varieties using whip & tongue grafts and T-budding, as well as outdoor grafting (top working) of established trees. Participants will graft trees to take home and plant. Care for the new trees will be discussed. Please bring a grafting knife and a bag lunch. Course will run from 10 am to 3 pm. The workshop at the Common Ground Education Center in Unity will be taught by Delton Curtis of Curtis Pond Nursery and Jen Ries of Whiffletree Nursery in Brooks. The Bar Harbor workshop at the College of the Atlantic will be taught by MOFGA's Organic Orchardist C.J. Walke.
A grafting knife (#475v Victorinox model is recommended) is essential and should be purchased in advance from the following sources: FEDCO or MOFGA Store
April 27: Orcharding 101
Co-sponsored by Cultivating Community and Portland Resilience Hub
Location: Cape Elizabeth
Fee is $40 for members, $50 for non-members
Join Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower, for a comprehensive exploration of orchard health strategies that make disease and insect challenges doable for growers, including lectures, discussions, question and answer periods inside and out. Learn what to expect in your orchard and how to manage it. Please bring a bag lunch, course will run from 10 am to 4 pm. Information.
June 29: Summer Orchard Care Workshop
Cosponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub
David Buchanan's Homestead in Pownal, Maine
Want to plant fruit trees, but you’re not sure how to grow them organically? Or do you have fruit trees in the ground and you would like to learn about organic cultivation methods? If so, come to David Buchanan’s homestead on June 29. Buchanan, author of Taste, Memory – Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter (Chelsea Green 2012), grows about 150 apple varieties, most on rented land, and sells potted fruit trees at the Portland Farmers’ Market. On his land in Pownal, he plans to conserve old apple varieties and turn a barn into a commercial kitchen to process fruits. At this workshop, C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist, will present organic methods for growing tree fruit, including soil and nutrient requirements and insect and disease control. Ample time will be available for questions. Participants should bring a bag lunch and drink. Registration has closed. For more information, contact Emily Horton at email@example.com.
Saturday, July 27: Bud Grafting
10 am to 1 pm
Fee is $30
Bud grafting is a great way to start your own fruit trees as well as many ornamentals. "Budding" uses individual buds from this year’s new growth to graft onto rootstock already set in the nursery. This workshop will be taught by Delton Curtis of Curtis Pond Nursery in Thorndike, ME. Delton grafts thousands of trees every year for Fedco. He has been bud grafting for many years, focusing in particular on peaches. All the major tree fruit species will be covered. Participants should bring their own knives.
Registration is closed for all workshops. See you next year!