Tachinid flies and their larvae parasitize some orchard pests. English photo By C.J. Walke The term “threshold” is used in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to describe the level at which pest pressure and crop damage have reached the point where plant health will start to decline and/or crop damage will result in reduced yields.
By C.J. Walke Update: Arctic® Apples In the spring 2014 issue of The MOF&G, I wrote about the genetically engineered, non-browning Arctic® apples, created by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. of Summerland, British Columbia. Arctic apples are engineered to resist enzymatic browning when sliced or bruised, which proponents claim will make apples more appealing to consumers
Toki Oshima drawing By C. J. Walke This is often the unasked question that arises when I deliver library presentations or teach hands-on workshops on growing organic tree fruit. I can see the look on people’s faces change when I mention the backpack sprayer, as if a dark storm cloud has shadowed their sunny afternoon.
Scab on an apple. Photo by C.J. Walke. Scab lesions on apple leaves. Photo by C.J. Walke. By C. J. Walke For organic apple growers in the Northeast, one of the major disease challenges is managing apple scab in orchard trees. Apple scab, caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, can severely affect unsprayed or unmanaged
Fire blight in apple. Photo by Sebastian Stabinger, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_tree_with_fire_blight.jpg By C.J. Walke The Debate Since the inception of the National Organic Program (NOP) in 2002, the antibiotics tetracycline and streptomycin have been approved for use in apple and pear production to combat fire blight (Erwinia amylovora), a bacterial disease that affects the pome family.
By Roberta Bailey Planting fruit trees can be a big step, a commitment to a place and to one’s self. Some people plant trees as soon as they settle on a piece of land, knowing quite a few years will pass before they see fruit. For others, that same knowledge keeps them from planting. The
1996 Farmer to Farmer Conference Steve Page and Cynthia Anthony’s presentation at the Farmer to Farmer conference sparked a wide-ranging discussion about how to produce apples organically. This is Steve’s third orchard, and as he said, “The first one was experimental, and so are all the others since.” In many ways, Bear Well Orchard in
By Roberta Bailey Close to 2 acres of the Common Ground Country Fair’s permanent site is being planted to an experimental orchard. Another quarter acre or so will be a tree nursery. Both sites will be test plots for soil amendments, cover crops, rootstocks, and new and old fruit cultivars, hardy and tender. A portion
By Roberta Bailey Cider is an extraordinarily versatile beverage that can be enjoyed in its many forms, sweet, semi-sweet, dry, sparkling, still, apple brandy and apple jack, as well as in a staggering number of hot and mulled drinks. Recently, the United States has rediscovered this beverage that quenched the thirst of its founders. Interest
By C.J. Walke As the days grow longer and the sun climbs higher, we are slowly rolling into the month of March, and it’s time to prune your fruit trees and maintain the structural framework that will support bushels of beautiful, organically grown fruit. Remember to keep your tools sharp and your cuts clean, and