By John Bunker Now and then someone asks me the date of the first heirloom apple collection. I usually say 1934 – and I usually attempt to define an heirloom apple. After all, if you don’t know what an heirloom apple is, can you know the date of the first heirloom collection? The term “heirloom”
At the 2018 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Philip Ackerman-Leist spoke about Mals, Italy, which banned synthetic pesticides. Photo courtesy of Chelsea Green Philip Ackerman-Leist Speaks in Maine By Stowell P. Watters There is a place in Northern Italy, right at the top of the boot, where farmers who raise fruits and vegetables, grain and hay,
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.
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 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
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