Tag: Orcharding

Who’s Stealing My Fruit

By C.J. Walke This season was the first in my 10 years of working with fruit tree growers that I heard numerous reports of apples and peaches vanishing from trees in just a few days or even overnight. In early August, emails starting popping up in my inbox with subject lines reading “Vanishing apples” and

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Stone Fruit

Gummosis on an ornamental cherry. Photo by Roger Griffith, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_wood By C. J. Walke Most Maine orchards typically grow apples and pears – hardy, long-lived pome fruit that withstand cold Northern winters and the tests of time. However, stone fruits of the genus Prunus (peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots) are a pleasant addition to the

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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.

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Organic Apple Production

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

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Grow Your Own Fruit Trees

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

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Alley Cropping

Jack Kertesz spearheaded the alley cropping demonstration at MOFGA’s orchard in Unity, showing how annual and perennial crops could be interplanted in a young orchard to gain income while waiting for fruit trees to mature. By Jack Kertesz Imagine working with a blank slate of ground and feeling that the outcome might look like some

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How to Grow Cherry Trees

No matter the type, it’s easy to grow cherry trees. One of the first trees I planted on my farm was a cherry tree, a ‘Bali’ sour cherry. Cherries, sweet and sour, are so beautiful; their shape; their deep wine-brown, shiny bark; their clouds of delicate pink blossoms in spring; and most of all, their

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An Unfettered Approach to Orcharding at Deer Isle Hostel

  Anneli Carter-Sundqvist gets ready to plant the first apple tree in 2015. Photo by Dennis Carter Raised beds were built for each tree using logs and brush left from clearing the land. Photo by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist Boneset and goldenrod line the woodchip-mulched paths. Photo by Anneli Carter-Sundqvist The wild and unfettered orchard at Deer

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MOFGAs New ED Has the Perfect Name

By John Bunker Not long after MOFGA’s new executive director came on board, she asked if she could join us for our next Orchard Committee meeting. The committee members were delighted. It would be a chance to tell her about our collection of nearly 300 Maine heirloom apples, as well as our innovative orcharding practices,

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The Pandemic and the Ancient Apple Tree

An old apple tree at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, Maine. English photo By John Bunker Magnificent, ancient apple trees can still be found scattered throughout much of Maine. Look for them behind old barns, next to abandoned cellar holes, along roadsides nestled in thickets, sometimes even beside a gas station or a convenience store

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