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Alternative-minded fruit growers have several ways to connect with one another. Active dialogue is critical: We advance our understanding only by exploring healthy nuance together. Chatting at home by way of the computer screen can be especially useful when participants stay on topic. Regional networks offer the opportunity to meet face-to-face, sometimes even in actual orchards during the growing season. And it all starts with you getting involved!
Web Discussion Groups
Holistic Orchard Network connects health-focused fruit growers in active discussion. Our online community provides a broad range of forum opportunities aimed at pleasing beginners and grizzled veterans alike. Check this networking overview for information about participating in our discussion forum for community orchardists.
Grow Organic Apples on Facebook welcomes home orchardists into the pursuit of growing healthy fruit. Tune in for seasonal advice from Michael as well as dialogue with other folks growing good apples and the like for their families.
Organic Fruit Growers Association This trade alliance centered in the Upper Midwest was organized in part to give organic fruit growers a voice in national policy. The OFGA list-serve forum explores the full gamut of questions that come up in the organic orchard. Experienced growers are involved here as well as folks initiating a community orchard effort. Write to sign up.
NAFEX The North American Fruit Explorers isn't necessarily organic or commercial but many, many avid fruit growers will tackle questions about all manners of fruits. Truly, from paw paws to gobi berries! Members can access the quarterly newsletter via nafex.org, while anyone may participate in associated web discussions by registering at lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/nafex.
Home Orchard Society This Oregon-based network of home orchardists encourages all manner of fruit growing questions. Sign up at homeorchardsociety.org/forums/ for a western slant on what you need to know to grow flavorful fruit.
The Growing Fruit Forum has a number of dedicated IPM growers who engage in useful horticultural perspective now and again. Thanks go to Scott Smith for keeping these discussions to task!
Find community orchards near you!
Our annual Berkshire Roundtable is held every March for community orchardists in the New England vicinity. The Organic Tree Fruit Association has been organizing field days in orchards where growers can discuss alternative approaches to growing apples in season. If others are doing anything like this in other regions, please let Michael know so we can spread the word.
March 7 & 8, 2018: Berkshire Roundtable, West Hawley, Massachusetts. Please see our registration flyer to get a better sense of this gathering, cost, and directions. All interested growers should check with Michael to find out if space is available. Registration begins in January of each new year.
Regional chapters of the North American Fruit Explorers are a great way to meet other fruit growers in your neighborhood. Scion exchanges and fruit tasting events by bioregional groups like the Home Orchard Society, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (organized in part by John Bunker of FEDCO Trees), Backyard Fruit Growers, and California Rare Fruit Growers serve us all well by introducing folks to the pleasures and ways of growing good fruit.
Support your local cider producer!
Workshops and Conferences
You'll find a listing of upcoming happenings that specifically speak to the growing of healthy fruit on our Online Events Calendar. Help us keep tabs on regional group activities and holistic research offerings. Those interested in meeting up with Michael Phillips can check his schedule of speaking events (at his farm website) for conference presentations as well as all-day apple intensives held in the growing season.
This network needs
involvement as well!
Sure, you're here now on the very site of which we speak . . . but are you involved?!!!
A running summary of grower input as well as links to important discoveries are posted on our Research Pages. The kind of sharing sought here does not need to be limited to a reductionist scientific approach (as useful as some of those results can be) as much as reflect inquisitive thinking from a systems point of view. The updated articles posted within our Biologic Curriculum suggest numerous possibilities of inquiry. Growers can sign up here as well for our Community Orchardist newsletter for announcement of network happenings and orchard insights.
Red St. Lawrence heirloom apple.
(photo: Frank Siteman)
Let's Hear it for our Advisory Board!
The next step here at the Holistic Orchard Network on our way to "organizational prowess" is the formation of a grower board of advisors. We're delighted to announce that the following members have agreed to help provide Michael with feedback in determining network priorities:
The regional perspective of this board should help in formalizing ties with various efforts going on across America and indeed the world. Discussion is underway as to obtaining non-profit status for the network to facilitate grant funding. . . needless to say, there are pros and cons to such a move.
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