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grower questionaire

Posted by Michael Phillips 
grower questionaire
July 06, 2016 10:33AM
Michael Potts and I are in the process of making several updates/ improvements in this discussion forum and other online community aspects. The biggest step each on of you can make for starters is to make the doings of the Holistic Orchard Network more accessible on your home computer screens. You do that by making our Portal Page one of your home pages so as to see what's happening each new day. Next comes confidence to post--or whatever it takes--thereby making this a more active site. I'd also like to see interest in Grower Profiles revamped.

Here's how you might help me with firing up interest in profiles as I get going with all this anew. We established a set of rather broad questions to encourage individuality and creativity in expressing who you be as a fruit grower. Some of these still seem right while others could perhaps be better directed. The beautiful thing about grower profiles is how your signature on any post then links directly to your story. This helps us all know one another better. That's to the good. Ya-de-da-de-da! What follows is the current version of the grower questionnaire:

Tell us briefly about your growing philosophy. A few key details about management choices will help others understand your approach to growing healthy fruit.

Tell us briefly about your place on earth. The extent of your orchard, fruits in the ground, and growing zone specifics go here.

What draws you to growing fruit? Feel free to release your inner druid!

Have you reviewed our take on certification of healthy orchard practices? Holistic Core Values as posted on the Grow Organic Apples website is a work in progress. Any suggestions?

List a few areas of orchard research to be undertaken. Suggest research that, conducted from a holistic perspective, would be most useful you.

What goes into your nutritional foliar sprays? A holistic recipe can include a number of nutritional riffs. What goes into your foliar sprays to boost overall tree health?

What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?

How do you go about marketing the good fruit? Or simply sharing the excitement of growing your own?

Thoughts please.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2016 03:34PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: grower questionaire
July 10, 2016 01:43AM
Reading this inspired me to go read my profile. While the personality of our farm comes through, the actual text is really out of date since I wrote it in 2013. However I have no idea how to edit it. This has also made me think about why I don't post more, since I really like reading what everyone else writes about and could (and do) have verbal conversations about fruit growing all day long.

There are several reasons I don't participate more:
1. I am usually reading the forum at night and I am too tired after farming all day to say something smart.
2. I hate typing on my iPad but that is what I am usually reading it on.
3. Although we all grow fruit here, our reality in coastal California is really different than most of the rest of you. We have not enough chill hours rather than frost concerns, we have some similar but mostly different pests, and it seems that our marketing system is quite different. Also I would love to have a vigorous discussion about fig varieties or citrus pests, but most of you would not find that too relevant.
4. While we are supportive of Michael's overall philosophies and strategies for holistic fruit growing, we are not able to do all the practices most of the time. Either the cost of doing the program on 15 acres, or the timing, or the complications of trying to brew our own microbes make it not happen. We are now doing a vigorous foliar program to build up our buds for next year, we are not using fatty acids or EM. Therefore I feel a bit guilty about discussing practices that are different than Michael's program.

I hope we get a rainy winter and then I will have time to post more.

Fruitilicious Farm
Zone 9b in California
Re: grower questionaire
July 11, 2016 08:05AM
Thanks for the feedback, Zea. It's the only way to make things better!

Editing profiles involves going back to the source. If you didn't keep the invitation email, I can send that again to get you to the admin site. I also can enter changes manually on this end if push comes to shove. Our "grower network system" is not as automated as Facebook or the like as that's what we could afford in-house. But the directions are explicit and obviously you did this once before. Private message me when you want to relearn the ropes.

Fruit reality at EVERY orchard site is different. There's plenty of room here to create nuanced posts reflecting a regional twist. The ongoing discussion on Anthracnose is a great example of growers in the Pacific Northwest (and the veritable Mr. Bates!) holding forth on dealing with this regional challenge. And we can easily start up a citrus and a fig forum in the Fruit Varieties section. Consider it done.

The last bit surprises me. The network, this forum is about growing healthy fruit. There are all sorts of insights along with valid approaches to do this to meet the particular challenges at any orchard site. "Michael" is irrelevant. I am just another grower sharing thoughts and observations to try to get at what works. It always pleases me when an IPM grower signs up here to participate as that means yet more diversity of thought. Heck, if everyone had to frame things in terms of "em and fatty acids" and whatever else I've written about then there would be no personal motivation for me to keep this going. It's good you brought this up if others also think this forum is solely about confirming what I think. We started this grower discussion forum way back in the spirit of a place where "health-minded growers" could explore alternatives to the conventional paradigm. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Now get on your iPad and fire away! And encourage Terrence to get back in the midst of all this too!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2016 08:35AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: grower questionaire
July 19, 2016 12:37PM
Just for giggles, I'll give this one more call for suggestions and feedback. Here's a revamped version of the questionnaire:

Tell us briefly about your growing philosophy. A few key details about management choices will help others understand your approach to growing healthy fruit.

Tell us briefly about your place on earth. The extent of your orchard, fruits in the ground, and growing zone specifics go here.

What draws you to growing fruit? Feel free to release your inner druid!

What holistic innovation most rocks your boat? Holistic Core Values as posted on the Grow Organic Apples website are intended to spark ideas aplenty.

How has an ecosystem approach changed your tree reality for the better? Building orchard health takes dedication. Time now to reveal the paybacks.

Share an “aha moment” that made you a better grower. Nothing beats recognizing how the next piece of the puzzle fits into a good plan!

What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?

How do you go about marketing the good fruit? Or simply sharing the pleasure of growing your own?

My hope here is that the wording motivates member growers who post a profile to share those special insights which spark innovation and make orcharding fun. We don't want these questions to be daunting so I've kept a free range sense to this. I am attempting to revamp this whole forum effort, and this is a mere piece of what's underway. All will come up short if people don't start contributing more.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2016 01:00PM by Michael Phillips.
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