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Testing, one, two

Posted by Michael Phillips 
Testing, one, two
November 30, 2020 08:24PM
No posts have been made in November. This is a test to make sure the forum is working.

We are experiencing some background coding issues on the portal page... but few of you are likely to notice if rotating message panels appear locked. The discussion forum is other software so this is merely about checking the linkage. Some browsers will present a simplified version of the forum on the first click (coming from the portal) but this quickly corrects as you move about in the forum itself.

The bigger issue continues to be why more growers don't engage in the conversation. That's the part I find discouraging.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Testing, one, two
November 30, 2020 10:54PM
I replied to Michael in a PM, but in the interest of stimulating dialogue, will summarize here: I don't post, because I have nothing worthwhile to contribute. All my efforts are spectacularly unsuccessful - from ~180 mature trees this year, I harvested perhaps 30 lb. of fruit. I have tried to follow all the wise advice - soil tests to look for mineral deficits, heavy mulching, spraying with holistic sprays, planting wormwood to mine the deeper minerals, even spraying Quassia extract to control EAS. The trees don't grow, nor do they bear fruit. (And there is no deficit of pollinators - my wife's flowers are abuzz with both honey bees and native pollinators.) So, I clearly have no useful insights to contribute to the community, and the best thing is to keep quiet and listen respectfully to those wiser and more knowledgeable than I. (And I am not at all sure that I am alone in this situation.) So my silence is deferential, not antagonistic.

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: Testing, one, two
December 05, 2020 07:03PM
The third version of the portal will be back later today and fully engaged. You will see the center block (the spotlight feature) now has a yellow background. If you use the portal page regularly, like I do, you may need to do a "hard refresh" to get beyond a browser cache locked on a previous view... the keyboard instruction Ctrl+Shift+R will achieve that. The flowchart that establishes the background logic that makes our portal page work is pretty amazing... and for that I'm so thankful we have Michael Potts as our site webster. That small arrow prompt in the bottom right-hand corner of the grower profile block will randomly rotate the content of four of the blocks on this page, if you wish to see more of how this works. Otherwise, each time you call up the portal page anew engages this rotation "automagically" to keep things lively.

Deferential silence (as David explains above) is understood and appreciated. Still, I'm hoping more growers become jazzed and stay jazzed to participate whenever the discussion proves relevant. This forum is such an incredible tool for sharing what's being learned so we all in turn can become better at holistic orcharding. The trees approve this message!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2020 07:03PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Testing, one, two
January 05, 2021 05:54PM
Regarding deferential silence on the forum, I totally get it and engage in it often myself, but do try to keep an eye out for low hanging fruit type questions that I can feel comfortable weighing in on, so that those better versed and more experienced can save "the big guns of knowledge," and their time/energy/input, for truly advanced questions that fewer of us are equipped to address. But I'm always cognizant that this forum is a two-way street. The veteran posters have to have an incentive to converse and post, as well; they need to get something out of the conversation, otherwise, they're acting as orchard consultants for free.

That's the challenge here, and I don't have a wholesale answer to that, but in the interest of helping a bit in that direction, did want to make a case for speaking up, even if you don't feel particularly qualified. It's not all about the success stories; it is very valuable to hear what doesn't/hasn't worked, as well, and beginning orchardists can often speak to the failures just as well, or better, as the seasoned folk among us. For one thing, major trials and errors tend to be more, er, memorable and consequential in unestablished orchards that are not insulated by long-term commercial normalcy (I won't use the word, 'success') and firmly established trees better able to bear pest/disease/human stupidity pressure.

My mother and I planted out our orchard about 11 years ago, and managed it in a "conventionally organic" fashion until increasing frustration with penury and methodical ineffectiveness drove us to souse out a better, or at least different way of growing. It was almost two years ago that we began the transition to holistic orcharding to try and rely more on overall orchard health, rather than just react with an expensive spray of the month. We don't have any regrets, but it always helps to know what you're getting into, and that's why it's important to hear from people who are struggling intellectually and/or practically with this way of growing, as well.

Maybe a particular issue is due to ignorance -- in that case, airing it on the forum may help you to turn it around, and if your question is somewhat redundant or a softball, folks can skim over it. But then again, maybe it's not -- maybe your struggles are a harbinger for us all, or will simply serve to start a conversation that takes us all in many different directions. At any rate, I for one, would be glad to hear more from orchardists who don't have it all figured out. If nothing else, it makes one feel less alone. And if you're worried about redundancy/throwing softballs, do your due diligence -- there's a search engine on the forum; make sure your issue hasn't been addressed in the past.

Brittany Kordick

Kordick Family Farm
Westfield, NC
Zone 7a
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