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staying connected

Posted by Michael Phillips 
staying connected
February 27, 2015 03:40AM
The promise of technology keeping fruit growers connected has issues, apparently. AND HERE I NEED YOUR HELP!

People reading this message are "participants" in our discussion forum. Long may you have the confidence to respond. But that's another issue entirely.

People signed up for newsletter mailings from the network did so via our sign-up page which operates "automatically" through the Mail Chimp emailing service. You should have received notice of our most recent edition of the newsletter on February 17. If you did not, one of two things happened. Your spam filter may have blocked the way, and if so, please designate Holistic Orchard Network <michael@groworganicapples.com> as a safe address. More to the point, a number of folks are not updating their accounts if and when switching emails. And I, dammit, don't necessary know how you access "that place" to rectify this if you don't get the links via the monthly mailing in the first place. Certainly you can create a "new account" and let the old bits fall where they may. Do this. Otherwise I cannot reach you.

Finally, we have "full-fledged members" who are the backbone behind all we achieve here and everywhere as a Holistic Orchard Network. I sound like a damn drone, again and again, again and again, but growers who care about these efforts really need to consider legitimate membership in the network. Go to our membership page now. Don't take all this for granted please!


Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2015 06:10AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: technical black hole
March 02, 2015 01:06AM
Dear Members and Guests,

• Have you been thinking about becoming a full fledged member of the Holistic Orchard Network?

• Have you ever felt like you have gained so much useful knowledge from the HON and from the Grow Organic Apples website that you wish you could do something for the organization, in return?

• Have you ever just been in awe and wondered what it takes to make all of this great information flow possible?

Michael's post struck a chord with me and as a fellow HON forum admin and member I wanted to echo his request for full fledged membership. Many of us who are passionate about fruit growing, and are involved in the business of marketing our fruit and fruit value added products, spend many hundreds (or thousands) of dollars a year towards our marketing efforts, memberships in various organizations and a variety of annual inputs we deem most valuable to our efforts. When I think about the money I put towards those ends, I often find myself wondering how much of a net benefit much of it is. As farming, in general, is often financially precarious, we should always be aware of our bottom line and where to be best put our energy and our all important dollars.

With this said, is the Holistic Orchard Network less worthy of our annual orchard marketing/membership/input considerations? For a mere $100, a full fledged membership can be proudly achieved with the full knowledge that those dollars are going towards continuing the important work of holistic orcharding outreach and mind share. A large amount of extracurricular time, energy and expense go into keeping a website online and updated, newsletters written, forum posts and questions addressed and more. Your donations really help keep fuel in that tank. At $100, this is a bargain and is simply money well spent, in my humble opinion. Not to mention a tax deductible business expense for those of us in the fruit business for profit too.

When you think about all you have deeply learned and taken to heart, be it recently or over the last decade, of any or all of Michael's Holistic approaches to producing healthy, thriving and nutrient dense fruit and trees; don't you consider a $100 membership donation, to maintain the health of the network's primary engine, to be an absolute bargain?

Here is an example from my own orchard; Using holistic awareness and many of the techniques, I save several hundred dollars a year in reducing my organic spraying (in both time and material costs) and then, as a bonus, make several hundred dollars more than I would otherwise, in the high % of 'Extra Fancy' fruit I am producing that I absolutely attribute to the 'beyond organic' holistic approach that I embrace and employ in my orchard. . . . and I am a smaller community orchardist! Plus, my customers are excited about my fruit and they are actively telling their friends and family about both my fruit quality and my holistic philosophy too. Who wouldn't pay $100 for that kind of word of mouth juggernaut?! Again, I attribute this extra level of success in my business to my holistic commitment and with this I thank Michael for his inspiration and sincere support over the years.

Take a moment to think and feel through the differences the holistic orchard approach has made on your farm? With your customers? To your overall enjoyment of proudly producing such a high level of fruit? To your family's health and to the health of your immediate and future environment?

I can only imagine what some of our many holistic fruit growing comrades-in-arms are also adding to their hard earned farm coffers annually as a result of all of the deeply inspired, thoughtful and practical tools and experience that is made so readily available to each and every one of us by this network.

For those of you less familiar with our host, Michael Phillips is a champion of holistic fruit tree health who carries this torch high, with honor, with pride and with an open willingness to share so much of his knowledge and experience with all who are inspired to make the move to growing more wholesome fruit. Over the last decade, Michael has crafted a whole new approach to orchard health awareness and he has become both a beacon and clear voice of encouragement for each of us to better connect with our trees and with our land and to join together in the quest for finding healthier answers that honor all species.

The Holistic Orchard Network community portal and Grow Organic Apples primary website are made possible by Michael's ongoing commitment to sharing sustainable fruit growing techniques, and dialogue, that emphasize both orchard soil and tree health. All with an ultimate hope of empowering small scale biologically focused orchards in their deeper desire to bring wholesome and highly nutritious fruit to their families, communities and local markets.

Ready to make a serious difference in your regional local food movement? Each and every orchardist truly can be an important part of making that difference. Join us in this endeavor. Participate in our holistic orchard forums. Ask questions, share answers, think deeply and learn to listen to what our trees are trying to tell each of us. We can do great things as individuals, but we do even more as a community. Be a part of something truly special! Let's do this together!

Please seriously consider joining us as fully fledged members and help this new way of thinking about orchard health, a philosophy we are each embracing, continue to soar ever higher.

Without you, there is no us.

Please join us, won't you?

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2015 05:23AM by Paul Weir.
Re: technical black hole
March 02, 2015 03:41AM
Well said Paul. I'm in for $100/year.
I recently set my preferences to get an email everytime anyone posts anything on this forum-- it's the only subscribed email that I always read and well worth the loot.

Josh Klatt
Ohio River Valley
Zone 6b
Re: technical black hole
March 02, 2015 05:26AM
Much appreciated. Thank you for your enthusiasm Josh!

Great to have you in the full fledged member mix!

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: staying connected
April 27, 2015 11:58PM
Two years ago I decided I wanted to put in a small orchard with berry bushes to help keep me active during my now imminent retirement and to help support my bees. As my 10 ac in southwestern New Hampshire has been organic for 10+ years, I wondered if anyone but me didn't mind a little bit of protein with their fruit and was crazy enough to try a holistic approach. Off to Amazon I went to see if there were any books about holistic orchards only to find this great book by a guy named Michael. After reading a free chapter I thought, "Fantastic! But I bet this guy is in Washington State and doesn't have winter." Lo and behold, he lives almost 3 hours north of me in New Hamphire and is making it work! A disciple is born...

Two days later I'm devouring the book and finding out about HON and Grow Organic Apples. As a "lurker" who understands I have a lot to learn and little to yet offer, I am incredibly grateful to have the availability of such a great reference source that has easily proven worthy of my $100 annual contribution. Now that the 18 trees, 50 blueberries and 100 raspberries are in the ground and have made it through a long cold winter, I look forward to actively participating when appropriate. Please become a full member and support the site! The free expression of ideas and knowledge delivered here is too valuable to loose.

Honey Meadow Farm, LLC
Southwestern New Hampshire, Zone 5A
Elevation: 960'
Re: staying connected
April 29, 2015 02:17AM
Hi there! I just want to let you all know I definitely plan on becoming a full fledged member, it might take me a while cause money is so flipping tight right now but I could make small monthly payments. (I am still counting my pennies for a sythe hopefully this year) Thank you so much Michael and everyone here in creating this forum. I really love and appreciate this vision. Michael has been an inspiration of mine for years. Looking forward to learning a lot here and am hoping to contribute my 2 cents here as well. Very excited and grateful to to be here.

Dreaming of a healthier community growing beyond organic and some good cider smiling smiley

Love and protecting our pollinators!

Buzz Hill
6b-7a on the line, Piedmont Uplands of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2015 02:19AM by Laura East.
Re: staying connected
April 29, 2015 04:25AM
Get the scythe first, Laura! Supporting membership in the network "adds up" over time and you'll get there at the pace it takes. Starting is good, though we will have to be strict about waiting to give out the secret tattoo ...

Meanwhile, a dozen or so growers recently renewed their memberships by choosing the amount that works for you. This brings spring funding nearly up to par and I can go ahead and write a next newsletter. I can't promise much more than that right now as "the season" has begun with signs of the very first bud smile today.

Stay connected, grow healthy!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2015 02:52PM by Michael Phillips.
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