Tell us about your growing philosophy
We started eight years ago with traditional organic farming practices and when we planted new trees, four years ago, we started changing our approach to fungal diseases, insect management and nutrition for our trees. We introduced materials like neem oil, effective microbes, seaweed, liquid fish and compost tea
Tell us about your place on Earth.
We have 650 apple trees, half were already in the ground from the 50's, the other we planted ourselves. We also have a few varieties of pears and will plant grapes and peaches in the next few years. Our main rootstocks are MM.111 and G.11. We are in zone 5B.
What draws you to growing fruit?
When I started pruning my old trees, many winters ago, I would always turn around to see who was behind me, and realized thet these intricate, wrinkly and fascinating apple trees, were giving me the illusion of people moving.
As simple as it sounds, I planted new trees to be able to see how they grow and how they will look like in 20 years under my stewardship.
innovation most rocks your boat?
Yes I did....when I first heard of Michael Phillips and his holistic approach to apple growing, and I got HOOKED!!!
What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?
My orchard was planted on a flat and very rocky land... If I could choose the location of my own orchard again, I would look for a hill side well drained with NO ROCKS with different exposure. But hey…..you can't have everything in life, so I'm happy where I am.
How do you go about marketing the good fruit?
We sell primarily at the orchard in our newly built apple/honey barn. We are a pick-your-own operation for our certified organic apples, berries and squash. Our newsletters are delivered to more then one thousand people to let them know what we have going on at the farm. We also sell our own honey, garlic, tomatoes and many varieties of winter squash. We basically try to be as diversified as possible. Lastly we sell to restaurants in New York City.