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Growing Holistically

by Michael Phillips

Fascinating biological connections make for a healthy orchard ecosystem. All insect pests and fruit tree disease – whether fungal or bacterial – have launching points and particular timing. Healthy trees address these challenges first and foremost from within. Growers utilizing an ongoing investment in the fungal duff and biodiversity set the stage for nutritional and biological sprays to grow a successful fruit crop. The challenges you face at your locale will become far more manageable as you build a holistic system that keeps trees and berry plantings healthy from the get-go.


How We Do It

Equally telling is the nutrient density—and flavor!—of the apples we then harvest for fresh eating and cider. Engaging environmental reality ups fruit brix yet again and keeps us all healthy. Utilizing pure neem oil, liquid fish, seaweed, effective microbes, and fermented plant extracts allows us to leave behind the mineral fungicides of 'Old School Organics' for the most part. These are exciting times to be growing healthy fruit!

Healthy plant metabolism begins with a molecule of water, a breath of carbon, and light energy from our nearest star. The tangible science behind all this unlocks the righteous way to farm and garden, give honor to trees, and plain do right by this earth. Nothing has ever excited me more.

Five Holistic Tenets 

Fungal Stewardship — mycorrhizal symbiosis is the foundation

Mineralization — fertility ratios and enzyme cofactors

Tree Immune Function — boosting phytochemical resistance

Competitive Colonization — reinforcing arboreal biology

Outrageous Diversity — plant community resilience and beneficial allies


Healthy Plant Metabolism

Shifting the paradigm allows us to engage plant metabolism pathways fully:

Photosynthesis efficiency

Nitrogen utilization and complete proteins

Fatty acid assets

Resistance metabolites




[[ insert image emphasizing photsynthesis ]]




Every grower strives to make intelligent choices within the framework of his or her individual belief system. We can only learn from each other if we respect each other. Holistic orcharding is all about finding healthier answers that honor all species.

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