Invite:Heritage Orchard Restoration Workshop

Great Lakes Heirloom Fruit Conservation and Heritage Orchard Restoration Workshop
Friday, March 20th, 2009 from 9 am to 4 pm at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum (Madison)
When the snow lies thick and blankets Wisconsin in white, it is time for farmers and orchardists to begin planning for the next colorful, diverse and delicious autumn harvest. Apples and other fruit trees remind us of the tastes of harvest time, and a diverse orchard reflects all the brilliant colors, flavors, and smells of the region. At one time, Wisconsin orchard growers were raising hundreds of apple varieties, with names like Wolf River, Black Twig and Prairie Spy. This number has dwindled to fewer than 20 commonly available varieties, greatly diminishing genetic diversity and cultural memories. Fortunately, a core of dedicated orchard-keepers in Wisconsin are keeping the broader diversity of fruits alive, and many more orchardists are willing to add varieties to their own plantings.
The Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Alliance invites you to a workshop on Heirloom Fruit Conservation and Heritage Orchard Restoration in the Great Lakes Region, to be held on Friday, March 20th, 2009 from 9 am to 4 pm in Madison, WI. This workshop will include instruction in orchard production and restoration techniques, taught by nationally recognized fruit advocates and writers Gary Nabhan, Ben Watson, Dan Bussey and Kanin Routson, along with renowned apple conservationists from around the country. In the afternoon, Edgerton orchardist Dan Bussey will lead a tour of his own heritage orchard and a few others in the Madison-area.
This workshop is for experienced and beginning orchard growers alike, or anyone wishing to join the growing group of people knowledgeable and dedicated to the region’s unique fruits. In addition to classroom and hands-on instruction, this workshop will be a wonderful opportunity to build stronger connections with local and regional orchard growers.
Cost to attend is $25, and includes instruction, workshop materials, hands-on demonstration, bus transportation to the orchards and lunch. Questions and registration requests can be directed to Heidi Busse at —due date is March 1, 2009. Registration is limited to 25 participants.
Co-Sponsors include Native Seeds/SEARCH, the University of Wisconsin-Arboretum, the Journal of Ecological Restoration and the University of Wisconsin-Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.
RAFT Founding Partners: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Chefs Collaborative, Cultural Conservancy, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Seed Savers Exchange and Slow Food-USA.
RAFT Co-Founder and Facilitator: Gary Nabhan