Organic Apple Growers’ Hour: April 23 Summary & Download

Orchard Health: fungal allies, soil fertility, ecosystem thinking
Our primary role as orchardists is to build system health. Understory management that embraces forest edge ecology is critical when it comes to getting a leg up on fruit tree diseases. Equally telling is the nutrient density—and flavor!—of the apples we then harvest for our families and communities. Our ultimate goal is a “cruise control orchard” that requires minimal off-farm inputs to produce good fruit. In this call Michael explored the components of a healthy orchard ecosystem and then through mutual conversation tried to zero in on the nuance of different methods.
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Organic Apple Growers’ Hour 2009
Summary for Thursday, April 23

Fungal duff defined
Bio-Organics Mycorrhizal Inoculants:
Honoring the biological stew
Haphazard mulching
Ramial chipped wood (including the tree’s own prunings)
What it means to think like a root
Orchard compost
Well-aged, unturned, 40:1 carbon to nitrogen ration
Mycorrhizal tricks of the trade
Making green hay
Mowing is a technique among many used by orchardists to ripen mineral humus to the benefit of an extreme diversity of fungi.
The virtues of the sickle bar mower
And don’t forget the venerable scythe:
Dynamic accumulators
Beneficial accumulators
Soil Fertility
Orchard cation balance of 70:10:3
Healthy nitrogen and whence it comes
Priming the Pump
Pulsing agents get bioactive juices flowing
Fish hydrosylate is different from fish emulsion
Nutrient Density of our Fruit
Levels of minerals in our food has fallen by as much as 76% in past 50 years
Antioxidant levels average 3x higher with holistic methods