Organic Apple Grower’s Hour: June 26 Summary

Participants: (10 total) Deirdre Birmingham, Mineral Point, WI; Doug Waples, Soldier, IA; Bill Wright, Green Bay, WI; Bob Willard, Rochester, WI; Tom Galazen, Bayfield, WI; Sam Atkins, Bayfield, WI; Lisa DiPietro, Madison, WI; Michael Phillips, Groveton, NH; John Aue, Richland Center; one grower did not announce their name.
Discussion topics:
1. Weather and pest reports from the Midwest/Northeast
2. Dutchess apple variety’s susceptibility to PC
3. Apple Maggot: natural history of, Michael’s approach to managing, traps and lures, importance of picking up early drops, trap placement, sprays, etc.
4. Preventing southwest injury with white latex paint or other options
5. Using a biodynamic tree paste/bark tonic to address canker problems
6. Fermented horsetail tea recipe
7. University of Massachusetts article on “Twenty Niche Tree Varieties to Consider.” See note below on Variety Resources for more information.
8. University of Pittsburgh’s findings on Roundup’s Toxicity to frogs; France and Germany’s ban on the neonicotenoid imidacloprid
Two Notes
Variety Resources
The “Twenty Niche Varieties to Consider” article posted by the UMass research team can be found at www.umass.edu/fruitadvisor/variety . Most of these apples definitely lend themselves to organic management. All in all, this write-up makes good points on marketing fresh fruit to a wide spectrum of customer tastes. Some of you may also want to find a copy of “Our Apples: Lez Pommiers de Chez Nous” by Shahrokh Khanizadeh and Johanne Cousineau put out by the Quebec division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in the late 90s. It provides a wonderful overview of varieties (with color photos) of apples for northern growing zones.
Guest Speakers
Michael is thinking of inviting an experienced organic fruit grower to join us on occasion in the summer half of the Organic Apple Hour conference calls. We’d invest about twenty minutes of our time listening to Michael and guest explore what that grower considers to be the strong points of his or her orchard management. Some of the talk may stretch our Midwestern parameters but on the other hand Michael will try to draw out the ecosystem understanding that has relevance to any healthy orchard undertaking. Drop Michael an email at michael@herbsandapples.com if you have any suggestions as to growers you’d like to include in our weekly call.
If you would like to hear the call recording, dial (712) 432-1284, then enter this access code: 868736. Each week’s recording will be available via telephone until it is erased by the following week’s call.

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