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Chelsea Green Blog

Watch: Michael Phillips Describes His Holistic Orcharding Approach

If you’re just starting out with growing fruit trees, you’ll want to get the best advice possible early on, to avoid traumatizing your trees or making easy mistakes that can cause you a headache later on.

The following videos show Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way and The Apple Grower: A Guide for the Organic Orchardist, in his Lost Nation Orchard in northern New Hampshire. Michael shares with us his growing philosophy and his holistic approach to orchard management.

Taking a whole-systems approach helps Michael produce some of the most delicious fruit around. His techniques include using herb teas to nourish the trees, boosting silica in his plants to ward off disease, and taking the utmost care in balancing the health and nutrition of his orchard’s soil. Michael currently grows 60-80 varieties of apples, including several heirloom varieties.

Have a look at the videos below to learn more.

 

Lost Nation Orchard – the Holistic Approach from Chris Conroy on Vimeo.

 

Lost Nation Orchard – Groveton, NH from Chris Conroy on Vimeo.

 

Phillips’s classic text The Apple Grower is available in our bookstore, along with his new book The Holistic Orchard.


Ask the Expert: Andrew Mefferd

Before writing The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture, Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. Andrew has graciously agreed to offer up his expertise to our […] Read More

Top 10 favorite goat facts (with gifs)

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How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More
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