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The Apple Grower By Michael Phillips

The Apple Grower by Michael Phillips

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Summary

All you need to know to grow apples successfully

The Apple Grower Summary

The Apple Grower: Guide for the Organic Orchardist, 2nd Edition by Michael Phillips

For decades fruit growers have sprayed their trees with toxic chemicals in an attempt to control a range of insect and fungal pests. Yet it is possible to grow apples responsibly, by applying the intuitive knowledge of our great-grandparents with the fruits of modern scientific research and innovation.

Since The Apple Grower first appeared in 1998, orchardist Michael Phillips has continued his research with apples, which have been called organic's final frontier. In this new edition of his widely acclaimed work, Phillips delves even deeper into the mysteries of growing good fruit with minimal inputs. Some of the cuttingedge topics he explores include:

  • The use of kaolin clay as an effective strategy against curculio and borers, as well as its limitations
  • Creating a diverse, healthy orchard ecosystem through understory management of plants, nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms
  • How to make a small apple business viable by focusing on heritage and regional varieties, value-added products, and the community orchard model

The author's personal voice and clear-eyed advice have already made The Apple Grower a classic among small-scale growers and home orchardists. In fact, anyone serious about succeeding with apples needs to have this updated edition on their bookshelf.

The Apple Grower Reviews

Northern Woodlands (Review)-
As anyone who has ever planted a few apple trees knows all too well, growing apples can be a perplexing and frustrating endeavor. The trouble is that apples are very attractive to many of nature's creatures besides humans. And at least one of these creatures, from deer to apple maggot flies, and from the roundheaded apple tree borer to mice (not to mention the long list of diseases that also affect apples), is sure to be working for its share of the fruit (and in some cases the tree) every day of the year. But if you've ever baked a pie made from your own apples, or pressed a batch of cider from them, the trials and tribulations all seem worth it with that first bite or sip.

Michael Phillips' revised The Apple Grower has as much help as you'll find anywhere to get you to that first bite of pie or sip of cider. The previous edition, published in 1998, was the bible for many backyard orchardists and commercial organic growers. The new edition, boasting color photos and expanded and better-organized chapters, is a real treat for anyone interested in apples. The new edition's chapter on diseases and pests will be helpful to those left scratching their head about who or what is eating the apples or trees they are trying to grow.

Phillips sprinkles tributes to other apple growers throughout the text. These persistent and dedicated souls, along with Phillips, are exploring uncharted territory: they are trying, without the use of traditional pesticides and chemicals, to keep ever-evolving pests and diseases away from trees that are themselves not evolving. All named apple varieties are genetic dead ends. A Macintosh today is genetically identical to a Macintosh from a century ago, but the bugs and diseases have spent that time evolving to break through the trees' defenses.

Phillips presents intriguing ideas about orchard soils. Since people started growing apples in orchards, those orchard soils have largely been bacterially based, meaning that fertility has been maintained by the addition of bacteria-laden manure. Sheep and cattle were allowed to graze the grass and eat dropped apples, adding manure to the soils, and often the orchard was formerly pasture or hayfield, where manure was regularly added to maintain fertility. Bacteria-based soils are great for grasses and hay crops, but not necessarily for trees.

Phillips argues that apple trees are still, well, trees, and like other trees, they prefer forest soils, which rely mainly on fungi to break down organic matter such as bark, wood, and other plant matter to maintain soil fertility. Phillips believes that this soil is what apple trees naturally want, and that it makes them healthier and better able to deal with pests and diseases. He has been experimenting with using fast-growing comfrey in his orchard, cutting it down to add rotting plant matter and to stifle the growth of grass, which can rob an apple tree's surface feeder roots of nutrients. He advocates adding composted branches, bark, wood chips, and even excess chunks of sheetrock to your orchard to promote the fungi in the soil and deter grasses.

Phillips' style is more writerly than reference. His homespun stories about his many years of trying to outwit and outmaneuver the legions of apple-loving creatures are both entertaining and packed with tips. Phillips' extremely handy compendium of orchard tasks has always served as my basic plan of attack for what to do in my orchard, and the revised and expanded edition will be a welcome addition to my library. I have no doubt that over time it will take on the grimy, thumbed-through, and well-used look of my copy of the first edition of The Apple Grower.

-- by Carl Demrow

Northern Woodlands-

Michael Phillips' revised The Apple Grower has as much help as you'll find anywhere to get you to that first bite of pie or sip of cider. The previous edition, published in 1998, was the bible for many backyard orchardists and commercial organic growers. The new edition, boasting color photos and expanded and better-organized chapters, is a real treat for anyone interested in apples. The new edition's chapter on diseases and pests will be helpful to those left scratching their head about who or what is eating the apples or trees they are trying to grow. Phillips' style is more writerly than reference. His homespun stories about his many years of trying to outwit and outmaneuver the legions of apple-loving creatures are both entertaining and packed with tips. Phillips' extremely handy compendium of orchard tasks has always served as my basic plan of attack for what to do in my orchard, and the revised and expanded edition will be a welcome addition to my library. I have no doubt that over time it will take on the grimy, thumbed-through, and well-used look of my copy of the first edition of The Apple Grower.


A must read for anyone who grows apples or is contemplating doing so.--Lee A. Reich, garden author and Associated Press syndicated columnist

About Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern New Hampshire, where they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael is the author of The Apple Grower (Chelsea Green, 2005) and The Holistic Orchard (2011), and teamed up with Nancy to write The Herbalist's Way (2005). His Lost Nation Orchard is part of the Holistic Orchard Network, and Michael also leads the community orchard movement at www.GrowOrganicApples.com.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter One
Growing Apples Locally
Apple Growing a Hundred Years Ago
Today's Integrated Pest Management
Bringing It All Together
Conventional Wisdom
The Small Commercial Orchard in Context
Chapter Two
The Orchard Site and Its Climate
Sacred Slopes
The Four Points of the Compass
Dry Ground
Zone Hardiness
Windbreaks
Biodiversity in a Fruit Orchard
Proximity to Markets
Chapter Three
The Enriching of Fruit Lands
The Living Soil
Compost Forever
Soil Amendments
Foliar Feeding
Biodynamic Teachings
Cover Cropping
Ponderable Mulch
Soil Tests and Leaf Analysis
Trace Minerals for Every Tree
Chapter Four
The Trees and the Planting
Cultivar Selection
Rootstocks and Tree Spacing
Nursery Sources and Varietal Collectors
Grafting and Propagation
The Setting of the Trees
Orchard Size and Layout
High-Density Plantings
Down to the Nitty-Gritty
Chapter Five
Care of the Orchard
Intuitive Pruning
Training the Apple Tree
Pollination and Fruit Set
Frost Protection
Thinning the Fruit
The Great Grass Debate
Mowing Options
Summer Care
Preparing for Winter
Restoring Neglected Orchards
Chapter Six
Apple Pests and Diseases
The Beginning of Understanding
Good-bye, Foliar Pests
Insect Identification
Bug-by-Bug Profiles
Beneficial Insects
Good Sanitation
Fungal Diseases
Other Diseases of the Apple
Four-Legged Considerations
Chapter Seven
Spraying for Balance
The Complexities of Nature
All the Answers Aren't Known, but We're Gaining
Timing Is Everything
The Orchard Calendar
Botanicals, Elementals, and Forbidden Fruit
Gentler Sprays
Spray Equipment for the Small Commercial Orchard
Matters of Concern
Chapter Eight
Reaping the Harvest
When to Pick
Harvest Equipment
The Apple Picker's Reel
Hiring Help
Windfalls and Fat Sheep
From Orchard to Packing Shed
Grading Revisited
Cider Making
The Juice of the Apple
Apple Storage
Chapter Nine
Marketing in the Local Economy
Getting a Fair Price
Apple Economics
Niche Marketing
Value-Added Products
Organic Certification
Advertising
Marketing Innovations
Long-Term Vision
Chapter Ten
The Last Organic Frontier
The Sustainable Orchard
Tree Spirit, Community Spirit
Organic Perseverance
Here We Come a-Wassailing
Esopus Spitzenberg and a Better Tomorrow
Appendix I Compendium of Orchard Tasks
Appendix 2 Apple Grower's Source List
Appendix 3 Lost Nation Apple Recipes
Appendix 4 Bibliography
Index

Additional information

NPB9781931498913
9781931498913
1931498911
The Apple Grower: Guide for the Organic Orchardist, 2nd Edition by Michael Phillips
New
Paperback
Chelsea Green Publishing Co
20130618
360
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

Customer Reviews - The Apple Grower