Organic Orchard Workshops to Be Held Around State
Thursday, March 02, 2017 1:36 PM
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) will present workshops this spring and summer on the theory and practice of organic fruit tree and orchard management, for beginner to intermediate orchardists managing lots from backyard plantings to larger orchards. People may sign up for one or more; bring a bag lunch.
• “Pruning Fruit Trees,” 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, in both Bar Harbor and Cumberland; 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, in Unity — How to prune to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality yield, and how to collect and store scionwood. Fee is $50, $35 for MOFGA members.
• “Renovating Old Apple Trees,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, in Freedom; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, in Newcastle and Mt. Desert — How to prune and feed very old, nonproductive trees to bring them back into fruitfulness. Bring pruning tools. Fee is $50, $35 for MOFGA members.
• “Grafting Fruit Trees,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, in Bar Harbor; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, in Unity — MOFGA’s organic orchardist C.J. Walke and Jen Ries of Whiffletree Nursery in Brooks will demonstrate whip-and-tongue and T-budding grafting. Students will graft trees to take home and plant. Bring a grafting knife. Fee is $50. Knives can be purchased in advance from Fedco.
• “Orcharding 101,” 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, in Unity — Michael Phillips, author of “The Apple Grower,” will lead a comprehensive exploration of disease and insect challenges orchardists can expect and how to manage them. Fee is $50, $40 for MOFGA members.
• “Top Grafting,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, in Thorndike — John Bunker will show how to top-work new, disease-resistant cider, dessert or heritage varieties onto existing trees. Bring a very clean and sharp grafting or utility knife. Fee is $50, $40 for MOFGA members.
• “Summer Orchard Care,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, in Cumberland — MOFGA organic orchardist C.J. Walke will discuss soil and nutrient requirements and organic pest control. There will be time to ask questions about organic fruit tree cultivation. Fee is $50, $35 for MOFGA members.
• “Bud Grafting,” 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, August 5, in Monroe — Budding involves grafting individual buds from this year’s new growth onto rootstock already set in the nursery. Class will be taught by Seth Yentes, of North Branch Farm, an orchardist and fruit tree grower for Fedco. Fee is $50, $35 for MOFGA members.
For more information and to register, visit mofga.org/events.