Thursday, February 25

Finding Your Orchard

As some of you may have noticed the blog recently got a makeover of sorts.  I had a lot of fun looking at the different templates they had available and playing around with fonts and colors, but I wouldn't even pretend to know how to manipulate html codes.  I will save that for an incredibly rainy day.  Among the changes, is the addition of some navigational links at the top of the page, which I hope will help people to navigate to areas of interest within the blog.   One of the links leads to a part to a page that is not yet developed.  "Orchard Listings" is something I recently thought up that I think would make a nice addition to the blog.  My idea is to start a database of sorts, although initially it will just be a long list of orchards, with a short bio and orchard info.  I realize the list could be interminably long being as there is a plethora of wonderfully unique orchards and growers out there.  It occurred to me that a good place to start would be orchards I am already familiar with.  This is where you come in.  If you have an orchard or orchards in  you neck of the woods that you adore, or ones you are aware of through other channels send me the name and info you have.  I will do a little of my own research if needed to round out the bio and add them to the list.  You can email me here.  Alternatively you can just leave a comment on this post.
My hope is that eventually a listing of orchards in numerous states and bio-regions will be accessible to people looking for a local source of fruit or a fellow grower in their area.  In the long run it is my hope that this listing could even serve to connect pickers with jobs and apple enthusiasts and educators with numerous learning opportunities.  Why not aim high?  I am interested in small hobby growers or large established orchards, organic, sustainable and conventional alike.  I think some of the most interesting places might be something you would never find on a Google search, so I am depending on word of mouth.  Spread the word!

On a second note, I attended the Hudson Valley Commercial Fruit Growers School yesterday.  The four day school, two days of which are dedicated specifically to apple growing, is put on by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension.  I was surrounded by apple growers, orchard managers, and educators who seemed to embody a interesting amalgamation of professionals and old farmers who had put on their Sunday cloths for the occasion.  In between speakers numerous conversations about pollinators, the latest pruning techniques or fall foliar nitrogen applications could be heard around the large conference room.
The information encompassed a wide range of topics from soil and leaf analysis and integrated pest management to fruit marketing ideas.  It was an informative and interesting glimpse into the  commercial apple growing industry.  I plan on going over my notes and different publications I gathered while I was there, hopefully finding some good material for some upcoming posts.

In the meantime put on your thinking caps!

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