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!