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maine organic orcharding workshop series (starts tomorrow!)

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MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshops Statewide in Maine

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Michael Phillips is one of several expert orchardists who will be presenting at this year’s workshops

This spring and summer, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is holding a series of six one-day sessions covering the theory and hands-on practice of organic fruit tree and orchard management. Workshops are designed for beginner to intermediate orchardists managing plantings ranging from backyard-size to larger orchards.

March 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Pruning Fruit Trees

Locations: Durham and Hancock County

$50; $35 for MOFGA members

Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. We will also discuss collecting and storing scion wood. Please bring a bag lunch.

March 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Renovating Old Apple Trees

Locations: Palermo, Mount Desert and Swanville

$50; $35 for MOFGA members

This course focuses on pruning and feeding very old, non-productive fruit trees in order to bring them back into fruitfulness. Instructors will employ various methods to demonstrate proper pruning of trees that have been unmanaged. Taught by John Bunker in Palermo; by MOFGA’s organic orchardist, C.J. Walke, on Mount Desert; and by MOFGA journeyperson Sean Murphy in Swanville. Please bring pruning tools and a bag lunch.

April 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Grafting Fruit Trees

Locations: Mount Desert and Unity

$50

Learn to propagate and reproduce your favorite fruit tree varieties. Instructors C.J. Walke, MOFGA’s organic orchardist, and Jen Ries of Whiffletree Nursery in Brooks will explain how to graft, demonstrating the whip and tongue graft and T-budding, as well as outdoor grafting (top working) of established trees. Participants will graft trees to take home and plant. Care of new trees will be discussed. Please bring a grafting knife and a bag lunch. Grafting knives can be purchased in advance from FEDCO.

April 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Orcharding 101

Location: Pownal

$50; $40 for MOFGA members

Join Michael Phillips, author of “The Apple Grower,” for a comprehensive exploration of orchard health strategies that make controlling disease and insect challenges doable for growers. This workshop includes lectures, discussions, and question and answer periods, indoors and out. Learn what to expect in your orchard and how to manage it. Please bring a bag lunch.

June 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Summer Orchard Care

Location: TBD

$50; $35 for MOFGA members

Join C.J. Walke, MOFGA’s organic orchardist, as he discusses organic methods for growing tree fruit. Walke will cover soil and nutrient requirements, explain organic pest and disease control and provide ample time to answer questions and concerns about cultivating fruit trees organically. Please bring a bag lunch.

Saturday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Bud Grafting

Location: Monroe

$50; $35 for MOFGA members

Bud grafting is a great way to start your own fruit trees as well as many ornamentals. Budding grafts individual buds from this year’s new growth onto rootstock already set in the nursery. Taught by Seth Yentes of North Branch Farm, orchardist and fruit tree grower for FEDCO. Please bring a bag lunch.

For more information and to register, please visit www.mofga.org.

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