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 cutting-edge 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.