Apple Forestry Shebang!

By Vermont Edible Landscapes (other events)

Saturday, April 8 2017 8:00 AM 6:00 PM

The confluence of holistic orcharding might suggest we can evoke the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan in producing organic fruit for our communities. Apply principles of agroforestry, dip rootstock in mycorrhizal inoculum, sing the wassail song, and voilá! . . . the apple harvest arrives with plenty for all. Let’s just say we have more than a few things to discuss. Natural advantage can go a long way towards manifesting that healthy apple. Soil life dynamics, efficient photosynthesis, and outrageous diversity set the stage for success. Yet the reality of curculio run amuck, fire blight doom, and black spot unleashed mean we need to better understand the challenges inherent in orcharding as well as the means by which Nature defends her own. Come learn what it takes to be a tree steward with legitimate human goals in these most tenuous of times.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand what it means to be a "natural apple tree"
  • To review orchard systems and productivity factors
  • To engage the four phases of healthy plant metabolism
  • To bring fundal sanctity to the for in all soil endeavors
  • To define outrageous diversity regarding multiple ecosytem benefits
  • To learn "how to think" about pest species and subsequently nudge into balance
  • To outline the mechanisms by which fungal bacterial disease get established in trees
  • To recognize how arboreal competition and green immune function changes these dynamics completely
  • To understand practical applications of biologial and nutrient-focused sprays
  • To emphasize (yet again!) that robust soil biology makes all this possible


Michael Phillips is renowned for helping people grow healthy fruit using herbal protocols. The community orchard movement that he helped found at provides a full immersion into the holistic approach to orcharding. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a medicinal herb farm in northern New Hampshire. He is the author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard which recently received Garden Book of the Year honors from the American Horticultural Society. His work has been compared with Sir Albert Howard and J.I. Rodale’s classic books on organic gardening. Michael’s latest, Mycorrhizal Planet: How Fungi and Plants Work Together to Create Dynamic Soils, will rock you!

Event Host: Vermont Edible Landscapes

Vermont Edible Landscape, LLC is a land planning business focused on the development of agroecosystems. We work with clients to design and establish ecologically regenerative landscapes. We approach land management through an agrarian lens utilizing a variety of diverse biological disciplines. Our services include site evaluation, planning and development. As an extension of our land planning business we run a small nursery that offers a wide range of plant materials to help support residential and agricultural projects. We focus on growing perennial plants that sequester carbon, produce food, fodder or medicine. 

Event Sponsor: Shacksbury Cider

Shacksbury works at the intersection of world class cider, natural wine and traditional farmhouse style brewing.  Inspired by old world traditions, as well as Vermonters past and present, we produce dry, food-friendly, and complex ciders at a great value.