The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

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Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012 - Gardening - 414 pages
10 Reviews

Many people want to grow fruit on a small scale but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone with space and passionate desire can do - given wise guidance and a personal commitment to observe the teachings of the trees. A holistic grower knows that producing fruit is not about manipulating nature but more importantly, fostering nature. Orcharding then becomes a fascinating adventure sure to provide your family with all sorts of mouth-watering fruit.

The Holistic Orchard demystifies the basic skills everybody should know about the inner-workings of the orchard ecosystem, as well as orchard design, soil biology, and organic health management. Detailed insights on grafting, planting, pruning, and choosing the right varieties for your climate are also included, along with a step-by-step instructional calendar to guide growers through the entire orchard year. The extensive profiles of pome fruits (apples, pears, asian pears, quinces), stone fruits (cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums), and berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, and elderberries) will quickly have you savoring the prospects.

Phillips completely changed the conversation about healthy orcharding with his first bestselling book, The Apple Grower, and now he takes that dialogue even further, drawing connections between home orcharding and permaculture; the importance of native pollinators; the world of understory plantings with shade-tolerant berry bushes and other insectary plants; detailed information on cover crops and biodiversity; and the newest research on safe, homegrown solutions to pest and disease challenges.

All along the way, Phillips' expertise and enthusiasm for healthy growing shines through, as does his ability to put the usual horticultural facts into an integrated ecology perspective. This book will inspire beginners as well as provide deeper answers for experienced fruit growers looking for scientific organic approaches. Exciting times lie ahead for those who now have every reason in the world to confidently plant that very first fruit tree!


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Review: The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

User Review  - Goodreads

This tomb on fruit culture covers subjects biological and mineral in the discussion of holistic orchard management. This book will give you a lot of ideas about growing healthy fruit trees from nutrition in the orchard to variety selection. Read full review

Review: The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

User Review  - Goodreads

Awesome. Really changes your whole philosophy on how to start and maintain an orchard. Read full review


ForestEdge Ecology 1 Working with
The Buzz on Biodiversity
Planting Care 51 Soil Fertility 59
Tree Doings 74 Pruning Overview 82
Thinning the Crop
Bugs and More Bugs 115 Holistic Approach
Pears 186
Asian Pears 199 Quince
Chapter Seven
Bush Fruits 302 Shrub Fruits
Holistic Compendium 335 Parting Words
About the Author

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About the author (2012)

Michael Phillips is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern new Hampshire, where they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael authored The Apple Growerand teamed up with Nancy to write The Herbalist's Way. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a diversified mountain farm in northern New Hampshire, and he also leads the community orchard movement at

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