Interested in Growing Apples? Holistic Organic Orchard Classes Offered

Join us, along with a handful of New York State’s finest apple growers and cidermakers, as we get down to the real grit of apple growing! We’re proud to be a part of this wonderful team of teachers…

Wickson Crab, Redbyrd Orchard

Groundswell is honored to be working with an outstanding group of orchardists who have designed the course. They will be teaching and hosting these hands-on sessions at orchards around the Tompkins County area. This is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the region’s most respected and innovative growers. Beginning and experienced commercial producers and serious homestead orchardists are invited to participate. The class will meet one Sunday each month from 1:00 – 4:00 PM and will include hands-on learning as well as recommended readings.

CURRICULUM COORDINATORChris Negronida, West Haven Farm Orchard & Black Diamond Farm

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTORS: Eric Shatt, Redbyrd Orchard Cider & Cornell Orchards; Melissa Madden & Garrett Miller, Good Life Farm; Ian Merwin, Black Diamond Farm & Professor Emeritus, Cornell Horticulture; Autumn Stoscheck, Eve’s Cidery; Mike Biltonen, Red Jacket Orchards; Brian Caldwell, Hemlock Grove Farm & Cornell Horticulture

  Registration and more info here


January – Introduction to the course & Instructors, Comparing and contrasting organic vs. “holistic”, Orchard design and site selection, Training systems , Fencing, irrigation and other orchard infrastructure

February – Pruning

March – Grafting 

April –  Training Systems, Planting and Orchard Equipment

May – Spring Season Pest and Ground Cover Management

June – Thinning

July – No class

August – Summer Pest and Ground Cover Management

September – Harvest and Fruit Evaluation

October – Fruit Storage, Marketing and Course Wrap-up

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