Organic Orcharding

Apple Blossom, Spring 2016
Apple Blossom, Spring 2016

For the last few years I’ve made brazen claims about holistic, organic gardening and orcharding. No pesticides. No way; no how.


No exceptions.

I’ve refused to spray our fruit trees to inoculate them against all of the baddies that lurk in an orchard’s tender places. I’ve refuted the discouraging oracles who assure me that I will fail; that a successful orchard requires, requires, pesticides and fungicides; that neighboring fruit tree growers will consider my bad judgment not only an ill-informed mistake but a dangerous threat to their own trees.

Apple Blossom, Spring 2016
Apple Blossom, Spring 2016

I’ve soldiered on, resolved to make Rosslyn a toxin-free, organic, healthy environment. I’ve poured over alternative gardening, lawn maintenance and orcharding resources. And I’ve experimented. Sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully. The orchard alone has required about a 5-10% replant rate over the last 3+ years. Which is discouraging. And frustrating. But it’s also remarkable that most of the trees have survived and thrived!

But I am slightly evolving in my thinking. Less dogmatic. More informed. And my black and white “Pesticides: No Way, No How” line in the sand is yielding to alternative, non-toxic, but considerably more proactive approaches to fruit tree growing. (Much credit is due to Michael Phillips (Grow Organic Apples: Holistic Orchard Network) among other holistic orchard mentors. Thanks, Sir Phillips!)

Last summer I added three new “tools” to my orcharding, and I’m going to focus on each of the three in separate posts in order to keep the topics focused and useful to others exploring the realm of healthy, non-toxic fruit tree propagation. Here are the three:

Organic Plum Trees in Bloom, Spring 2016
Organic Plum Trees in Bloom, Spring 2016

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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