Planning and managing orchards for hobby and business
Tree fruit are an important component of the agricultural and homeowner landscape. Planting and management of apple and other tree fruit orchards is a rewarding hobby and business, but important considerations must be met to ensure success.
This course trains beginning tree fruit growers in fundamental concepts in orchard planning and management. Content will include site selection and management, rootstock and cultivar selection, orchard systems, pest management, nutrient management, and harvest considerations for commercial orchards tailored to the northeast U.S.
ALL LEVELS – The course is for beginning tree fruit growers, or experienced growers seeking a refresher on basic concepts in orchard management. The topics covered will be specific to orchard systems.
At the completion of this course, you will:
- Understand of the basics of tree fruit production, harvesting, and marketing
- Have information sources to develop an orchard planting and management plan
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing. Access details will be posted in MOODLE once you have registered and logged in.
Wednesday January 16 – February 20, 2019, with webinars every Wednesday evening from 7-8:30pm Eastern time, and office hours beginning the same evenings at 6:30pm. Webinars will be recorded for later viewing.
Anna Wallis, formerly Regional Fruit Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (CCE ENYCHP).
Michael Basedow, Regional Fruit Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (CCE ENYCHP).
Week 1: Introduction, orchard venture analysis and business planning, tree fruit botany
Topics covered: Navigating moodle, course overview, evaluation of orchard goals, business planning, tree fruit botany.
Week 2: Orchard planning
Topics covered: Site considerations for orchards, pre-planting site modification, orchard planning.
Week 3: Orchard system components
Topics covered: Appropriate fruit cultivars and rootstocks for the region and market, choice of planting systems and initial management considerations
Week 4: Orchard management
Topics covered: Pruning, training, groundcover, and nutrient management
Week 5: Integrated Pest Management
Topics covered: Sustainable management of insect and disease pests in the orchard
Week 6: Harvest
Topics covered: Ripening physiology, harvest planning, crop load management, cold storage, marketing.
Fee for this course is $250. Registration closes on Sunday January 6 at 11:59pm.
Sign up a month or more in advance of the start date and receive $25 off.