For over three decades the Berkshire Apple Roundtable, the brainchild of Michael Phillips and a cohort of like-minded apple growers, has been the place to be for holistic fruit growers in the Northeast. Our annual roundtable meeting, affectionately referred to as ‘Stump Sprouts’, is held in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts every March and is in its 34th year this year!
While there are many conferences and workshops people can go to each year, there is nothing like this get-together that better explores the cutting-edge issues that face community orchardists. If you’ve ever been you know. Our unfettered talk ranges from how to best manage repellent strategies for curculio to the complex overlay of fruit moth woes. We dive into the nuance of fertility management for nutrient dense apples and resilient orchards, and explore the cosmic realms of biodynamic farming. We also find time to catch up with old friends and have a glass of cheer!
Local, community-based agriculture is truly one of those earth-saving graces that’s now needed more than ever. We each have valuable takes on “orchard truth” that, only by coming together, do we realize the bigger picture that leads to answers. Some of us offer years of well-pruned experience; others offer offbeat idealism that veterans invariably overlook. Feel free to bring photos, spray records, or anything else that will help us to get a sense of your orchard, as well as books or articles other people might be interested in. But mostly bring yourself and those burning questions from last season - and little cider cheer!