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

4.59 of 5 stars 4.59  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  12 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 ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Chelsea Green Publishing Co (first published January 10th 2012)
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[I just finished the first 167 pages of the book - the rest is on specifics of diseases and varieties that I don't find relevant in my journey as an orcharder yet, and certainly not in bulk, all at once.]

I walked into Michael Phillips' talk at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference without much interest in orcharding. I knew we had one at school, but I'dn't been very interested in it. Phillips' talk didn't spur me to be interested in orcharding, but it did strike me as among the most wise and arti
Bossy Acres
Despite a wealth of information available about grafting, soil health, tree planting and pruning, there's one major area of orchard management that's tough for any beginner to learn: confidence. That's where Michael Phillips comes in. As a farmer in northern New Hampshire, he provides gentle-but-sure advice on holistic orchards in a way that's encouraging and valuable.

Beginning with a fascinating explanation of forest-edge ecology—which defines where fruit trees thrive best—Phillips moves into t
Justin  K. Rivers
It really is the best book you can get on the subject. When his book The Apple Grower came out a few years ago, it was a big deal. This is bigger, the culmination of a lot of that work.

Phillips' book is dense, packed with charts, photos, diagrams, information, and lots of detailed footnotes. His holistic orchard systems methodology can be applied to pretty much any growing scenario, and is geared toward a permanent, long-term system balance.

He spends most of his time on apples. They're one of
The information and quality of this book makes me wish I had bought it in hardback copy instead of just an ebook. I really feel like it gives me a beginner working on bringing back an abandoned orchard all the primer skills I need. I'm sure I will be referencing this year after year. The only thing that I struggled with is the third of the book isn't as clearly organized as later on. The author tries to stress the importance of "holistic" care. I think many wonderful points are made. It was just ...more
Rorie Kirk
This is actually an encyclopedia! I'll confess I didn't read the entire thing, I skimmed through to the parts that pertain to my current fruit-scape situation, but I am very impressed with this book. Every subject is covered thoroughly and written in a way to make this an easier read and enjoyable with the author's bits of humor.
The Holistic Orchard is a dense book --- I was very glad to read it slowly over the course of a couple of months rather than trying to take in all of the facts and ideas right away. But it's worth reading for anyone who wants to grow fruits without lots of chemicals. Understanding how the tree ecosystem works allows you to tweak your fertilizing, mulching, and pest-suppression campaigns to work with the tree rather than against it. Highly recommended as a book to buy and digest slowly.
This book has more information than the beginner could possibly use, but it really gets you excited about getting started (if you're not already started). Also, Phillips has a good sense of humor throughout to keep the book engaging even when he's just listing out the numerous ways that all of your fruits can be killed off.

Highly recommended for anyone looking to grow or improve fruit trees and bushes. No treatment of nut trees here, but he does include berry bushes and brambles.
Growing tree fruit organically is harder than you might think, and in a nutshell, this book is about how to manage the total system and in particular the life in the soil to optimize plant health and resilience of the whole system. Michael Phillips is well-respected in his field and an expert on organic orcharding in northern climates.
It took a while, or it seemed like it did, but I finally finished, skimming a reasonable amount of the specific fruit sections. The beginning and end of the book may end up being the most useful to me, especially the orchard to-do list. I wish there were more tables and figures included.
Zach Frey
Jul 19, 2012 Zach Frey marked it as to-read
This is the book I want when I have a place to plant fruit trees and tend them for a few decades. I'm halfway through it, and reluctantly sending it back to the library until I have either more free time or more land.
Great resource. The book really shines when it comes to fruit trees, and I thought it was a little thin in the berry section.
Xmas gift from Robin. Excellent!
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Librarian Note: there is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.
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