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The Apple Grower


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The Apple Grower

A Guide for the Organic Orchardist, Second Edition

by Michael Phillips



"This is a book I'd love to have written—the best source available of all the best information on growing healthy apples."

Elliot Coleman, author of The New organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest

The definitive guide to growing apples wisely, naturally, and with gentle impact on the earth.

For decades fruit growers have sprayed their trees with toxic chemicals in an attempt to control a range of insect and fungal pests. Yet it is possible to grow apples responsibly, by applying the intuitive knowledge of our great-grandparents with the fruits of modern scientific research and innovation.

Since The Apple Grower first appeared in 1998, orchardist Michael Phillips has continued his research with apples, which have been called "organic's final frontier." In this new edition of his widely acclaimed work, Phillips delves even deeper into the mysteries of growing good fruit with minimal inputs. Some of the cutting edge topics he explores include:

  • The use of kaolin clay as an effective strategy against curculio and borers, as well as its limitations
  • Creating a diverse, healthy orchard ecosystem through understory management of plants, nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms
  • How to make a small apple business viable by focusing on heritage and regional varieties, value-added products, and the "community orchard" model


The author's personal voice and clear-eyed advice have already made The Apple Grower a classic among small-scale growers and home orchardists. In fact, anyone serious about succeeding with apples needs to have this updated edition on their bookshelf.

About the Author

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips, along with his wife Nancy, runs Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs in northern New Hampshire, where they grow and sell medicinal herbs and products they make from healing herbs. Michael writes articles for publications such as Mother Earth News, Growing for Market, and The Natural Farmer. He is author of The Apple Grower and co-author of The Herbalist's Way . For several years now, Michael has been growing apples successfully at Lost Nation Orchard using no artificial pesticides or fertilizers. His secret lies in hard work, creative marketing, and a willingness to observe and learn from nature.

Farmers John's Review

I love this man's spirit and passion not only for apple trees, but the land he farms.  He has a real understanding for the land and how to grow organically.  Michael has a passion for apples and if you are even considering starting an orchard you will want this book.  No kidding!  Great section on pest and organic ways to combat them.  He even gives numbers for people selling apples for a business; like selling fresh apples, apple cider, juice, jelly, etc.  He is honest and tells you what has worked and what hasn't worked so well.  I've personally learned a great deal from this book and will do things a bit different when I plant my 40 apple trees this week.  Great book, must have for an orchardist. 

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