Apple Trees is a workshop geared towards the farmer who wants to explore the possibilities of long-term investment in apple production. With the growing hard cider business near and far, apples are popular more now than ever and are loved for many reasons. Flavor, shapes, colors, textures, juiciness, firmness and character are just a few things we look for in a good apple. They are a time-consuming investment up front and you may have to wait for five years for a crop. Come see the options of orcharding on a large scale at Big Horse Creek Farm vs. a high-density smaller scale operation at Rose Mountain Farm. We will discuss the importance of heirloom apples over mass production of the mainstream apple like the
Red Delicious. We will also learn the difference between heirloom and hybrids, the benefits of grafting vs. starting from seed. We will also learn the benefits of apples such as raw eating, cooking for desert or for hard cider production. Apple Trees will be available for purchase at Big Horse Creek Farm. All materials and lunch are provided.
 
Upon successful completion of the class the student will be able to:
 
  • Discuss and demonstrate how to plant your chosen trees to give them the best start
  • Discuss and demonstrate nutrients that Apple Trees need
  • Discuss how to pick your varieties that match your elevation and climate
  • Discuss how to protect your trees from groundhogs, rabbits, deer and bears with fences, odor repellents, sound repellents and shotgun pellets
  • Discuss how to protect your trees from tiny pests
  • Discuss how to pick your varieties for the intended market you serve such as cider, farmers market, wholesale, etc.
  • Discuss and demonstrate the differences in dwarf, semi-dwart and standard root stock varieties
  • Discuss and demonstrate pruning the standard orchard vs. pruning the high-density trellis orchard
  • Discuss expected production volumes for both types of orchards