From the Coordinator's Desk
Nellie Robertson, OFGA Coordinator
I hope you all are healthy and happy with the crop you are harvesting or getting ready to harvest. With OFGA’s membership spanning across seven states, some of you living on remote farms, others closer to big cities, I can only guess how the current situation in healthcare, economy, and politics has affected your lives. I am reasonably certain, however, that the farm is keeping you all busy, and I appreciate the time you take to read our newsletter this quarter.
In this issue, I would like to welcome Craig Dick from Ruralistic; he is importing some really cool fruit collecting machines from Austria to help small orchards work more efficiently. Diana Shipman from ACDI/VOCA who has joined us earlier this year has been working hard, finding ways to connect industry expert volunteers with growers outside of the US. As you can imagine, restrictions on international travel affected her job significantly.
In the articles section of our newsletter, I am excited to share OFGA member Dan Kelly’s experience with the bloom-thinning application we reported about in the January Just Picked! newsletter. Dan connected with Greg Peck, the author of the research article describing results seen in an 8-year-old apple orchard in Winchester, VA, and this season, he was able to apply the same methods. Scroll to page 3 to read about his results!
In the opportunities section, you’ll find information about what Extension Services can do for fruit growers, with details on how the process works in different states. Next, our Board Member Lisa Rettinger shares her experiences from the last several years, applying practices of regenerative agriculture at a previously conventionally managed orchard. Finally, check out some events on page 10 — since so many events switched to an online format, you don’t even have to travel to participate this year.
Enjoy and best wishes for the harvest season,