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,


Just Picked! newsletter volume:





Orchardists, hobby gardeners, customers and those just beginning to explore fruit growing use our online resources to discuss topics related to organic fruit production, marketing, and policy.


Learn from experienced fruit growers and industry professionals, access current research, find and share resources, and network with other members through seminars, workshops, field days and our quarterly newsletter, Just Picked!


OFGA facilitates connections and collaborations with researchers at universities and private companies to address the challenges of managing fruit diseases and pests organically even in humid regions of the US.


OFGA is a professional organization able to represent the interests of member-growers in discussions about the public policies and programs that affect small growers.

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* Note that currently, OFGA is happening through email and Listserv communications, community events, not on Facebook, so the best way to get in touch with us is through signing up for more information above or by emailing Nellie Robertson at

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