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February - April 2018: Vintage Virginia Apples Orcharding Workshops (North Garden, VA)

Pruning 101- with Vintage Virginia Apples; February 24

Careful pruning ensures a more bountiful harvest. Find out how much to prune, where to make the pruning cuts, and when it should be done. This class is structured to take orchardists from the planting of the nursery tree, through the early years of training and pruning, into lifetime maintenance, rejuvenation, and even bringing old or feral trees back into production.

Planning and Planting the Home Orchard- with Rich Marini, PSU Horticulture specialist; March 3

Dreaming of starting your own orchard? Join Rich Marini, Penn State University pomologist, and the team at Vintage Virginia Apples and Albemarle CiderWorks for a day-long course on planning and planting fruit trees. Topics to be discussed include site selection and preparation, water and protection options, varietal and rootstock selection, the physical planting of the trees including notes on high density planting, and care over the life of the tree. VVA staff will be on hand all day for orchard consultation, and tree orders may be scheduled for pick up while you're here.

Pruning Intensive- with Jim Moniz; various dates

For the fourth year, Jim Moniz teaches a hands-on pruning workshop. Classroom instruction is combined with work in the orchard to give examples of different pruning techniques.

Grafting- with Vintage Virginia Apples; March 10 and March 17

Since apples do not reproduce true from seed, propagation depends on grafting the desired variety onto a reliable rootstock. Expert hands-on instruction by the Vintage Virginia Apples staff will introduce you to the fine art of grafting. Each participant will graft two trees from a choice of scionwood from the Vintage Virginia Apples collection to take home with them, along with a copy of our grafting handbook.

Organic Orcharding- with Michael Phillips; April 7

Vintage Virginia Apples is delighted to welcome Michael Phillips, the country’s leading authority on organic fruit culture, author of The Apple Grower and Holistic Orcharding for a workshop on orcharding with ecological awareness. Michael is an energetic proponent of healthy orcharding, exploring a variety of topics such as soil health, alternatives to fungicides, insect management, drawing connections between home orcharding and permaculture; the importance of native pollinators and beneficial allies; the world of understory plantings with shade-tolerant berry bushes; detailed information on cover crops and biodiversity; varietal rundowns of all the major tree fruits, and the newest research on safe, locally-inspired solutions to pest and disease challenges.

Understanding Pests & Diseases in the Orchard - with Dr. Daniel Frank and TBA, June date TBA

Visit for more info and to sign up.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program, housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2017-70011-26861, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center Grant #545015. For more information about the program or funding, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at or 540-231-5784.

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.