by Michael Phillips
Published by Chelsea Green Publishing
Many people want to grow fruit but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something anyone with passionate desire can do — given wise guidance and a personal commitment to observe the teachings of the trees.
The Holistic Orchard demystifies the basic skills everybody should know about the inner-workings of the orchard ecosystem, including soil biology and organic health management. Detailed insights on grafting, planting, pruning, and choosing the right varieties for your climate are also included, along with a step-by-step instructional calendar to guide growers through the entire orchard year.
Michael Phillips completely changed the conversation about healthy orcharding with his first bestselling book, The Apple Grower, and now he takes that dialogue even further, 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; and the newest research on safe, locally-inspired solutions to pest and disease challenges.
“Rooted in the author’s many years of organic orcharding experience, this book blends ideas from soil science, holistic health, permaculture, and traditional fruit growing into a powerful new approach to orchard design and care. Phillips’s first-hand knowledge anchors this innovative and highly readable book in practical wisdom that both beginner and long-time fruit growers will find invaluable.”
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
“The Holistic Orchard is a stimulating account of fruit production from a biological rather than chemical approach. Phillips’s orchard philosophy — learned from keen observation and reflection — will fall and clobber you like a giant Newtonian apple; then, your walk through the orchard will never be the same. Digesting this book is like tasting a delectable new apple variety for the first time.”
orchard consultant, author, apple historian
“A new way of thinking is called for given the failure of chemicals to solve problems and feed the world. Mixing up dozens of organic thoughts, Michael Phillips ushers us into the 21st century and virtually creates a new language so we can really understand what is happening in our orchards. Shake off those 20th century blues and let’s move on with The Holistic Orchard as a guiding light.”
biodynamic orchardist, The Apple Farm, Philo, California
“The words ‘holistic’ and ‘comprehensive’ barely do honor to Michael Phillips’s scope in The Holistic Orchard. The author has woven multiple strands of orchard knowledge-based on his expansive vision and a lifetime of experience together with the wisdom of researchers and fellow fruit growers-into a brilliant web that captures the wonderful complexity of the orchard ecosystem. A sparkling joy to behold!”
orchardist and tree fruit specialist with ATTRA, The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
“Michael Phillips’s Holistic Orchard is a seminal work, to be compared with Sir Albert Howard and J.I. Rodale’s classic books on soil and organic gardening. This is deep horticulture at its best, showing just how and what we must do to orchard sustainably and ecologically.”
St. Lawrence Nurseries
“Michael Phillips does it again! His ability to understand and explain the parts, interactions and emergent properties of orchard systems is unparalleled. The Holistic Orchard integrates fundamental biology with the practical realities of ecologically sound management. The book describes the trek from healthy soil to healthy people, with great fruit all along the way. This is done in a way that can only be achieved by a highly experienced orchardist-practitioner-author-philosopher.”
Soil Ecology Professor, Michigan State University
“For decades experts have insisted that organic orcharding is an impossibility. Michael Phillips has led the effort to show that the truly sustainable, organic orchard is something we all can have. His example has been an inspiration. His tireless research has provided a road map to creating our own holistic orchards.”
Fedco Trees, Waterville, Maine