[NAFEX] Organic vs Senisble

dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Tue Apr 15 19:45:40 EDT 2008

When Royal Oak Farm began in 1992, we were 100% organic.  At the time we had around 1,000 trees.  In 1994 we were told that we would have to wait 7 years before we could be certified.  Why?  We had used treated posts on our trellis.  By that time we had 5,000 trees and were losing half our crop to CM and PC.  If you factor in the cost of replacing the entire trellis, waiting the 7 years and then trying to get certified, and the loss of fruit from being organic, you can see why we abandoned growing organically.  Scale is the deciding factor.  Instead we opted for IPM.  And we have planted 7,000 more trees since.   Now we are part of the EcoApple program with the state of Wisconsin and the growers of the Northeast even though we are in Illinois.   The IPM specialist we contracted in 1997 runs that program for Wisconsin and included us in the program last year.  What that means for us is that we are practicing sustainable agriculture and using the Eco Apple Protocol in our spray program, but not accepting any services being provided by the program. The IPM specialist pays us a visit or two each season and we pay him for his time without it coming out of the EcoApple budget.   The Protocol uses the most environmentally friendly products that is possible.  And our spray program budget, which is around $18,000 per season has actually decreased by $2,000.  So, I am finding that the use of sustainable agriculture can actually be very cost effective instead of increasing costs as organic growing does.  If anyone is interested in a copy of the protocol, I'll be happy to e-mail you a copy.  Better yet, I'll post it to the server and e-mail the link to download it.
Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Hélène Dessureault 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 8:10 AM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Organic vs Senisble


  This is North American Fruit Explorer Association, it's about fruits and similar topics and we refrain from expressing personal opinions on politics and/or personal problems. We agree to disagree on all kinds of topics. We strive to exchange ideas and opinions and best practices about fruits. We are careful about staying on the subject in order not to offend anyone or prevent this list from becoming a forum for discussing current events.

  Hélène, zone 3-4 north of Ottawa
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: halegp at aol.com 
    To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
    Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 6:26 PM
    Subject: [NAFEX] Organic vs Senisble

    You can determine from the subject line where my sympathies lie.  I have noted that regardless of how many studies are done in what ever manner there are still going to be people who believe that horticulture, of any sort, can be successful without out the dreaded "chemicals".  There are also Islamic "true believers" who believe that if they strap a bomb to their body and set if off in the middle of a crowd of perfectly innocent persons they will immediately go to paradise and be given seventy two virgins.  The problem in both instances is the word believe.  You cannot argue data and facts with true believers.  They just continue to believe.

     Gordon Hale
    Grand Prairie, Texas

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