[NAFEX] Organic vs Senisble

dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Sat Apr 19 01:35:59 EDT 2008

Here is the handout we have prepared for our thousands of customers that seem to appreciate the time we take to explain IPM to them:

Royal Oak Farm

Pest Management Practices

At Royal Oak Farm we use an approach called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to minimize the insect and disease damage to our fruit. IPM utilizes a combination of biological, natural, and cultural controls to keep applications of chemical controls to a minimum.

We consult with a professional entomologist as we monitor a number of species of insects and mites in our orchard, including beneficial species (predators and parasites of pest species). Often there are enough beneficials to control the pest(s) without spraying. On other occasions we can use traps to catch pest species as they enter the orchard, or determine from the traps that there are too few of the pest to cause serious damage to the trees or fruit.

A weather station in the orchard tracks temperature, rainfall, and humidity from March through September, and we use this information to monitor the progress and severity of various diseases that can attack our fruit.

All these efforts make it possible to apply chemical controls only a few times each season when they are truly required, and we have made it a policy to always use the most environmentally friendly materials available. The good health of our bees located all around the orchard is a testament to our insect and disease management strategy.

At Royal Oak Farm we are proud of the quality of the fruit we grow, and equally proud that through our monitoring efforts and the use of Integrated Pest Management procedures we need apply so few sprays to grow excellent products.

Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Karen Tillou 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 1:17 AM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Organic vs Senisble

  i agree: explaining ipm to the average consumer who knows nothing about growing food, much less fruit, is a hard slog.  the concept behind it though is fairly straight forward though: concessions, common sense, and compromise.  we all daily make decisions that compromise our beliefs, what ever those may be.  as someone who believes in organics and happens to live somewhere where it is possible to grow fruit organically, to spray imidan or not is a decision i don't have to face.  but i have a great deal of respect for folks like alan, ginda, dennis and donna, minimizing their need to spray because they are also integrating organic and holistic methods of soil and fertility management, cultural practices, varietal selections, etc, into their fruit growing decision making.  i think the ways that more and more growers are turning to ipm techniques that then naturally lead them to organic methods (with or without applying those emotionally charged labels or certifications) is inspiring, especially in the bug and disease beleaguered eastern growing climate.  
  ps, when do we get those promised 72 virgins?

  On Apr 17, 2008, at 9:07 PM, Ginda Fisher wrote:

    On Apr 18, 2008, at 12:03 AM, Donna &/or Kieran wrote:

      Thanks Dennis for your input.  Personally, I wish there was a LOT more emphasis on IPM fruit.  I may have said this before, but to me it's the way to go for commercial production.  Please, give me the choice to buy fruit that's been sprayed 2-4X instead of 24X.  But the grocery offers only conventional or organic, and I feel lucky to have even that choice now.  I think if they offered some IPM fruit, with a little explanation of what it is, I think the public would vote yes with their wallets.  
      . . .

    Alas, I don't think you're right.  I've tried to explain the benefits of IPM to several friends.  I've succeeded a few times.  But it took way more explanation than anyone would read on a placard at the market.

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