Since we bought the farm in 2009, we've planted 18 varieties of apples in test plots.

We are currently evaluating several dwarfing rootstocks to assess their tolerance for organic growing conditions, their site-specific performance, and to see how they adapt to a 4-wire trellis support system. Dwarfing rootstocks have several advantages including faster time to tree maturation and smaller canopies that facilitate organic spraying, mechanical thinning and picking. However, full dwarfing rootstocks create trees that are more susceptible to disease and pest pressure. So we are evaluating whether we can organically grow apples on full dwarfing rootstocks in the climate of eastern Pennsylvania.

Over the last year, we installed deer fence around 20 acres for future orchard blocks and installed almost a half mile of 6 inch diameter pipe to provide irrigation to the orchard blocks. Next spring we will begin to plant our first commercial blocks.


Varieties and rootstocks currently being evaluated include

  •     Buckeye Gala on G16
  •     Crimson Crisp on Bud9
  •     Enterprise on M26
  •     Ginger Gold on G11
  •     Ginger Gold on M9Nakb337
  •     Goldrush on Bud9
  •     HoneyCrisp on Bud9
  •     Northern Spy on M9.337
  •     NovaMac on Bud9
  •     Pioneer Mac on G16
  •     Pioneer Mac on Bud9
  •     Pioneer Mac on M26
  •     Pioneer Mac on M9.337
  •     Pristine on M26
  •     Red Stayman Winesap on Bud9
  •     RedCort on Bud9

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