By Jess Kleean
Throughout Spring of 2017, the Watauga Cooperative Extension Center is set to host a class series titled “Organizing for Orchards” where students can learn options for choosing, siting, planting and caring for a variety of fruits and vegetables. This variety is made up of the most productive and hardy perennial fruit and vegetable crops that grow in this region: Apples, Blueberries, Raspberries (& to a lesser extent Blackberries), Strawberries and Asparagus. So if you have been looking for inspiration to get started on that garden, here it is!
Each of these classes will cover preparing your soil, siting your plantings, choosing obtaining well-adapted varieties, and growing the plants for years to come. While The Watauga Cooperative Extension Center is mainly targeting these classes toward those with small-scale farms, they want to assure everyone that the information they will being giving is adaptable to any type of project you are trying to conquer this planting season! Everyone is welcome, from homeowners planting one tree or bed, or others exploring the possibility of jumping with both feet toward larger commercial production. No matter what your goal, the focus of these classes will be on low-input and organic options for management.
The classes are free and open to the public. Each class begins on the date below at 6 PM and will run through approximately 8:30 PM, with time for discussion and questions included. The crops and class days are as follows:
Tuesday, 2/21- Apples
Tuesday, 2/28 – Blueberries
Thursday, 3/16 –Caneberries (i.e.- Raspberries & Blackberries)
Tuesday, 3/21 – Strawberries (Day Neutral & June Bearing varieties)
Tuesday, 4/18 – Asparagus
So if you have been farming for years, or you are just getting your green thumb, stop into one of these classes and explore the bountiful world of low-input, organic farming!