Author Michael Phillips to Bring Organic Fruit Wisdom to Southern Orchards

Share Article

Bestselling author and nationally acclaimed organic fruit expert Michael Phillips will do a teaching tour in North Carolina July 19th-20th. Living Web Farms will host Phillips’ two orcharding workshops, which are open to the public.

Author Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard

Author Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard

Experts say soon most American orchards will be bankrupt...the challenges fruit growers face will become far more manageable as we begin to build holistic systems."

In the Southern US, pesticide-free orcharding can be a challenge, with unpredictable weather, a decline in native pollinators, and the pressure from multiple diseases. Nationally acclaimed author and successful organic orchardist Michael Phillips will visit two orchards in North Carolina to share his holistic farming techniques, July 19-20th, 2014.

“Healthy trees address challenges from within,” Phillips notes. His Lost Nation Orchard supports over 200 organic fruit trees, with harvests expected of up to 800 bushels per year. “Experts say soon most American orchards will be bankrupt, and we’ll be getting our fruit from China.” But Phillips has been sharing his preventative orchard health techniques, in an effort to help small, community orchards thrive. “The challenges fruit growers face will become far more manageable as we begin to build holistic systems that keep trees and berry plantings healthy from the get-go.”

Mills River, NC- Saturday July 19th, Michael Phillips will take a topical approach to successful biological orcharding, discussing an ongoing investment on the part of fruit farmers in soil nutrition and biodiversity. At Living Web Farms, Phillips will set the stage for southern orchardists to grow a successful fruit crop.

Bakersville, NC- Sunday, July 20th, Phillips will tour and teach at Fork Mountain Farm, a mature organic production orchard. Phillips will cover climactic implications, deep nutrition, competitive microbe colonization, and orchard ecosystem maintenance. “I’m thrilled to have a mind like Michael’s in my orchard,” says Pat Thompkins, owner of Fork Mountain Farm. Her 50 trees and 250 berry bushes have been managed with little mechanization and totally organic techniques since 1988. During this field day, attendees will learn system-wide thinking and skills as well as mulching and pruning instruction for individual trees to ensure a healthy harvest.

To register, visit Registration is by donation, with $35 suggested per day, and $50 for the full weekend. Participants are encouraged to pay what is affordable for them.

Living Web Farms is a non-profit, organic education and research farm network in Mills River, North Carolina. The organization oversees three farms, four greenhouses, and multi-species livestock. Produce and meat from the farms is donated to food banks across western North Carolina. Living Web Farms offers full-day and evening workshops year-round, focusing on homesteading, cooking, farming, and gardening. For information on upcoming workshops, or to watch videos of past workshops, visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Meredith McKissick
Follow us on
Visit website


Living Web Farms logo